Starring: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Jenna Ortega, Dylan Minnette, Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mikey Madison & Kyle Gallner.
Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett
Wes Craven’s Scream is one of my favorite movies, so to say that my hopes were high for this would have been an understatement. Unfortunately, this “requel” did not meet my expectations, leaving me disappointed due to the lack of character development. The kills are bloodier and gorier, which is stabtastic, but the fact that I couldn’t connect to these characters left me cold and distant. I did appreciate the Easter Eggs that are scattered throughout the flick, but I really wanted to love this movie more. Maybe I’ll appreciate and enjoy it more on a second viewing.
In a vacuum, 2022’s Scream is a relatively clever meta takedown of rebootquels and toxic fandom, but it loses some kudos from me because it feels like a beat-for-beat remake of 1996’s Scream. At one point, a character tells the killer “you might be the most derivative one yet,” which really sums up the entire movie if you’ve seen the original. On top of that, it’s mostly predictable and lead actress Melissa Barrera is outright terrible, seemingly a graduate from The Jessica Alba School for Acting. That said, it’s not bad, especially as a franchise starter for a new generation.
Like the previous entries in the franchise, Scream (2022) is as much a commentary on its own existence and “rules” as it is a fun little slasher flick. Once one figures out what the central mechanic of the plot is this time around, it gets fairly easy to see where things are going. But that doesn’t mean it’s not still fun getting there, bad lead performance or not. The most recommendable parts of the film verge too far into spoiler territory for me to divulge them here, but in short, this one works about as well as it could have.
As someone who just recently watched all the Scream movies for the first time, I really enjoyed the 2022 “requel” because it’s just as meta as the others, commenting not only on it’s own existence but on toxic fanbases as well. It also never once forgets what made its predecessors so great, in that it doesn’t rely on jump scares while still maintaining genuine intensity and brutality a lot of the time. I can’t say I was surprised by the twist, but I still loved it… and quite a bit of what came before it too.