The Ghostface killer is back in the brand new Scream movie. Ready or Not filmmakers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Ryan Gillett honour the legacy of the late Wes Craven, continuing the nightmarish saga of a movie-literate killer and their equally genre-savvy victims. Here's the latest poster.
Like the previous Scream movie, this promises sly, ironic laughs and nasty kills by the bucketload. Only this time, there are a few wrinkles to the formula – scroll down to read our breakdown of the first Scream trailer.
1. The Ghostface killer has adapted to the modern age
In 2011's Scream 4, it was somewhat implausible that a serial killer would continue to deploy a landline phone as his/her modus operandi. Fortunately, Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett have addressed this conceit, showing that Ghostface is now capable of texting his intended victims (it's about time this franchise got with the program). The trailer reveals (in perhaps too much detail) the particulars of a certain sequence, perhaps the opening killing salvo, in which the victim finds their smart tech turned around them. Trying to lock one's front door via one's phone is given a nightmarish twist, meaning that this particular Ghostface likely won't be deterred by archaic methods of doors, chains and locks.
2. Sidney is now the mentor to a new generation of victims
Neve Campbell made an instant impression as the tenacious Sidney in the original Scream movie, circumventing many of the clichés we'd come to expect from the horror genre. She used brains and brawn to survive Ghostface, subverting the notion of the disposable slasher movie victim, and in the process, acting as a rebuke to many of the genre's less-than-savoury elements.
Unsurprisingly, having fought off not one, not two but seven incarnations of Ghostface since the original movie (several films had more than one killer), Sidney is now battle-hardened, sardonic and armed, as she tells Dewey at the start of the trailer. Even more intriguingly, she's now grown into her own legend: a survivor who is now ideally positioned to help a new group of teenagers stay alive. The key, as ever in the Scream movies, is to observe the conventions of horror movies and play the psychopath at their own game – and this has sunk into Sidney's persona by sheer force of attrition.
The collective of potential suspects/victims this time are represented by a talented young cast including Melissa Barrera (In the Heights), Jenna Ortega (You), Jack Quaid (The Boys), Mason Gooding (Booksmart), Jasmin Savoy Brown (The Leftovers), Dylan Minnette (13 Reasons Why), Mikey Madison (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), singer Sonia Ben Ammar and Kyle Gallner (Red State).
3. Dewey and Gail are similar old hands at this stalk and slash chaos
No longer just the bumbling Sheriff and bitchy news reporter, respectively, both Dewey and Gail have skin in this deadly game. Like Sidney, they've survived several swipes with the marauding Ghostface killer, and Dewey has come out of it the worst, sustaining several life-changing injuries. The salt and pepper in his beard in the new movie is surely as much about the mileage as it is about the years. Fortunately, they're now well-positioned to advise on the tactics to combat the insurgent Ghostface, and Dewey appears to have adopted the role of the late, lamented Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy), reinforcing the importance of life or death rules within sequels.
4. The past is never dead
There's a murderous connection between the latest group of teens being targeted, and the bloody events that have marked the lives of Sidney, Dewey and Gail (a line in the trailer states as much). One fan theory posits that the deranged Stu (Matthew Lillard), who featured in the first movie, is still alive, and is now set to wreak revenge after escaping from prison. (This was a proposed plotline for 2000's Scream 3, although ultimately discarded.) Given that Stu had a television dropped on his head by Sidney, we'd take this one with a pinch of salt.
5. The killer considers Sidney's involvement an "honour"
This mocking line from Ghostface implies that the psychopath is surprised and flattered by Sidney's involvement, recognising her as the battle-scarred veteran of several previous attacks. Was this particular killer expecting her to be involved at all? Maybe by drawing Sidney closer to the new generation of terrorised victims, and playing on her sympathies, Ghostface can, likewise, get closer to her. That would be an especially diabolical scheme. Is the latest incarnation of Ghostface someone from Sidney's past? There surely can't be that many culprits left... can there?
Scream is released in Cineworld cinemas on 14th January 2022. Can't wait that long? Check out our list of Scream 25th anniversary facts ahead of its Cineworld re-release.