Andrea’s film review – Scream (2022)

Scream (2022) ⭐⭐⭐ Review by Andrea Carnevali

Twenty-five years after the original series of murders in Woodsboro, a new Ghostface emerges, and Sidney Prescott must return to uncover the truth. Out in the cinemas from today.

On paper I’m the target audience for this film. Not only I’m a horror geek (yes, guilty as charged!), but I’m also a massive fan of the first “Scream”.

I remember when it first came out, back in 1996, the idea of a slasher movie dissecting all the clichés of the genre by not just exposing them, but also by turning them upside down, felt refreshingly new, clever and let’s face it, it was a lot of fun!

The first sequence of that film alone was worth the price of the ticket and has now become some sort of benchmark for any other slasher/horror film.

The subsequent sequels have offered diminishing returns, but there were a few sporadic glimpses of the original brilliance (actually, I can hardly remember the fourth, despite being the most recent one, which probably proves my point).

So, here comes number five, renamed as Scream, without any number attached to it (an idea that the film itself likes to poke fun at). They call it a ‘requel’, something between a remake and a sequel.

Once again, the film establishes the so-called rules of these new types of films, which bring back the ‘legacy’ characters (i.e. from the original), as well as some new ones in the hope of attracting a new audience and getting the old fans back too. As for the plot itself, that too usually sticks to the parameters set by the first film, with minor tweaks.

Films like Creed, Jurassic World, The Force Awakens and the latest Terminator, Matrix and Ghostbusters are clear examples of this trend.

But however much Scream (5) tries to show us that it’s very aware of the limitations of such a product (in a very meta way, constantly mocking itself and its sequels) there is no hiding away from the fact that this is still quite a derivative film, with not a single memorable moment which could be compared with the Drew Barrymore sequence from the first, even though they try.

To sum it up, this film doesn’t really justify its own existence and it’s not as clever as it thinks it is. It often brings up issues like ‘toxic fandom’, or ‘elevated horror’ just as quick mentions, to show they are aware of them, but without really ever exploring any of them and eventually just reverting back to the old rules of ‘Scream slasher’, repeating the same beats, one by one.

Yes, there is some fun to be had throughout this, if you can call it ‘fun’  watching people being chased by a killer, slashed with a knife or investigating strange noises coming from next-door, but I won’t deny even the self-critique bored a little bit after a while.

Overall there were just too many dead moments trying to explore the characters’ motivations – I mean c’mon, who cares? We know they’re just fodder to be added to the kill list – too many repetitions (I must have lost the count of how many times ‘Ghostface’ got kicked and fell to the ground or people tried to reach out for a gun or open cupboard or fridges only to create suspense when they close it revealing whether somebody may or may not be behind them).

It was nice to see them playing against expectations, but even that got a bit repetitive, not to mention the never-ending third act, which was the final nail in the coffin as it went on and on and on. That was the weakest part of the original, with the killers explaining why they did what they did, and here it feels five times longer!

It just about hit the three stars for me – mainly because of the love I have for the first, I know, it isn’t fair, but hey… that’s how I feel – but the next scream they’ll hear will really be mine if this goes on and they do another film.

Andrea Carnevali is a Bafta winning film maker who lives in Chiswick.

Scream is out in the cinemas from today.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also January Books by Anna Klerfalk

See also: Narcissus at Chiswick Playhouse

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

Support The Chiswick Calendar

The Chiswick Calendar CIC is a community resource. Please support us by buying us the equivalent of a monthly cup of coffee (or more, if you insist). Click here to support us.

We publish a weekly newsletter and update the website with local news and information daily. We are editorially independent.

To subscribe to the weekly newsletter, go here.