Hello. I’m Vanessa. You might know me from my column V-thoughts, where I talk about issues that concern me as a metalhead and a woman using my brilliant and humorous methods. This new column, “Screen Slayers” will include a series of articles, each containing a review for a new movie or a series or a throwback to a role played by screen goddess, again, using my brilliant and humorous methods. I will be covering horror, comedy, superhero, and fantasy films mostly because do I look like someone who has time for these sappy romantic movies?! So, without further ado, let us review (this rhymed) SCREAM 5!
Spoilers from “Scream (1996)” ahead
“Scream (2022)” Review
The thing about slasher movies is that there will always be some criticism around the reactions of the characters. I mean, only a handful of people have been chased around by a psycho wearing a Ghostface mask in real life, so it’s really hard to know for sure how someone would react to that. Therefore, if I am to judge a slasher movie as a good or bad one, I try to put that factor aside.
One of the factors I do take into consideration though is whether the killer or killers had a clear motive and whether the process that turned them into killers is clear. Let’s face it. We all hate a certain ex or a shitty musician, but that doesn’t mean I will go around stabbing Machine Gun Kelly so he’d stop making shitty pop music and labelling it as ‘Alternative’ with the help of the greedy imbeciles in the mainstream media. Yes, I’m talking about you, Alternative Press.
Back to the horror on hand, another factor for slasher movies that I take into consideration is the “Big Reveal”. I tend to ask myself the following questions: (1) Did the movie successfully drive our minds to suspect who the killer or killers would be? (2) Did we start receiving clues about the motive behind the killings, or was it even fully revealed before the identity of the killers was? (3) Did the final reveal include another unexpected surprise other than the identity of the killers? And finally, (4) does the identity of the killer make sense when compared to earlier events or lines that the character said and their locations at certain scenes? Every ‘Yes’ a movie receives on these questions means that it successfully added to the excitement of the experience of watching a slasher movie.
Did Scream (2022) tick these conditions? I will talk about the storyline and then I’m going to rate how each actress in the main cast of Scream (2022) did.
There are two things to talk about here. First, the movie had one hell of a challenge: The generational gap of the target audience. The movie is a descendant of an ancestor that is a benchmark in slasher movies. The original Scream was a revolution in terms of horror and mystery. The viewers who have been fans of the franchise since 1996 or a bit later would have been so disappointed if Scream (2022) was a reboot of the franchise. On the other hand, there are the younger fans who the movie makers would love to collect. And it would have been impossible to get to these bunch had the movie not been a reboot. So, in fact, and I believe this is the smartest thing the writers did, the new Scream was not a reboot for the franchise, but at the same time was one hell of a reboot.
How? Good question.
First, the movie did not ignore its predecessors and start over. It was based on the events of the previous movies. Each of Courteney Cox, David Arquette and Neve Campbell reprised their roles from the previous instalments. However, the legacy characters were downgraded into supporting ones. Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is no longer the target. She’s no longer the centre of the Scream universe. So even though the movie extended the franchise and did not start over, the filmmakers used it so the legacy characters would pass the torch to new ones. In fact, the sequel to Scream (2022) does not have to include them at all.
The second thing to talk about regarding the storyline is whether the movie satisfied the criteria I came up with for a good slasher movie. So I’m going to answer the general questions I asked previously, but briefly, so we don’t spoil anything.
- Did the killer or killers have a clear motive and was the process that turned them into killers is clear?
Yes, the motive was clear. As a matter of fact, the motive is so smart that it makes the second part of the question irrelevant. And that’s all I will say about it.
- Did the movie successfully drive our minds to suspect who the killer or killers would be?
Yes, I suspected 5 people to be the killers through the movie. None of them was the actual killer. So good job, movie.
- Did it start pointing at the motives behind the killings before the identity of the killers was revealed?
Yes, and that made the movie so interesting as the detective in me started trying to listen to every word any character says.
- Did the final reveal include another unexpected surprise other than the identity of the killers?
In a way, yes it did. Not as big as the reveal of the first Scream movie – that there are two killers – which became a tradition in the Scream universe. But there were details that made the “big reveal” exciting aside from the identity of the killers.
- Does the identity of the killer make sense when compared to earlier events or lines that the character said and their locations at certain scenes?
Yes, it does. In fact, this movie is the best in the Scream universe regarding the timing of the killings being aligned with the locations of the killers. Moreover, when I watched the movie for the second time, I noticed that I’ve missed some clues that point directly at the actual killers.
So in general, I think Scream 5 is a great slasher movie. One more note I would love to add about the storyline is that the writers and directors did an incredible job aligning the movie with modern technology. Scream is most famous for the mysterious caller and having the victim disconnected from the rest of the world. But how would that work in 2022 with everyone having a phone connected to the internet in their pocket? The movie tackled this issue successfully.
The Screen Slayers
I will talk briefly about each actress, her character at the start of the movie, and rate her performance out of 5.
- Melissa Barrera as Samantha Carpenter: Melissa plays the lead role in the movie, that was previously Sidney Prescott’s. Even if the similarities between the characters of Sidney and Samantha are a few, the actress must have been under so much pressure as she jumps into the shoes of the Scream Queen. Whether she felt that pressure or not, we will never know, because Melissa simply aced the damn role. 4.9/5
- Jenna Ortega as Tara Carpenter: Every Scream movie starts with a character alone at home receiving a mysterious phone call. That character in Scream 5 would be Tara Carpenter. The 19-year-old Jenna Ortega did so well in her role. 4.5/5
- Jasmin Savoy Brown as Mindy Meeks-Martin: Mindy is part of Tara’s group of friends. A very unique and energetic character, played wondefully by Jasmin. 4/5
- Mikey Madison as Amber Freeman: Amber is Tara’s best friend. I fell in love with Amber as soon as she appeared on screen and the reason behind that is how amazing Mikey Madison was at portraying the role. Definitely my favourite actress on the movie. 5/5
- Sonia Ben Ammar as Liv McKenzie: A member of the group. The group’s “hot” girl who gives a bit of a comic relief at time. Sonia did very well playing it. 4/5
- Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott: I am unworthy. 5/5
- Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers: I am but a mortal human. 5/5
The Final Judgement
Great story, ticking every box in the good slasher movie criteria in my book, great casting and wonderful execution. What a wonderful tribute to the late Wes Craven. I’m going to give Scream (2022) 9 stars out of 10.
Did you agree with my review and rating? Write what you loved or hated in Scream 5 in the comments below. What other movies should I review? Also, tell me in the comments. Please note that comments with spoilers will not be approved.