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‘Scream’ movie review: 2022 version is a fun exercise in horror

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While not overtly scary or gory, the movie trips along smoothly on its meta wheels

Woodsboro and Ghostface are back in action. Starting like the movie that started it all, 1996’s Scream, with a girl alone at home, and a slasher-film-obsessed killer on the phone, the movie trips along smoothly on its meta wheels.

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A character talks of the need for the return of legacy characters in “re-quels”, naming Jurassic Park, The Terminator, Halloween, Ghostbusters and Star Wars. Didn’t we cheer Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor’s (Linda Hamilton) return in Terminator: Dark Fate or Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) in Halloween (2018)? So too will we cheer the return of Sidney (Neve Campbell), Gale (Courteney Cox) and Dewey (David Arquette). And do not try too hard to stifle the Scary Movie giggles.

Scream

  • Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
  • Cast: Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid, Jenna Ortega, Dylan Minnette, Mikey Madison, Mason Gooding, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Sonia Ben Ammar, Marley Shelton, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Neve Campbell
  • Story line: Ghostface is back to their old tricks on new characters
  • Run time: 114 minutes

Tara (Jenna Ortega) is home alone texting her friend Amber (Mikey Madison) when the landline rings. When she picks up, she hears a man (Roger L. Jackson reprising Ghostface’s voice as he did in the other four movies) quizzing her about horror movies. He dismisses her choice of The Babadook and asks her instead about a slasher franchise. Tara narrowly misses being killed (a first for the franchise) and later discusses the attack with her friends who try to figure out the killer going by slasher film rules.

Tara’s estranged sister, Sam (Melissa Barrera), and her boyfriend, Richie (Jack Quaid) visit Tara to try and figure out what is going on. Suspects are eliminated as the bodies pile up right up to the climax in the same house where the original murders happened 25 years ago.

While not really scary or gory, Scream is a fun exercise in horror; yes, it sounds like an oxymoron, but there is such a thing as a comfort watch in slasher films. While horror as social commentary is all very well and lofty, sometimes you just want to watch people getting sliced and diced as they stupidly run screaming into creepy basements. The film is dedicated to Wes Craven, who directed the first four films. The A Nightmare on Elm Street legend, who passed away in 2015, will be well pleased with this effort.

Scream is currently running in theatres



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