"Scream" brings some fresh new blood to the franchise.
By: Adam Beam SUTV News
Many underestimate just how impactful the original "Scream" was back in 1996. As the horror genre lied on its deathbed, Wes Craven's original masterpiece put so much juice into the genre that many beloved horror films nowadays wouldn't be around without it. Even thought the series is known for mocking the tropes of horror films, the franchise itself seemingly fell into those same tropes, becoming a massive multi-film franchise. Now entering their fifth installment, the latest "Scream" film, titled "Scream" ("Scream 5"), shows that the franchise still has some life left in it.
If you've seen the any "Scream" film you probably already know the story of this new film. The town of Woodsboro is once again being terrorized by a killer dressed in the infamous Ghostface mask. This time around however, we follow a new final girl, Sam Carpenter played by Melissa Barrera, who returns to town as the killings all have some connection to her dark past. A past that also connects to the core trio of Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers and Dewey Riley.
Speaking of the original trio, what surprised me the most about this newest film is how these legacy characters are utilized. Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox don't really enter the story completely until an hour into the film. This works to the benefit of the film for two reasons, one, it allows the new characters room to breathe, and two, it let's David Arquette shine as Dewey. Dewey has always been a joke of a character, but here we finally get some real development and emotions from Dewey and Arquette really nails the more dramatic moments for his character. Campbell and Cox slip right back into their roles and their banter was some of the best comedy in the film.
The new characters for the most part also shine, something some of the other sequels haven't been able to manage. Barrera makes for a really strong new heroine and stands on her own alongside the original final girls. Jack Quaid played a really charming love interest for her as well. The siblings played by Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding also have a pretty fun dynamic, although the film doesn't utilize them as much as they could. A quick shoutout should also go to Roger L. Jackson who still crushes it as the voice of Ghostface.
On top of strong characters, the writing is also pretty solid all around. This franchise is known for its meta-commentary, and this film touches on a lot of the tropes and ideas that make up modern horror films. At times the messaging can be a little heavy handed, but for the most part the commentary and references were clever and entertaining.
The film is by no means perfect, sometimes the comedy is a little weak, the jumpscare were pretty lame half the time, and some of the other minor characters I didn't touch on above were a tad too underdeveloped. The film can also be a tad predictable, mainly when it comes to the identity of one of the killers, as soon as we're introduced the character you immediately know they did it. I wouldn't say the killers are the worst this franchise has to offer, but the reveals here had much less impact than any of the previous films.
Despite these flaws, I found myself really enjoying "Scream" and I consider this to be the second best film in the franchise next to the original. The kills were solid throughout, the writing was pretty clever, if a tad formulaic at times. The returning cast don't overstay their welcome and fit naturally into the story. The new cast shines for the most part, even though some of the latest players feel like body count fillers. Overall, this latest installment delivers exactly what you would want from a "Scream" film but brings enough new material to the table that fans and casual audiences should be more than satisfied with.