Ghostface is back, and critics have finally shared their thoughts on the fifth Scream movie, which arrives in theaters this weekend.
The reviews for Scream are officially in – what do they say about the newest installment in the Ghostface saga? The Scream franchise has so far produced four movies and a television series, but it is far from finished. This Friday makes the long-awaited arrival of the fifth Scream film, which is being positioned as both a continuation and a reboot. The first movie in the series to not be directed by the late Wes Craven, Scream returns to Woodsboro as another Ghostface killer rises up to claim more victims. Everyone is a suspect here, including some familiar faces.
Though Scream features plenty of franchise newcomers, it retains the core trio of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Dewey Riley (David Arquette), and Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox). As the experts in handling Ghostface, it’s up to them to teach the new characters how to survive a horror movie. Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, Scream also stars Dylan Minnette, Kyle Gallner, Jack Quaid, Mason Gooding, Melissa Barrera, Marley Shelton, Jenna Ortega, Mikey Madison, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Sonia Ammar.
Overnight, the first reviews for Scream arrived online ahead of Friday’s debut. Read on to catch a (spoiler-free) sampling of what critics are saying.
Mae Abdulbaki, Screen Rant
Sequels are difficult to do well in a way that expands upon the established story while keeping things fresh, but Scream manages to do that for the most part and in a smart way. It brings in new characters who stand apart and maintains the connection to the other films, all while critiquing these very aspects in the same breath. The horror commentary remains top tier, with the fifth installment proving the Scream franchise has still got it.
William Bibbiani, The Wrap
“Scream” is a horror movie, through and through. It’s also a small-town drama. It’s also a vicious and spot-on commentary about some of the more repugnant fads in the modern entertainment hellscape. It’s also extremely funny.
Ian Sandwell, Digital Spy
What’s perhaps most surprising about this is that you care as much about the new characters as the legacy cast. Seeing Sidney, Dewey and Gale again will always be emotional for fans, but the central relationship between Sam and Tara has a lot of heart too, thanks to Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega’s strong performances.
David Rooney, THR
Co-directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett handle the escalating terror with reasonable skill as members of the CW-esque ensemble start dropping like flies. The trouble is, they can’t stop talking about the plot mechanics of slasher movies long enough to let much nail-biting tension take hold.
Joshua Rothkopf, EW
Yet as its exhausted non-title would suggest, 2022’s intermittently fun and dull Scream has a game plan firmly, doggedly in place. It’s very much your father’s Scream. You’re not going to be scared by it, but you may like being swaddled in something as cozily familiar as Freddy Krueger’s sweater.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety
The new “Scream” may be the first horror movie that turns the mockery of fan service into its own fan service. Is it fun? Mostly, yes. Surprising? It keeps faking you out about who the killer is, and playing that guessing game is part of the film’s suspense, but it’s a suspense based on the fact that the film can stay one step ahead of us in a totally arbitrary way.
Vinnie Mancuso, Collider
The most Craven-esque aspect of SCREAM is the way it doesn’t just point out a trope and call it a day. It uses tropes—and the audience’s knowledge of those tropes—like a weapon. The script all but says that legacy characters Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), and Dewey Reilly (David Arquette) are here because, hey, it’s in the legacy sequel rule book.
Patrick Cavanaugh, ComicBook.com
For some, this will be more than enough and all they expect out of such an endeavor, yet for those who hoped Scream could bring as much to the tiresome formula as the original film, you’ll likely be left wanting more. However, as a love letter to Craven and the impact he left on the genre throughout his career, it is both literally and spiritually for Wes, which is well worth the price of admission for Ghostface fanatics.
Kat Hughes, THN
The first Scream film to be directed by someone other than Wes Craven, this version manages to show deep respect for the history whilst harnessing its own interesting opinions on modern horror cinema. Frightening fun and a ridiculously entertaining time, Scream proves that Ghostface is back and more devilish than before.
Source: Various (see above)
- Scream 5 (2022)Release date: Jan 14, 2022
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