Scream (2022): B+

Scream (2022): B+

The original Scream movie (1996) was a breath of fresh air in a market saturated with formulaic slashers. It was clever and well-written. It reinvigorated the genre by playing with established tropes and providing unexpected twists while still delivering a satisfying story. For over 20 years it was the highest-grossing slasher film of all time until Halloween (2018) knocked it off its throne. Seriously, Halloween 2018? Come on.

Now that everyone has been making Scream-style slashers for 26 years, including other entries in the series with mixed results, Scream 2022 pulls off the amazing feat of being a fresh and enjoyable entry in an aging franchise and crowded market.

I won't say too much other than to assure you that if you like this genre then this is a movie worth watching. A few random notes though:

The meta game is strong in this one. The franchise previously set up the perfect vehicle for characters talking about the movie they're in: within the world of the story, each of the murder sprees has been turned into a movie in the "Stab" franchise and so characters will talk about tropes in those movies, etcetera. Matrix 4 tried the same thing with disastrous results, but the execution was clumsy - like footage from the original film was called "video game footage" and it just didn't make sense. Scream 2022 is how to do it right.

Of several classic main characters they bring back, they did a great job with the first one and a poor job with the other two. The other two are fearless and sassy and ready to kick ass all the time, and it's just a little much.

Lastly, this is something of a "requel" - half reboot, half sequel, for reasons that are explained very well by the characters in the movie itself haha. While it's a great entry in the series, I don't know if it reinvigorates the franchise per se; it still has "Ghostface" (the mask and costume that the killers use in all the movies) and Ghostface is wearing thin, even with a modern refresh. Luckily the series isn't called "Ghostface" but rather "Scream", which doesn't limit them to a particular character as the slasher. I hope they retire Ghostface and come up with some new characters and settings for future Scream movies.