Review: Scream (2022)

Since the brutal killing of Drew Barrymore’s character in the opening sequence of the original film, the Scream franchise has shocked and delighted horror fans for the past 25 years. With the unfortunate passing of Wes Craven, the reigns for this sharp, fun and clever fifth entry have been handed to Ready or Not co-directors Matt Bettinelli and Olpin-Tyler Gillet (aka Radio Silence). This proves to be a smart move as the duo clearly have a deep love and understanding of the franchise foundations, starting with the decision to pair returning characters Sidney (Neve Campbell), Gale (Courteney Cox) and Dewey (David Arquette) with a host of fresh blood, all of whom are brilliantly cast. This helps strike a neat balance between the nostalgia and the inventive and fresh, which is only amplified by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick’s screenplay. Their writing is sharp and cunning, elevating a relatively formulaic plot with shrewd twists, humour and some truly brutal kill. Like the four films before it, the true power of Scream lies in its ability to imitate, subvert and satirise traditional horror film conventions and rules – and this fifth film is no different. The meta-commentary is as on-point as ever, so far as to take aim upon its own inner workings and rich plot history. All this adds up to a Scream film with a killer cast that hits all the high-notes – and then some. It’s one Wes Craven likely would have been proud of.

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