June 23, 2024
Ghostface is shown from the Scream movie.

“Scream” (2022) movie review

The Scream series has always found a way to comment on the state of horror films with each installment. “Scream” (1996) commented on the abundance of slasher films. “Scream 2” is a sequel that pokes fun at, well, the nature of sequels. “Scream 3” addressed the trappings that come with creating the ending point of a trilogy. 

“Scream 4,” released eleven years later, acknowledged how horror had changed with its slew of remakes to classics at the time. And now eleven more years later, Scream (2022) manages to succeed in a similar vein in the way that its predecessor did before in a new light.

Years after the events of its previous installment, terror returns to the fictional town of Woodsboro, California when a new killer under the guise of Ghostface attacks young Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega), causing her estranged sister Samantha “Sam” Carpenter (Melissa Barrera) to come to her aid. 

As more attacks begin to occur, Sam realizes that she and the rest of Tara’s friends will need help in finding the killer, so they seek the help of Dewey Riley (David Arquette), a survivor of the previous Ghostface killings. 

This then leads to the involvement of Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), the main protagonist of the previous films in the series. With the whole gang back together, Sidney, Sam, and the rest of the group band together to put a stop to Ghostface once and for all.

“Scream” (2022) lets you know right from the start that it has not forgotten its roots, as the beginning involves Tara receiving a phone call from a killer with a knack for horror movie trivia, as seen in previous films in the series. 

Where its predecessor comments on the nature of horror remakes, this film looks to franchises with sequels that act as soft reboots (“re-quels,” if you will) that bring in a new audience while trying to appease fans of the original. 

This kind of meta-commentary is something that the series has always managed to get right, even in its worst entries, as new characters discuss just how hardcore fans of certain franchises can be both toxic and passionate about the things they love.

Sidney takes more of a backseat in this film after being the leading lady for the past four installments, but her role is no less vital than it was twenty-six years before. Neve Campbell’s limited screen time gives us the performance of someone who has managed to continue on with life despite past trauma but is quite fed up with having to take down another killer when news reaches her. 

Instead, our attention is focused on Melissa Barrera as Sam, who does a wonderful job as a woman haunted by her past, but very capable of holding her own in tough situations. 

Roger L. Jackson as the voice of Ghostface has also never sounded better, as he still captures what has made him so terrifying to hear after all these years.

Ironically, like past installments, the film stumbles at times by incorporating some of the same tropes that it pokes fun at during its runtime. A dumb decision made by a victim is sometimes forgiven when it is acknowledged as a dumb decision, while other times there is no acknowledgment, leaving you to wonder whether it was intentional or not.

“Scream” (2022) revitalizes itself once again by being a commentary on horror films, while also being a good horror film in its own right. It may suffer from the same things it makes fun of at times, but it doesn’t change just how important a film like this is in the genre.

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