When you hear the term “slasher,” who first comes to mind? Freddy Krueger? Jason Voorhees? Michael Myers? They’re certainly among the deadliest and most iconic killers in horror. And thanks to iconic filmmaker Wes Craven (whom also launched the Nightmare On Elm Street series) Ghostface joins those ranks and stands shoulder to shoulder with the best. In 1996 Scream shocked movie goers and revitalized the tired genre with a fresh new take. Now, nearly twenty-six years later, the horror continues with a new chapter in the popular franchise.
Scream (2022) takes audiences back to Woodsboro. The town has been haunted by its past since the killings began all those years ago. Sisters Tara (Jenna Ortega) and Sam (Melissa Barrera) are being hunted by the Ghostface killer whom appears to be driven by secrets from their past. The identity of the killer is unknown, but according the rules of horror… it’s likely somebody very close to them.
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett take over as directors of the newest entry. While, filling the shoes of of the late, legendary Wes Craven is undoubtedly a daunting task, these two are no strangers to horror. The pair helmed the gleefully gory Ready or Not in 2019. That film, which combined laughs with over the top violence, proved their worth in the minds of any self respecting horror hound. The two fit into the long running franchise like a hand and a glove. A knife in a sheath. A deranged killer in a Ghostface mask.
The Scream franchise is remembered for its self referential dialogue. Being meta is what its best known for (besides killing Rose McGowan with a garage door). But Scream (2022) brings it to another level. Taking the self aware scripts of its predecessors and turning it up to eleven. It’s filled with Easter Eggs and nods to horror classics, while also paying tribute to newer entries in the evolving genre. “Elevated Horror,” for example, is highlighted this time around. Horror that means something; horror that delivers a message beyond just “horny, drug using teenagers should be brutally murdered.”
It’s an absolute blast to see the legacy characters return. Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette slide back into their roles like they’d never left them. While the new cast of characters hold their own, it’s the returning ones that dominate the screen. Sidney Prescott is an ultimate final girl. Like Jamie Lee Curtis as Lorie Strode in Halloween. Sure, they can make sequels without her, but the series is at its best when she’s there.
Scream (2022) continues the trends. It’s exactly what you’d hope for and expect. There’s nothing incredibly groundbreaking. No mind blowing revelations. But it’s Ghostface using a knife to dispose of the residents of Woodsboro one by one in gruesome fashion. It’s an homage and a tribute to the genre, and its one that I whole heartedly believe Wes Craven would be proud of. And that’s a very high praise. 8/10