Scream, the review: The “requel” of Wes Craven’s cult movie was successful, and at times brilliant

Scream: a picture of Ghostface

It starts just like the first one Scream, the cult movie of Wes Craven of 1996, the new film of the successful franchise, the fifth. As you will understand from the Scream review (yes, that’s exactly how it is titled, without any number), the film 2022 directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, which will be released in theaters on January 13, all this makes sense, because in the saga set in Woodsboro everything it has: even that dry title, without a high five to follow it. And then we start like this: a house that looks exactly like the one in the scene that started it all, a lonely girl in the kitchen and a phone that rings. Once again she is a teen star: then, as you will remember, she was Drew Barrymore, today she is Jenna Ortega, the protagonist of the Disney series Harley in between, also seen in the second season of You. Once again the telephone quiz on horror films starts. A murderer in the Ghostface mask is lurking again, but … Don’t take anything for granted. Scream is a film that is very cleverly linked to the first chapter of the saga, takes up its rules and changes others. It does not disappoint expectations, but also takes the opportunity to reflect on what today’s cinema is.

Ghostface is back

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Scream: Jenna Ortega as Tara

Twenty-five years have passed since the series of heinous and cruel murders that took place in Woodsboro. A new assassin in the Ghostface mask begins targeting Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) and her group of friends. As the city plunges back into terror, the ambush of Tara brings older sister Samantha (Melissa Barrera) back to the city. And the return to the past also involves Dewey Riley (Alexis Arquette), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell).

Scream, the directors of the new film: “It’s a return to origins”

Something is changed

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Scream: Neve Campbell during a scene from the film

Twenty-five years have passed. What has changed? At the time, Scream had renewed horror, taking it to a land that was both pop and cultured, and giving way to a new trend, that of teen horror, as well as a saga that has now reached its fifth film. Today that first Scream is considered a film in which “there were too many lights and everyone had crazy hair“, as Tara says speaking of Stab (the film, which in the fiction of the saga, was born from the facts told in the first Scream). Actually, seeing him again today, he’s aged pretty well, but teasing him a bit is part of the game. In the meantime, a new kind of horror film has arrived, more sophisticated and introspective, that of titles like Babadook, It Follows, Hereditary – The roots of evil, The Witch, or the more political one by Jordan Peele. And horror is not only seen in the cinema, but also on Netflix. These are not things we tell you, but the protagonists of the new say it Scream. As you may have understood, already from the protagonists whose surname are Carpenter, even the last film of the saga does not miss the opportunity to become a sort of manual of horror cinema, on the one hand, and a reflection on the film industry, on the other. .

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Scream: Melissa Barrera as Sam

Hollywood is running out of ideas

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Scream: A photo of Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox in one scene

Scream it has always been a great metacinematic game, something that worked on two levels, the tension typical of horror and the taste of cinephilia. If, in a dialogue, here we admit the fact that we owe a lot to the first Halloween – Night of the Witches, the metanarrative game of this new Scream is at times brilliant. In fact, the new film is not a simple sequel, it is a “requel”, a type of film that has a continuity with the original: there are new protagonists, who are connected with someone from the past, but there are also the protagonists of the ‘original. We go back to basics, often skipping the sequels considered useless and unsuccessful. This is what cinema is increasingly doing today with historical sagas (because, as we hear in the film, “Hollywood is running out of ideas“), what he did with Ghostbusters and Star Wars. Is it real cinema or is it fan fiction?true enthusiasts“Should they be taken seriously and listened to or should directors and screenwriters have as much autonomy as possible?”

Scream: 25 years later he remains the last great icon of horror cinema

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It is also a requel for the killer

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Scream: David Arquette as Dewey Riley

Once again, therefore, the saga of Scream does not miss the opportunity to reflect on the state of the art, to entertain us but also to tell us where the world is going. If the first Scream reflected on horror, the second and third on sequels and trilogies, the fourth on social media, here we talk about the film industry, the eternal return of ideas, the relationship between artists and fans. It has done it, recently, in a more cutting and controversial way, Matrix Resurrections, it does it in an intelligent way the new Scream, where once again the beauty is that the rules – in this case those of the “requel” – are not only those of the film we are seeing, but they are the ones that move the actions of the killer and the relationships between the characters.

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Scream: Jenna Ortega in a scene from the horror film

Horror manual

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Scream: Jasmin Savoy Brown as Mindy

In addition to reflection on the present, Scream the usual horror manual is also confirmed, and once again reaffirms the rules and narrative mice of the genre, joking about it and building the story: the shower, the cellar, the doors that open and close, the horror expert, never say “I will be right back“and, in a more veiled way, the”who has sex dies“. Without forgetting that, often, the killer is part of the circle of friends. Another thing to keep in mind – who has watched the new trilogy of Star Wars he knows – is that “anyone can die in a requel“So, as we said, don’t take anything for granted.

Scream 4 (2011) review

Will the fans win?

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Scream: Melissa Barrera in a scene from the film

Times have changed, and the new Scream it has updated to keep up. Thus, the fights are more violent, the killings more heinous and brutal – but without exaggerating – and the victims are more combative and reactive. There are also painful twists. Everything works, or almost, because in Scream the tension never drops, nor does one ever stop being stimulated from the point of view of reflection. One thing that, in the dialogues between the characters, is not said, is that however in the “requel” the new characters, and the new actors, almost never have the charisma of the originals. And so many of the young actors do not seem up to the cast of the first film, even if the intense and sensual Melissa Barrera stands out, who we had already admired in the musical Dreaming in New York – In the Heights. But, when Neve Campbell is on stage, there is none for anyone. In any case, the message of the film, which ends with the dedication to Wes Craven, not before a quote from Kevin Williamson, the screenwriter who gave life to everything and is now in the role of producer (we see a scene from his Dawson’s Creek) comes loud and clear. After seeing Scream, every time a saga starts with a “requel” you will think about it. And you will ask yourself, knowing full well that you are part of it: “fans will win“?

Conclusions

In the review of Scream we told you about a film that is very cleverly linked to the first chapter of the saga, takes up its rules and changes others. It does not disappoint expectations, but also takes the opportunity to reflect on what today’s cinema is.

Because we like it

  • The idea of ​​being tied to the first film, a strong narrative idea, but also a food for thought.
  • The metacinematographic aspect here is brilliant, because it explains the film industry today.
  • The film works on a level of tension and twists.

What’s wrong

  • The new protagonists are not up to par with the originals, at least not all of them.

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