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Monday, May 20, 2024
The Observer

Reboots suck, but here’s why you should watch ‘Scream’


I must preface this article by saying that I have been exposed to very little horror media in my lifetime. I chickened out after the first two episodes of “American Horror Story.” Even just watching someone play “Five Nights at Freddy’s” upsets me to the bone. With this in mind, I don’t expect anyone to be overly astonished when I say 2022’s “Scream” was the first horror movie I’ve ever watched. However, it’s also the first piece of horror media I’ve ever liked. 

To longtime fans of the “Scream” enterprise, I apologize. I also wish that I could have watched the older movies before seeing the new addition. In the end, it didn’t matter. Not only did my “Scream”-obsessed friends catch me up on the lore and the characters involved in the movie, but the film itself did a fantastic job of satisfying the longtime fans while ushering in the new ones. 

The movie follows Samantha “Sam” Carpenter (Melissa Barrera) as she and her boyfriend Richie (Jack Quaid) navigate their way to survival in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California. The attack of Tara, Sam’s younger sister, marks the return of the infamous Ghostface — a serial killer on the loose. As Tara’s friends point out, Ghostface is known for killing those who they are close to, causing fear and distrust amongst the group.

So much of this movie made sense — the satirical dialogue exposing typical horror movie tropes, the revival of Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette’s iconic characters, the witty one-liners and many more. I found the dialogue to be engaging and entertaining, and — despite my lack of horror film knowledge — I never felt left out of the loop.

For the sake of “Scream” fans who haven’t gotten a chance to see the film, I will save details of the twists and turns for later. However, I can say this film does a wonderful job of acknowledging its own purpose in the “Scream” timeline and making use of the elements of previous installments.

In modern cinema, it seems like all we see are reboots of every popular movie franchise that has ever existed. Some are good, others are very obviously not. Regardless, it is disheartening to see the amount of recycling that goes on in the film industry. I was apprehensive about “Scream” (2022). From my general understanding of the “Scream” franchise, the first installment remains a classic, but the following films often fall short. Besides, in this culture of “requels,” it’s hard to not feel wary of these types of movies. 

This is acknowledged in the new movie. To directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and writers James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick, this is something that the movie had to avoid at all costs to succeed. This new addition to the franchise had to have familiarity for the older fans, but they had to present something flashy and enticing to draw in newer audiences. While the character revivals, settings and movie rules stay the same, the new cast of characters is likable; they show genuine and believable connections and their interactions throughout the film display a progression in the “Scream” universe that is unexpected and exciting. 

I must say that I truly enjoyed this film. While “Scream” (1996) cannot be topped (according to the research I’ve done on the series), this new chapter lives up to its hype. Throughout this film, I laughed, I gasped, I got a bit grossed out and I had a good time yelling at the characters to stop being stupid. 

I would recommend this to the die-hard fans and those who have no concept of the “Scream” enterprise. It has something in it for everyone, it’s truly inventive, it was a great use of my money and it left me wanting more. 

Title: “Scream” (2022)

Starring: Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid, Jenna Ortega

Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

If You Like: “Scream” (1996), “Ready or Not”

Shamrocks: 4.5 out of 5