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Review: Scream

It’s been a while since Ghostface and his trusty knife have graced our screens.  So with the franchise revival wave going on currently (See Matrix, Ghostbusters etc.) it was only a matter of time before someone greenlit Scream coming back.  These returns have somewhat hit and miss, so it was important that they brought in the right people to bring back Scream and fortunately they went with the directors of V/ H/ S/ & Ready or Not, Matt Bettinelli-Olin & Tyler Gillet as Wes Craven is no longer with us.

Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, Calif., a new killer dons the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past.

Scream (5), for some reason they drop the 5 and go with the Scream, which may confuse people with the first one, but here we are.  The Co-Directors clearly have a love for the original source material as the building blocks they put in throughout the self aware proceedings are superb.  Scream keeping to it’s self aware meta roots, layers and layers the fact to the point when everything unravels in the finale it’s actually a bit over the top.  But it manages to get away with it as that’s the whole point of these films.

Retreading various ground in the first, we get some recognisable locales as the characters run around trying to avoiding get sliced to pieces by Ghostface.  And the bodies do pile up as well, especially once the film finds its footing and the violence gets more graphic too, with knives being slid through the sides of faces, necks, shoulders, stomachs et al.  

Despite sticking to the original set up (Landline phones), the series has modernised and the use of mobile phones, instant messaging such as whats app come into play, which makes you realise when you go back to older films such as this, and you suggest “If that was made now it’d be over in 5 minutes because you’d have a mobile” how very wrong you would be.  If anything it adds to the peril.

The cast headed by In The Heights Melissa Barrera who is destined to for big things it seems, puts in a forthright performance as Sam the modern heroine, who’s not simply there to be rescued and scream a lot (Despite doing this more than once) but actually gives as good as she gets.  Apart from her sister Tara (Jenna Ortega) who actually gets to flesh out her character and get involved, the rest of the characters feel for the most part like cannon fodder (Dylan Minette, Jack Quaid, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Sonia Ammar, Mikel Maddison and Mason Gooding).  Sure they all get given enough to be placed as the killer, but aside from Jack Quaid as Sam’s boyfriend, the characters all come and go on screen to the point where, you wait for the next setup to discover who’s going to be the next to fall.

Scream does manage to accomplish a few things, such reviving the franchise, bringing in some excellent new talent, giving the legacy characters (Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox & David Arquette) a reason to be there.  Some brilliant twists and turns and a few surprises along the way too.  The horror/slasher quota is ticked and then some and you won’t leave the cinema underwhelmed.  It’s a great return, but anyone who loves the originals, will likely have figured out what’s going on long before the reveal.

Scream just about pays off what was prom used in it’s trailers on the big return and you wouldn’t be unhappy if they decided to fully revive the series either.  With Bettinelli-Olin & Gillet at the helm and Barrera our new ‘Sydney’ , the series could go from strength to strength.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Scream is in cinemas nationwide now

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