Dylan Minnette is forever stuck in high school purgatory.
What I do like about all the sequels to Scream thus far including 5 now is that each one of them, at least briefly, tackled its own new subject matter for the franchise within the trademark space of its “meta” capabilities. However, my issue with them has always been with how boring the execution of expressing them unfortunately ends up being to me, and the same goes especially for Scream 5… or Scream 2022 or whatever we’ll commonly refer to it prior to release.
Funny enough, this and Wes Craven’s Scream 4 actually have a lot in common. Not only do both stick to the same setting as the 1996 original, but they both operate under one identical gimmick: lead viewers on into believing that this is just a partially uninspired yet serviceable beat by beat remake of its maker until the climax reveals its true colors. And, like Craven’s final contribution to the series, the twist does end up being mildly neat and certainly groundbreaking for the series, but it isn’t powerful or meaty enough to necessarily justify its indulgence in the predictable and all too familiar ride that happened beforehand and even still arguably during, as much as it leans to act self-aware about it.
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett are clearly passionate about this franchise, yearning to honor the source material by sticking true to it, and because of that their work genuinely feels like something Craven would make. There are a couple cool bits of meta slasher genre harangues here — some even foreshadowing the big reveal — like, again, all of the other sequels, and one gnarly tension trick, but it isn’t enough to entertain me throughout a nearly two hour runtime personally. For a movie that openly understands it’s looped in a hellhole of obligatory motions to the original, it sure seems a little too comfortable with not wanting to break out of them, as if the point and dignity of the “requel” is to never leave a comfort zone for the sake of the fans, which seems ironic in hindsight of what it’s surface-level social commentary turns out to be. Maybe that’s the point, who knows? All I know is each and every sequel in this franchise has only further fatigued me with its reoccurring formula, and that’s no less true than it is here.
Also, Tara really said “elevated horror” lol.
“Scream” is now playing in theaters.