Scream ★½

As an attempt to play on the concept of legacy-sequels and media consumption this feels especially stale when Matrix Resurrections is still not even a month old yet. Some decently playful kills with lots of fun buildup/ fake-outs throughout but without the craft of Wes at the helm this basically renders itself as a dramatically inert slog. Wes always rode a fine line between finding empathy and a sense of tragedy for his subjects whilst also being relentlessly mean, and Scream as both a concept and franchise only really ever worked because of his knowledge & playfulness with both the form and subtext of horror media and consumption. When you take away that, you’re basically left with…. another Netflix-tier slasher that’s indistinguishable from those Fear St. movies? If the main film and culture you’re in conversation with is something that’s totally unrelated to horror as a whole then honestly you’ve already fallen short as a Scream movie. Scream 4 already toyed with legacy reboots + sequels so what does this have to add? That now a24 makes some different breeds of horror? Is that it? Plus briefly taking a stab at legacy-sequels falls completely flat when you just fall into the absolute worst tendencies of said productions! Not the worst thing In the world, and I’m all here for slasher revival but this is about as nothing of a movie as you’d expect for a franchise film in 2022, and for a series that so cheekily challenged horror, commodification of tragedy and violence for years that feels especially saddening. I’ll have forgotten this by tomorrow.

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