There’s bound to be a comparison when the originals are combined with the new blood and boy was the comparison apparent in this final (?) installment to the Scream franchise.
Synopsis: A new Ghostface attack happens in Woodsboro, but this time, the victim Tara (Jenna Ortega) survives to tell the tale. As it turns out, the killer only wanted to bring back Tara’s sister Sam because she was the secret daughter of original Ghostface Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich). Unlike previous Scream movies, the new Ghostface operates under the rules of a requel (cross between a reboot and a sequel) and seeks to bring back legacy characters from the original story.
What’s great about the Scream franchise is its commitment to the slasher film genre which makes for a really great horror watch. While glorifying the slasher genre, it even poked fun at the elevated type of horror movies nowadays by further deconstructing the rules of horror and why new horror sucks.
This time around, the new guys are all connected to the original cast and they are oriented on the rules straight off the bat. However, this group of kids are such dumbasses that they ignore every rule and go and become the sheep to slaughter anyway.
Looking back, the appeal of Scream rests on its original cast who portrayed such relatable characters in the first three movies that fans felt how much they deserved to survive all the traumatic events that happened in their lives. This cast of characters is so disconnected (no matter how hard the script tries to connect them to the legacy characters for some love by association), its hard to really root for them.
Sam (Melissa Barrera), the main heroine was horrible. She was selfish and knew only how to ask for help but not to give it. There were plenty of times that she could have helped the other characters but she chose to stand by and watch, wrestling with the ghost of her dad who appeared her in her own mind. I hated the hard sell of her as the main character.
I believe that Jena Ortega should have been the main girl instead. In every scene, she outshined Billy Loomis’ supposed daughter’s performance. Even with crutches and a wheelchair, she tried to fight off the killer multiple times. It gave her a sense of toughness and vulnerability that translated to final girl energy.
The fact that the legacy characters came back did not help the new cast. Personally, I was only concerned about the welfare of the original trio of Sidney (Neve Campbell), Dewey (David Arquette) and Gail (Courtney Cox). The fact that these stupid kids twitted and screwed up every of their attempts to help made me want them to perish even more.
I noticed come inconsistencies in the movie like where were the injuries to the Ghostface from the hospital when the final reveal/ monologue was made? But the script moved on from that so okay. It was unfortunate that the new killers felt like watered down versions of Billy Loomis and Stu Macher from the original movie, even staging their bloodbath at the venue of the first killings. It was just annoying.
Sure, there was nostalgia that the final chapter finished right where it began and I appreciated the attempts to stay true to the original. It had some great jump scares and progression but it seemed like it was just in a rush to dispense of the secondary characters with as much blood as possible. On the flipside, mad respect for the subtle tribute to the franchise director Wes Craven within the movie and the more direct one as the credits rolled. (Craven died in 2015 after directing the first four movies)
Still, Scream 2022 was not a memorable addition to the franchise, nor was it a necessary one. I think the final movie was made in an attempt to redeem itself from the lackluster reception of Scream 4 in 2011 but Scream 4 was already a solid ending. Needless to say, I’m a big fan of the original trilogy but this one just wasn’t up to par.