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The New Scream

Ghostface in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group’s “Scream.”

If you’re a horror movie enthusiast, you’re well aware that the ‘Scream’ movie series is one of the most entertaining and commercially successful horror movies of all time. The first installment hit the screens in 1996, about 24 years ago, and although not all the movies from the franchise quite hit the ceilings like the original, every release kept the fans entertained, literally screaming, and wanting more.  Under the direction of Wes Craven, who sadly passed away in 2015, the first four films successfully pulled no punches on comedy, savagery, slashing, and horrific deaths. Post Craven, fans were eager to see what their beloved franchise looks like in the new era. Taking on a huge project like the ‘Scream’ franchise is a make-or-break decision. It’s like gambling in Canadian Casinos, sticking to the basics often guarantees wins and success. The new directors, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett kept the vision of their late predecessor alive by following in his footsteps while infusing their own ideas, and in so doing they have earned the respect of the loyal fan base of the original movie.

Amongst other things, the new casts fit into their roles to perfection, hardly any underwhelming performance from the new blood is noticeable. Household names like Sidney Prescott and Gale Weathers enjoyed good on-screen performance like always without overshadowing the newbies like Sam Carpenter and Amber Freeman. Roger L. Jackson returned as if he never left as the dreadful voice of the blood-thirsty super villain Ghostface. A character which many fans claimed to have failed in all attempts to mimic in real life on holidays like Halloween, and several weekend trips with friends and family. Jackson’s line deliveries are sharp and terrorizing as ever over his sinister tone of voice. The playful banter and the phone calls before the killings continue like in the previous films, being the tested and proven formula for a Scream movie.

The movie is a cross between a reboot and a sequel, which is why it is uniquely called a “requel’’. ‘Scream’ came out just in time to revive the horror genre that is slowly dying out due to poor imitations of the original and bad directing of movies by copycats dowsing the flame of the genre. Wes Craven did his absolute best in keeping the mystery and the looming danger in all the previous projects, a format judiciously followed by the new directors. They gave enough screen time for the new characters to breathe, although there’s room for improvement when it comes to pacing, an aspect in horror film-making that Craven mastered to perfection. There was enough suspense in every scene, the jokes landed properly, screenplay by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick managed to pay homage to their predecessor while easing the fans into a new phase of the franchise, so much that it didn’t feel like a cheap copy of the original.

With Scream, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have added another brilliant thread to their comic-horror credentials, after being validated by the success of the awesome Ready or Not. This movie is very self-referential, economical, fun, and sure to keep you at the edge of your seat. Arguably the best installment since the original. If you are looking for a witty, self-aware horror film, your needs will be met while watching this movie.


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