The New Scream is Guaranteed to Ignite Nostalgia and Fear

Steven Watts

Graphic by Liam Killian

Wes Craven is one of my favorite directors of all time. The way he’s able to make horror movies in a way that feels so grounded, and absurd at the same time has always amazed me. When I heard that Scream was getting a requel just six short years after his death, I was very skeptical. Requels, or the combinations of reboots, remakes and sequels, are usually hit-or-miss according to most movie critics. Scream (2022) had the perfect amount of fan service while also throwing out new ideas, and staying true to Craven’s image of the franchise.

Scream takes place 25 years after the events of the original, following a new tight-knit group of friends, almost all of whom are connected to the original Woodsboro murders. After Tara (played by the charismatic Jenna Ortega of “You”) is attacked by a new Ghostface, franchise favorites? Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers, and Dewey Riley return to their hometown to help the group of teens discover and defeat the killer. The strength of Scream lies in its humor and plot. 

As an avid horror fan, it felt like there was at least one reference to another movie for every minute of runtime. After seeing the film with two very different groups of people, it became clear that the movie can work in two ways. If you’re not a person who watches a lot of scary movies, this will fill in just fine as a classic terrifying slasher. If you are a big horror fan, you’ll likely see the film as the satire that I believe it was intended to be.

The “whodunnit” aspect of the Scream movies is a big draw for the franchise, too. I found myself throwing out accusations as often as the characters on screen, just for the accused to be killed five minutes later. I could not see the big ending reveal coming. 

The only part of Scream that I thought could be improved was the acting. The legacy characters all had great performances, and so did a few of the new ones. Jasmin Savoy Brown was a total scenestealer whenever she appeared, and Jenna Ortega looked like a bona fide scream queen.

Unfortunately, Melissa Barrer, who plays the main character,  gave a rather deadpan performance. The writing of the film definitely helped Barrera’s character, who did have a great arc, but the performance was so underwhelming. There were a few lines that were delivered so poorly that I cringed which  promptly took me out of the movie. 

If I were to describe the new Scream in one word, it would be “fun.” It’s refreshing to see a requel really fire on all cylinders and deliver exactly what the fans needed. I think that Wes Craven would be proud of the movie that Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett created. It’s a shame that the film didn’t release in October, because Scream is such a perfect Halloween season movie.

If you plan on seeing Scream (2022), I would recommend watching at least the first two films of the franchise. Past knowledge from those movies are essential to understanding the plot of this one. I wholeheartedly recommend Scream to all horror fans. Be sure to watch the movie with a group of friends and try to support local theaters. Ghostface’s iconic and bone chilling voice is even scarier on the big screen.


Scream 5: 4 out of 5 stars