SCREAM 2022: An Insomniac Review

If there was ever a flick that would come and deconstruct the issue with horror films today, it would definitely be one within the Scream franchise. Wes Craven, one of the names that redefined slasher, horror cinema (more than once no less) and Kevin Williamson came together 25 years ago and gave us the masterpiece that would be known as Scary Movie, until the producers that will go unnamed decided on Scream. Say what you will about those pieces of shit, they knew how to market. Needless to say, Scream with it’s meta commentary on the genre it was apart of was and is not only genius but would introduce a lot of people to horror movies.

Despite that, Scream is no different to other franchises that have more trouble dying than masked serial killer. These films have been made into sequels, rebooted and continued on and on. Even other films such as Halloween have given new life to their respective franchises, by retconning previous things that were canon yet continuing the original story line… aptly known today as “requels”. Much like the term prequel, where a film the succeeds a current film but takes place in the past. This particular term gives filmmakers a way of rebooting & remaking original “better” films of the past while simultaneously adding new storylines and characters to said films. Scream in its meta fashion, pokes fun at these tropes while literally pulling the same literal stunts it teases on about. It’s what makes us love the Scream films save for the 3rd entry (although it’s still a guilty pleasure of mine) and what makes us come back for more. There are new rules, new characters, higher stakes and of course more kills and just as in previous entries, we have our fav returning heroes, Dewey, Sidney and Gale.

And before I go on please be warned… there will be spoilers in this review. By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the flick by now.

Scream opens in familiar fashion with a teen home alone answers a landline phone (yes I guess some folks still have those) to a killer, aptly named Ghostface who asks them a series of questions about horror movies only to meet the end of his knife. Yet, things don’t go as we expect in this latest entry because here we see that the victim, Tara ends up surviving her attack.

News of Tara’s attack ends bringing her sister, Sam to Woodsboro along with her boyfriend, Richie. It is here that we see Sam is not only the half sister of Tara but the illegitimate daughter of Billy Loomis, the original Scream… er, Stab killer. It is here where the new generation of characters i.e. meet the OG characters. I love the acting of these new characters while they are their own people, they pay homages to the first group of characters in the first.

I do miss the who done it feel of the first movie. Maybe it was me but my guest was spot on with the boyfriend. Wes Craven was a very meticulous director and so meta that he successfully was unafraid to dissect a genre he redefined more times over. Don’t get me wrong, Jack Quaid was great and he didn’t overdo the loving boyfriend. Hell, Dewey nailed it right away. Lol. Speaking of his death hit me as hard as Randy’s in part 2. I don’t think I ever got over that one. Maybe it’s because I was they type of person. I didn’t work in a video store but I did work in a movie theater. Movies were my life and this film was right when I got hired. Despite him being the meta voice of literally how to survive a horror movie yet dying in one. But while he’s gone, he is surely not forgotten with with him being memorialized with a shrine not to mention his niece and nephew carrying the torch of neurotic, paranoid movie geek characters.

The pacing didn’t feel forced at all. In particular, Dewey and Gale… I felt their chemistry of two people who fell in love on set and later divorced, much like in real life with David Arquette and Courtney Cox. The scene after Dewey does capture my emotion when Gale sees them carry him out in a body bag. I felt that emotion. It stemmed from when he originally called Sidney yet texted Gale because you know he still loved her but didn’t know how to talk to her. It was these small nuances that make love this film. Seeing Sidney return played by Neve Campbell as the hero but not the final girl was perfect as the deep fake that didn’t feel like a cheap cash grab. Seeing her character feeling odd seeing the daughter of her boyfriend that she not only lost her virginity to but who also tried to kill her… Epic.

One thing I love about the Scream flicks is the presence of strong female leads and villains. Although it wasn’t super believable in part 4, it felt the same vibe a little here. Where it was a shock and worked… the who done vibe is killed with the fact that this small female commiting these visceral acts of murder acts that despite the masked killed is fairly bigger than the victims. So after seeing the final reveal, I sat there wondering how??

The female empowerment isn’t overbearing as its unafraid to make our lead girl suffer. Needless to say, the acting helped with the OTT feeling the reveal gave me. I was indeed surprised as I was in part 2 and 4, still it wasn’t that believable. While yhe height and size thing only bothered me… It defied the statement Stu made that “it takes a man…”

Speaking of Sam, seeing her struggle as the hero/final girl was a nice twist because you know she isn’t the killer but her character is the daughter of a killer, the original one at that. Despite who she is, Sidney blesses her and passes the torch. Her connection to her father humanizes him and further breaks down who he was, a kid who couldn’t deal with the cards he was dealt… A kid whose life is turn upside down after finding out the mother of his girlfriend broke his family apart.

This flick showed how much these creators and directors cared about the film. If Ready Or Not is any indication of how to direct a horror movie, it showed that a franchise can be carried on. Hell I’m so mad I didn’t post my reaction on YouTube to the trailer. All in all I was hyped for this film and happy I got to see it with my kid. It was Gen X meets Gen Z. Seeing the once traumatized teens meeting a new generation of traumatized teens. So watching a film I saw as a teen with my 20 year old daughter has a special place on my heart. Like I said it wasn’t just a cash grab it was a true fan service.

All in all, Scream 2022 aka Scream 5 is a awesome flick. I recommend seeing it more than once for the Easter eggs and homages.

My vote: It’s Awesome and I give it 3 out of 4 thumbs up.

Until Next Time Kiddies,
Shalom

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