Scream ★★½


An enjoyable time at the movies but this is the first instance where Scream doesn't feel ahead of the curve. All this talk of 'requels' and 'elevated horror' doesn't exactly work when the final thesis resembles blue check film twitter threads from 2018. This entry is less concerned with mimicking and subverting the formal characteristics of the current horror landscape, which makes sense considering that the Slasher sub-genre is all but dead. Scream '22 instead takes on the vibe of the Legacy sequel, or a soft-reboot. This is a promising idea that is ultimately squandered. We're in the midst of a cultural wasteland, with nostalgia as the deciding factor for IP revivals and the distribution of recognizable, familiar content for popular entertainment. The targets here are less specific and more about how we discuss and interpret new iterations of property. It isn't that successful, as it doesn't actively feel like it's in conversation with the current moment, but I can't see a nu-Scream with an obvious lack of Wes Craven doing any better than this. In spite of the incessant use of medium-close-up compositions and clumsy handheld, this is a solid albeit predictable whodunnit with a grisly line-up of kills and a couple intelligent suspense set-pieces, not to mention a great blend of old and new cast members. Jenna Ortega is the stand-out in a fun ensemble, and her conversation with Roger L. Jackson's Ghostface at the start is a franchise highlight.

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