Ghostface is back in the newest installment of Scream
What’s your favourite scary movie? Mine is Scream. Fortunately for me, I don’t mind a reboot. In 2022, the Scream franchise made its return, eleven years after their first revival attempt. The latest installment came out on March 10, and you can bet I hauled my ass to Moncton to see it.
The first attempt to bring back the beloved horror franchise (Scream 4) was ultimately unsuccessful, grossing half as much as its predecessors. Scream 4 is also divisive among fans. Personally, I’m in the camp who loves it. But, this opinion comes from someone who enjoys borderline “bad” content. I admittedly enjoy movies that are a bit stupid and are ultimately shallow in meaning. So, if you are a cinephile with an up-to-date Letterboxd account, this article might not be for you. I digress.
Eleven years after Scream 4 was a bust, the franchise came back with a new core cast of characters who fight Ghostface alongside franchise favorites Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox).
Scream 5 follows Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), the secret daughter of Billy Loomis, the original Ghostface. Sorry for the spoiler, but it’s been out since 1996. You’ve had ample time to watch it. Sam returns to Woodsboro after her sister Tara (Jenna Ortega) is attacked by the new Ghostface. The sisters, along with Tara’s group of friends, create the new core group of characters that future installments of the series are set to follow.
The beauty, or arguably the crux, of Scream 5 is how meta it is. The Scream movies are already meta in that there is a fictional series titled “Stab,” based on the “Woodsboro murders,” that exists within the universe. Scream 2 through 4 all have this in common. However, Scream 5 takes it to new heights by constantly poking fun at its reboot status. At least they are self-aware.
I didn’t mind this aspect, but I was curious if it would bleed into Scream VI. The sixth installment takes place in college, mirroring Scream 2. We reunite with Sam, Tara, and friends in New York City. Unfortunate to many fans, Sidney Prescott does not return to help take on Ghostface this time around. But at least we know she’s getting a happy ending. Gale Weathers returns again, along with fan favourite Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) from Scream 4.
I was pleasantly surprised that they toned down the meta elements (however, there is a character whose entire purpose could be reduced to this). The story was grounded in the characters, focusing more on their emotional arcs. This carried on throughout the film as best as it could; you know, with all the murder going on. In the end, there was gore, jumpscares, and heart-wrenching deaths — all of my favourite things.
It wasn’t perfect, I could definitely point out flaws if I wanted to be critical. But, I don’t. Sometimes it’s enough to just have fun watching something, and the Scream franchise never fails me in that regard.