Like Friday the 13th, Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Predator, long running franchises love prequels, reboots and remakes and Scream is no different. This iteration is the fifth in the series and the first not directed by Wes Craven (R.I.P.). This one is by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett – the people behind the awesome Ready or Not so my interest was piqued.
This version harkens back to the original but is new, to quote the film it is a ‘requel’. Ghostface is back and stalking Woodsboro once more, slashing down teens one by one. So a new gang of high school teens are at the centre of a devilish whodunnit, trying to survive and suss out the killer. They get a little help from some familiar faces, those being Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox), Dewey Riley (David Arquette) and Neve Campbell (Sidney Prescott).
It is very meta and satirical, which is fun at first but is just a mask for a derivative and predictable film that commits the very sins that it lambasts. The killings are well done though, and toe curlingly violent – they draw out the suspense till the very end, with every open door, shower scene or phone ring eliciting a little jump. The satirical, schlock value entertainment wears off very quickly though and things become very stale. Thats before we get to the ridiculously bonkers, everything and the kitchen sink ending – which is something else and has a hilarious touch of Nightmare on Elm Street to it.
Despite their stellar work on Ready or Not, this iteration of Scream is as silly, clichéd and derivative as you expect – providing mindless fun for diehard fans only. It shows a franchise that is daft and mildly thrilling, but out of ideas and looking over it’s shoulders for inspiration.