‘Scream’ hits the right mark as Ghostface returns with a new round of terror

Scream | Dir: Matt Bertinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett  | From Jan 13 | ★ ★ ★ ★  

If asked the question ‘Do you like scary movies?’ My answer would be a clear ‘No!’

Regrets, I’ve had a few, watching Wolf Creek is high on the that list. I’ve never understood the appeal of horror movies, while I understand they are incredibly popular – they’re just not for me. Even with the passage of two decades, my friends still mock me about how loud I screamed during Deep Blue Sea. 

The Scream movies however are a little different, they’re self referential, filled with black comedy and while they are filled with violence and gore, they’re more than you’re average slasher flick.

The original 1996 Scream film introduced us to the psycho killer in a ghost face mask who slowly picked off a group of teenagers, and their associates, one by one. The film inspired sequels Scream 2 (1997), Scream 3 (2000) and then Scream 4 (2001).

Each installment sees Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), journalist Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) and Deputy Dewey Riley stalked and terrorised by Ghostface.  Roger L Jackson provides the iconic voice of the antagonist, but different characters are revealed to be the killer in each film. They all returns for this new film that had dropped the ‘5’ from it’s title.

A quarter of the century on from the original film we get a fresh injection of teenagers for the slaughter.

Jenna Ortega joins the franchise as Tara Carpenter, the first to be attacked in this new round of terror. Her assault brings her long estranged sister Sam (Melissa Barrera) back to the town of Woodsboro, bringing with her new boyfriend Richie Kirsch (Jack Quaid).

Sam and Richie meet up with Tara’s friends, Wes (Dylan Minette), Chad (Mason Gooding), Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown), Amber (Mikey Maddison) and Liv (Sonia Ben Ammar), introducing us to a new generation of Hollywood up-and-commers.

The film follows the template of the previous movies, but there’s a clear effort to be more diverse than the original films, with more people of colour and queer characters included in the mix.

Like the original film, the characters talk about the rules of horror films, but the rules are updated for the era of sequels, remakes and  relaunches. The filmmakers play with the genre and it’s rules.

An extended scene of Wes opening and closing cupboards in the kitchen is hilarious, with each door close you expect the killer to be revealed, and that kitchen has a lot of cupboards.

There were certainly moments where I left out my seat, but only a few times I had to cover my eyes.

Scream is a lot of fun and if you enjoyed seeing the first film, you can dive right into this one without seeing the three sequels.

Graeme Watson

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