Review with Spoilers | ‘Scream’ honors Wes Craven’s legacy in the most voracious way possible

‘Panic’ didn’t become one of the most iconic movie franchises for any reason – but rather because of the ingenious mind of Wes Craven, one of the best-known names in contemporary entertainment. Two and a half decades ago, the director immortalized the figure of serial killer Ghostface and memorable actors and actresses in building an epic slasher metalinguistic style that revolutionized the way of telling stories and influenced a generation of directors and screenwriters in the following years. After his death, it was up to Matt Bettinelli-Olpin e Tyler Gillett revisit the films and deliver one of the best chapters of the saga – which honored Craven’s memory in a diabolic and delicious bloodbath.

The opening scene of the film, which was given the same title as the original in an even more concise homage, harkens back to the iconic sequence with Drew Barrymore – but this time, making room for the first original character, Tara (Jenna Ortega). Contrary to what we might expect, Tara is not a wasted sidekick; on the contrary, she suffers brutal attacks from a much more merciless Ghostface, surviving and warding off whatever forces are left to catalyze Sam’s return (Melissa Barrera), his estranged sister who returns to Woodsboro after learning that her sister nearly died at the hands of a serial killer.

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Melissa Barrera (“Sam”) stars in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.”

The most intelligent conception of the work is not to venture down the path of no return of letting the classic characters steal the spotlight. On the contrary, it is not until the beginning of the second act that Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Dewey Riley (David Arquette) e Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) show their faces. The directors, who join forces with the spectacular script of James Vanderbilt e Guy Busick, take the time necessary for the group of new victims to gain our attention and demonstrate that they are here to stay. In this regard, Ortega and Barrera do a spectacular job, but they don’t pose as selfish artists who don’t let others shine – and perhaps the most interesting aspect is the generational clash that emerges with these vibrant intros.

Of course, when we think about ‘Panic’, let’s not forget about some problematic slips that occurred in predecessor iterations: ‘Panic 3’ tried to expand the Ghostface mythology by creating a movie within a movie and, even with good intentions, failed to deliver; ‘Panic 4’ updated the narrative created by Craven, but discarded persons well-built to keep the legacy alive – getting rid of Jill without a second thought (Emma Roberts) e Charlie (Rory Culkin) and preventing any continuity from being given to the new plot. But that’s not what happens in the 2022 incursion: the filmmakers manage to maintain the identity of the franchise, polish the excesses of the past and make it clear that they have every intention of returning more often.

David Arquette (“Dewey Riley”), left, and Courteney Cox (“Gale Weathers”) star in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.”

The self-referential tenor is constant, as is to be expected, but here it encompasses relatively recent terms in the film industry, such as requels (reboot and sequence at the same time). On the one hand, we have the thematic extension that has enchanted audiences since the mid-1990s; on the other, such precise considerations about how things will work: no one is safe, and this is obvious with the shocking death of Dewey, already premeditated from the first official trailer, or of Sheriff Judy (Marley Shelton), whose emotional charge provides a dramatic outcome for the so-called “legacy characters”. And it all gets even more moving when the abrupt ending triggers immediate action in Sidney and Gale, who don their costumes. bad-ass once more to defeat Ghostface once and for all.

Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett have already proven their appreciation and respect for horror in the lauded and entertaining ‘Bloody Wedding’, which exceeded expectations and established itself as a solid adventure slasher and supernatural. And while some thought this might be “beginner’s luck,” they proved wrong and dove headfirst into a balanced, explosive smorgasbord of allusions to timeless genre titles: the gore Sean S. Cunningham e John Carpenter merge with the elegance of Alfred Hitchcock and the aesthetic spoil of Craven himself, letting the twists run wild for nearly two hours. And on top of all that, there is a considerable amount of fan-service that revisits the nostalgia of older audiences and introduces new viewers to a dangerous and fierce world.

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The long-term effectiveness is remarkable, but not without some problems. The plot twists are numerous and provide rhythm to the plot, although the final revelation is accompanied by a noticeable predictability (placing the boyfriend and a troubled teenager as the murderers is not original, but uses the clichés in favor of a praise for what has already been presented). And, in what the production lacks in formulas, it seeks to overshadow them with a voracious and raw imagery that takes our breath away and surrenders to a deliberate exaggeration.

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‘Panic’ it’s the chapter in the saga we’ve all wanted – and its success stems from a total lack of concern for revolutionizing a genre that can no longer be revolutionized, but prestigious. The work doesn’t want to deliver anything more than it wants to and, for that reason, it works with a surprising honesty that deserves to be recognized in its entirety.

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