Per Matt
Twenty-six years is a long time for a killer movie franchise to survive. I mean, L-O-N-G. New blood is necessary when trying to remain innovative within the horror genre for such a timespan, especially when it comes to the Ghostface storyline. Old rules must be broken for these characters (How dare you!). New rules must be written, because it’s not 1996 anymore. For Scream, Gen Z has entered the conversation…

A new masked killer has emerged in Woodsboro, ripping off the painful scabs of yesteryear. Just when you thought another plot device couldn’t get extracted from that groundbreaking, original film (less so for its subsequent sequels), yet another group of teenagers meet the bloody blade of a cold-blooded copycat. Will the small town’s deadly past forever haunt its future? Find out in Scream!

As just about every element of the fifth Scream film’s storyline involves a spoiler, I really can’t dive deep into details. But I can discuss how this film breaks the fourth wall yet again, this time attacking toxic fandom and making a statement about legacy characters in long-running franchises. The more the script addresses its own characters of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Dewey Riley (David Arquette), who all return here, the more I dislike the new Star Wars films and what’s happened to this franchise.

Attempting to resurrect itself once more, this time it’s in the hands of a bunch of young whippersnappers who I’ve never seen before. Maybe I’m old. Maybe I romanticize the past too much. Maybe I adore the first film way too much and continually wish for some sort of spark to rekindle that feeling with each sequel. But the one thing that’s undeniable about the first film is the pop-culture force majeure brought by the actors involved. That is definitely not present in this remake-sequel.

For a “requel,” I wasn’t a fan of the no-name characters. I really didn’t care if they survived or not (I simply couldn’t get over Melissa Barrera’s bad eyebrows). I just wanted to see how the legacy characters were worked into the story. That part isn’t bad. It actually made sense. But what happened to them really should be addressed.

To this day, I still don’t know who should receive the most credit for the success of the first Scream. Very sadly, Wes Craven is no longer with us, but the filmmaker knew how to make a great movie. When paired with Kevin Williamson, there were many great jump scares to go with all the meta jokes of the genre.

Where’s the Williamson wit in this fifth installment? And as far as the horror elements go, I was more amused by the jump scare fake-outs than the actual ones. Too bad directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett didn’t bring more to the table.

There will probably be more Scream films released in the future, but there aren’t enough legacy characters surviving each of these ordeals to pass the torch to a younger generation. If the franchise has any hopes of surviving the future, that must happen. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case here.

I somewhat liked Scream (2022) but despise the need for studios to CONSTANTLY reuse classic titles of franchise films instead of slightly changing them for a new crowd. Scream 5 isn’t absolutely necessary, but use a little creativity, why don’t ya? It’s painfully obvious Kevin Williamson didn’t have a whole lot to do with this film, other than collecting a big fat paycheck.