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Did the Scream Remake Live Up to the Original?

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

Scream has managed to achieve what few other horror movie franchises have: it’s stayed cool. Unafraid to make fun of itself, it’s remained relevant even while the world around it has changed at a remarkable rate. No matter how different our lives are in 2022 compared to 1996, it still manages to make us – well – scream.

That’s why audiences are so excited to see its latest incarnation, which features the original movie trio alongside fresh faces. Here, we look at whether Scream 5 passes muster against the original and whether it’s worth a watch.

A decade-long wait and a new director

In 2015, Scream director Wes Craven tragically passed away. He’d been the guiding light behind the franchise’s long history of success, and many movie fans felt the films should be laid to rest alongside him. In contrast, others believed that letting his beloved franchise sit and gather dust would be a poor testament to his memory. It’s these voices we have to thank for its newest addition, pioneered and directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett.

Opening 25 years after the original killings, the film takes us back to the familiar streets of Woodsboro once more. As in Scream 4, this isn’t a remake, but rather a continuation of the story we know and love. This time, it’s a new killer who’s donned the iconic Ghostface mask. With a murderer at large again, a new host of stars take center stage, led by Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid, and Jenna Ortega.

The protagonist at the heart of the tale is Tara Carpenter, the first victim to be attacked. Her plight brings her sibling Sam and her boyfriend, Richie, back to town, where they also quickly become entangled in Ghostface’s dangerous orbit.

The film wouldn’t be complete without the franchise’s original stars, Sidney (Neve Campbell), Gale (Courtney Cox), and ex-husband Dewey (David Arquette), who team up with the ensemble to track down the killer who stalks them.

Scream: a fan-favorite

The franchise has been a favorite for so long primarily because it has been constantly resurrected and adapted across different mediums. In between the reboots and sequels, there have been numerous developments keeping the Scream franchise alive in other forms. For example, browser games, as listed by The Digital Fix, have given fans the opportunity to play within the classic narrative, trying to defy Ghostface for as long as possible while navigating through the spooky setting of a seemingly empty house.

In addition, there have been many books, board games, costumes (that you will likely see almost every Halloween on your streets), and even online casino offerings. Some slot games have used the likeness of Ghostface or the premise of the famous Scream series to create an interesting theme for their titles. More than ever we are seeing the best online casinos offer these film-inspired slot games as it helps to attract new customers from fans of those films – Rob McLauchlan of Bonusfinder has listed and reviewed a lot of them here, where they are ranked for their range of games and the welcome bonuses they offer.

At the end of the day, Scream has remained popular with audiences due to its original, winning combo of compelling characters, a chilling villain, and a story that sticks with you and sends a shiver down your spine long after you’ve watched it. It’s partly these mediums that have kept Scream in the public consciousness even while the films were out of production, helping to maintain an active fanbase for future movies, something the studio has not only seen but capitalized on.

A tour de force of terror

While one thing you won’t find here is spoilers: what we can say is that this latest incarnation is a fitting tribute to the originals, and we mean that sincerely. Awash with twists and turns, red herrings, and unexpected outcomes, it shares the same edge-of-your-seat appeal as the films that began the franchise.

While none to date have quite managed to match the first film, this newest installment comes a close second. The reason we say that is because it walks a very difficult line successfully: between not taking itself too seriously and still maintaining its edge as a horror film. Often frightening, it nonetheless has moments that are funny, nostalgic, and even heart-warming.

A fitting legacy for a lost great

In many ways, this newest film seems inevitable given the current popularity of “legacyquels”, as pegged by Bloody Disgusting. This describes the phenomenon of taking popular franchises from the 80s, 90s, and earlier and reviving them for modern audiences with varying degrees of success.

With Scream, the fourth film, released in 2011, set the scene. This latest offering, however, has taken the idea, shaken it up, and produced something even better. What this means is simple: a great recent addition to a long-time favorite franchise and a movie that’s sure to terrify audiences everywhere.

Is the newest Scream one of the best Hollywood offerings of all time? Probably not. But will it become a new classic for horror fans to watch and watch again? Undoubtedly. That, we’re sure, would be something Craven approved of. It’s a fitting legacy for a fine director and one of horror’s most widely missed stars.

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