Scream ★★★

While I don't love the franchise as strongly as some others, none of the entries have been bad, all have at least a few nice horror setpieces, and the original was desperately needed by the genre in terms of it being a huge box office hit & a reminder to Hollywood that the genre can still be worthwhile for wide release. It was quite entertaining watching the first two as a teenager before I even turned adult age; those first two were fun, the third was compromised, had a dumb gimmick and was more a comedy than anything else... then again the fourth was compromised in a different way, was ham-fisted and the original ending should have been used instead of what was on screen. This new one I was unsure of, mainly due to my personal fatigue of popular culture refusing to implement old ideas and instead rehashing familiar properties of the past... even I can't believe we've been dealing w/ this for so many years now. Yet I've watched all the others so begrudgingly I had to see the new one too—I realize I am part of the problem.

It is unsure whether the movie realizes it is part of the problem-it dunks on “requels” and what they contain... while being a requel that contains everything they were bitchin' about. What was it about having cake and eating it too... as the trailer was omnipresent in the cinemas the past few months-at least for me-I don't need to spend time explaining that the same old killings from a person or persons dressed as Ghostface are happening once again, and the three main characters from the history of the franchise are back once again. Now, I don't rate this as highly as many have done already on Letterboxd; that is alright with me. Besides not having high expectations to begin with, at least this did not get screwed up so badly that most of the fanbase caused a s***storm of Biblical proportions (I am looking at you, Ghostbusters 2016) or were so creatively bankrupt & lazy that some labeled it as anti-art or one person famously here wrote an epic treatise that noted how he had an existential crises over realizing that the world will probably end soon and no one is noticing as they blindly consume and gorge the worst offal presented to them... of course I am referring to the apparent abomination known as Space Jam: A New Legacy. At least the new Scream wasn't that.

Personally, I was more interested in the serious drama and the horror setpieces (which were nicely crafted & some of the performers did shine with the dramatic material) rather than some of the humor, the blunt discussion of requels or my “favorite” subgenre-elevated horror—as a mutual here noted in a popular brief review, it was like more than one character had to be a Letterboxd member. I suppose movie cliches are more recognized now than 25 years ago... then again, being meta was far more fresh back then too and that did not help this movie's cause either. Thankfully, it was nice to see the familiar faces, although they weren't the main focus; the new faces were hit or miss although at least I can note the performances of Melissa Barrera & Jenna Ortega as being the highlights for me. When the movie did not follow the expected tropes of its antecedents was when I felt it was the strongest. In addition, I know many will approve of the diversity in here—which includes LGBTQ+ representation.

I could note how the villain motivations were not 100% satisfying for me or how-in a series hallmark-there was at least one moment that strained credulity. Yet like I said this wasn't a disaster by any means... in fact it was the best since 2. Most importantly, at least a decent amount of the large crowd at my screening seemed to be fans. There were cheers & applause.. plus, one person not that far from me was perfect for a slasher movie viewing. Normally I'd rather not hear people remark while I'm watching a movie but for a slasher, hearing someone exclaim, “Oh, no!” or other similar remarks during the appropriate moments did add to the experience. Overall, even if I am not over the moon, at least this gave me enough blood, laughs and suspense to make me not make me want to stab myself. Plus, hopefully this was something that Wes Craven himself would have approved of.

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Blair Russell liked these reviews