This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Connor Taylor’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
"Something about this one just feels different" - Dewey Riley
It is not often that I don't know where to start with a review but this one is difficult purely because of how much I absolutely loved it. To me, this was the perfect Scream movie and I will proudly say my favourite one in the franchise.
It's rare for me to do a spoiler review and this point forward is spoiler territory.
The start of the movie sets up a different tone whilst keeping with the style of the franchise as a whole. By this, I mean that we see the killing scene taking place but the opening female character doesn't die. This sets up an idea that this movie is going to be slightly different with how it handles things and we reach that climax of a different story by the end scene but to get there I have to talk about other elements first.
"The attacks were all on people related to the original killers" - Sam Carpenter
The attacks themselves are brutal. The jumpscares of Ghostface being hidden behind people were predictable and didn't make me jump but the brutality of some of the kills especially Dewey, Judy, and Wes was extremely intense and you can see why the film was rated 18. The film doesn't hold back on the blood and if the Knife of Ghostface wasn't already iconic, this film further cements it in the horror genre as a weapon that should and will be forever associated with this character.
"You want me to help you and the host of a morning show commit murder?" - Sam Carpenter
The blend of legacy characters and fresh blood worked perfectly. Before going into the movie I very much expected the typical Sidney comes back and faces Ghostface with new characters as an afterthought but she wasn't the main focus which I really enjoyed! The killing of Dewey was probably the most brutal kill and it was what his character deserved in a weird way! He didn't deserve to die but if he had to then it should have been the best of the movie... and it was! The fresh blood was fun and the new characters referencing more modern movies definitely made me happy! (More on that later!) Billy coming back in the form of hallucinations/ghost kinda thing worked really well and was a lush surprise. We kinda feel a bit sympathetic towards him which I also enjoyed. Him coming back through a new character was a great way to make long-time fans of the franchise happy because it was sort of an ease into another era without completely ignoring the original.
"The killer's motive is always connected to the past" - Dewey Riley
The killers and their motive was super cool to me! It's a difficult one to put into words but they are basically just two people who hated Stab 8 (apparently it changed the franchise way too much) and met on social media to share this hatred and they want to create a new Ghostface killing scandal so that there is a basis for a new Stab movie which is described as a "Requel". This motive is then made even better when they explain that they hadn't really had intentions of killing the originals until they had got them to Stu's old house because it's the perfect setting. (This is how the film is different as I mentioned earlier.) They really said, "F*ck it let's just make them huge fans of the stab movies who hate the last sequel." It works so well as a commentary on fandom and I personally think it's my favourite motive.
My final thought is really a reflection on how much this franchise has grown with me alongside my own love for horror. When I first watched Scream (1996) I was also getting into the films it referenced such as Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street and so now when this film referenced things such as Hereditary, Get Out and The Babadook, it really felt like this film was made for someone like me who really loves horror and I truly think that this film just proves that in a time of "Elevated Horror" you can still make a solid slasher that fits into the horror genre and its own franchise perfectly. In other words, the film is made for Randy and I am starting to think I might be him. (I'll start looking behind myself in case...)
I loved this film and I would highly recommend it.
"Don't trust anyone" - Mindy Meeks-Martin