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So far, the rise of the requel has struggled to tread the fine line of capturing the initial appeal of a much-loved franchise. Where David Gordon Green’s Halloween tapped into the brutal energy and awakened Michael Myers for a whole new generation, before whimpering into disappointing conclusion to the trilogy; other movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Grudge have failed to spark the right kind of allure. When it comes to the return of Ghost face back in 2022, from the creative minds of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (Ready or Not), they managed to produce a compelling entry into the franchise and carve their way into the Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson slasher world with their own identity and a whole bunch of likeable new characters, whilst also boldly killing off a fan favourite, proving that no one is safe from the grim reaper.

The question, however, would be, could they repeat this formula and harness the quips and kills from last year and walk the rope of integrity or lose the faithful with a cheap and ill-effective turnaround for the sake of bringing bums back into the cinema seats? And there would also be some who can’t imagine the franchise without Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell) making an appearance.

It starts off with full swagger, introducing us to Samara Weaving’s horror film scholar awaiting a date at a swanky bar in New York. We are far away from Woodsboro now. Much like when Jason ventured into Manhattan, Ghost face takes a stab at injecting horror into the big apple.

After a few twists and turns, we left with the face of the franchise, asking ‘Who gives a @#$!, about the movies?’ A tad insensitive perhaps, considering we’re all here to watch him rip up some new and perhaps old victims.

The journey that we are taken on is an enjoyable ride, as we follow our “Core Four” sisters Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera) and Tara (Jenna Ortega – Wednesday) , movie buff Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown), and Chad (Mason Gooding) all present and semi-equipped to face off against Ghost Face once more. We also have some returning legacy characters in Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) and Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) and some fresh faces Anika (Devyn Nekoda), Danny (Josh Segarra), Ethan (Jack Champion) Quinn (Liana Liberato), Jason (Tony Revolori), Det. Bailey (Dermot Mulroney), and Dr. Stone (Henry Czerny), all of whom line up as possible suspects or victims. 

There are some issues however, as the road is not an easy one to traverse with some questionable plot choices, and the sometimes overbearing statements about legacy characters up for the chopping block or being expendable. Yes, we know that Sydney is not present and we may or may not see Gale or Kirby being bumped off, or some of the “Core Four” for that matter. The Scream franchise does seem a little caught up in being meta that it forgets to relax, go along with the flow of blood and mayhem when it arises. Instead, it gets a little self-consumed and neglects to surprise or throw you off scent. As the narrative strides to entertain and delight, which it does well, the shock factor gets lost and we strangely find ourselves in all too safe terrain where the realms of believability gets stretched.

The Prognosis:

Yes. Ghost Face is back to entertain and delight with some delightfully macabre kills. There are even some tension-racked moments, most notably the subway scene, but the film suffers in the final act and the inevitable reveal feeling a little bit of a letdown.
If rumours abound that a third instalment into the requel is in the works, then Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett will need to break the mould and force the franchise into a brave new world.

  • Saul Muerte

Further links:

Retrospective: Scream (1996)

Retrospective: Scream 2 (1997)

Retrospective: Scream 3 (2000)

Retrospective: Scream 4 (2010)

Movie Review: Scream (2022)

10 Scream inspire movies