Back in 1996, there is little doubt that Scream was one hell of a genre game-changer – smart, horror-savvy and a whole load of fun.

I remember full well being part of a lucky audience that saw the film at a special advance midnight screening (at the Capitol Odeon in Cardiff), emerging in the early hours buzzing about what I’d just witnessed.

Fast forward 25 years and, three sequels later, Scream is back – with what is being billed (including by the cast themselves in the film itself) as a ‘re-quel’ – part reboot, part sequel.

Now it would be totally unfair to expect this to have the same impact as Wes Craven’s epic did back in the day, but how does it fare in 2022?

Well, the good news is this new take is certainly entertaining, upping the brutality and still chock-full of those horror references and genre ‘awareness’ that the fans enjoyed.

On the flip-side though, it is also very silly, throwing in tenuous relatives and links to the original. But if you can live with that – and I just about did – then you’ll have a bloody good time.

The focus this time is Sam (Melissa Barrera), who quit Woodsboro under a cloud a number of years ago, leaving her younger sister Tara (Jenna Ortega) in her wake.

When Tara is attacked by ‘Ghostface’ in the film’s opening scene, Sam heads back to her former stamping ground, with boyfriend Richie (Jack Quaid) in tow, eager to show some support.

Meeting up with her sister’s gaggle of high-school pals, Sam suddenly finds herself in Ghostface central, with bodies being carved up left, right and centre.

Enter the ‘old guard’ – Sidney (Neve Campbell), Dewey (David Arquette) and Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox), eager to help and get to the bottom of just who is donning the costume this time.

But could it be one of the old guard themselves? Or one of the new breed? That would be telling…

As stated earlier, Scream certainly earns its 18 certificate, with plenty of blood spilled. While none of the kills are particularly inventive or memorable, they are certainly vicious – and a couple may take you by surprise.

Obviously this chapter does not have the late, great Wes Craven at the helm, with co-directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett stepping into the hotseat, and they stuff the film with plenty of references (both overt and sly) to Craven’s work (a photo of the outside of a cinema screening The Last House on the Left adorns a mantelpiece for example).

And, using the mythology of the series’ fictional ‘Stab’ franchise, it also allows the makers to have a lot of fun with genre conventions, as well as skits on horror fandom and pop culture in general.

While this film may well be the launchpad for further entries, it is hard to see just where Scream could go – this entry pushes the tenuous connections and dubious links to the original to breaking point, staying just the right side of parody.

But that discussion is for another day – for now Scream 2022 will do very nicely thank you.

Movie Review: Scream (2022)
3.5Overall Score
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About The Author

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written three books - on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014), the history of the character Norman Bates (2015) and the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker (2017). He is currently working with director Richard Loncraine to explore all avenues in a bid to orchestrate the re-release of 1978 Mia Farrow chiller Full Circle