By Giovanni Ramirez
The 80s were a time of glamor but also a time of stupid brutal slasher horror films. Anyone could list off several such films: Halloween (sequels, the first was the 70s), Friday the Thirteenth, Nightmare on Elm Street, Evil Dead, The Hitcher, and so on and so forth. Into the 90s the steam was disappearing from the horror movie engine, something new was needed, and in 1996 that new was provided. Was it fantastic? Maybe not, but it did many things that other horror movies didn’t, this movie directly referenced other movies for character inspiration and even going so far as explaining the “rules of surviving a horror film”. That, along with other iconic scenes, made a financially and culturally successful movie. If you think I’m a scream fan, I found it pretty meh, but others found it good enough to spawn a 5 movie and tv show franchise that has lasted over two decades. History out of the way, now I can tell you about the new Scream.
Scream (2022) is a self-proclaimed “requel”, a sequel that operates also as a reboot. The movie redoes the original film, brings back legacy cast members, and introduces new characters and plot for enough different for someone who didn’t like the original scream but wants to give it a try. It goes without saying that spoilers exist ahead, I can talk about the movie without spoiling it, but I won’t find that nearly as fun, so spoilers. Before getting into the plot of the movie it’s important to know that in the world of this movie, every Scream movie exists as a movie franchise called “Stab” and people watch them, now onto the plot. Back in the town of the original, the ghost face killer has come back, again. This time there appears to be a vendetta, some kind target or plan. As it turns out, the main character of this story is the daughter of the original killer, and this new killer is out to make a new good “Stab” movie by recreating the original. The movie follows similar style and plot points to the original with the same kind of long-drawn-out moments intended to stress you out. The epic finale takes place in the same fashion as the original, including the same setting with a reveal of the killer(s?), discussion of the motive, and the defeat of the killers. In the end, there’s this perfect moment, a perfect callback to the beginning of the movie in the form of a fantastic one-liner. In my not at all expert opinion, that should have been the end of the movie one-liner then cut to credits, if you watch or have watched, you’ll know what I mean.
Now is the movie worth a watch? The original movie was already meta with its inspiration and conversations between characters being based on the movies they had seen, but this new movie reaches a whole other level with changing the reliance on established horror movies to relying on itself. The movie’s excessive need to be meta surpasses even that of The Matrix Resurrections, some of the acting from younger actors is just a bit subpar. You know what? Even the legacy character’s acting seems phoned in at times. But sometimes, lazy acting can make it a fun night to watch a movie. So, on the flip side, the movie holds up the classic moves of the original scream including intense buildup with no payoff (trust me it’s a good thing), slanted camera angles, and the fantastic Skeet Ulrich (even if he’s only seen as a piece of the main character’s mental issues). Additionally, the movie enhances the original’s dark comedy aspects into a more fun casual watch. In my final opinion, if you’re looking for a fun little touch of slasher horror, you can deal with a chunk of self-awareness, and you aren’t in the mood for an Oscar winner, Scream (2022) is an excellent watch. Extra points if you are watching on the couch yelling at the characters to look behind them.