Comments Off on Scream

Scream (1996) is the quintessential nineties horror film. Scream had the hippest soundtrack, a sadistically ironic sense of humor, a legendary cast of then up and coming young stars and was helmed by one of the great filmmakers of the genre. Scream commented intelligently on the slasher genre and contemporary issues like the national panic over violence in schools.

Scream (2022) imports the signature reflexivity and twisted humor of the original film but fails to ever feel very relevant. Without Kevin Williamson writing or Wes Craven directing the latest Scream film feels like nothing more than the current installment in the nostalgia wave. Scream can’t update the franchise anymore than Scream 4 (2011) did, but what it can offer viewers is a “new” adventure with Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox.

The roles that Cox and Campbell play in the franchise as women characters literally combating trauma clearly influenced the trajectory of David Gordon Green’s controversial Halloween reboot. As problematic and uneven as Green’s horror franchise is it does attempt to explore the intellectual property in some new and varied ways that just don’t seem to be on the agenda in Scream. Sydney’s (Campbell) character arc in the first three Scream films is more relevant now than it was then and yet the filmmakers behind Scream (2022) can’t seem to tap into that narrative at all, even with Green’s work as a quasi-blueprint.

Scream just doesn’t work as it currently exists outside of its late nineties milieu. The nostalgia for nineties culture may sell Scream to audiences but it doesn’t make the film any more relevant. As is the case with Halloween Kills (2021), it’s best to just stick with the earlier films in the Scream franchise.