Scream ★★★½

In its finest moments, Scream feels necessary. Especially after the glut of legacy sequels we've just waded through (with their varying levels of meta-self-awareness and commentary). It satisfies the raison d'être that I feared this ever-evolving piece of post-modern art would feel lacking in without the mentorship of the great Wes Craven.

The metatextual commentary is what is most important for me in Scream films. It's exciting seeing it fall into place here. It really works. It satisfies. My slasher fan bloodlust was also satisfied.

Yet I think my key drawback here is twofold. I loved how this franchise would explore contemporary horror and cinema through the perspective of Sidney (Neve Campbell). While the meta-commentary kinda necessitates for the need of new characters with a spotlight on them and the legacy characters filling out the mentorly archetypes, I just missed Sidney too much... Neve's relative absence surprisinly leaves a void far wider than the presences of the iconic of many of the legacy sequels Scream is commenting on.

But perhaps I wouldn't feel this way if the new cast was as universally exciting and compelling as they have been without question in the previous sequels. The new casts have always been a bit of a secret weapon to the franchise, from Parker Posey in 3, Emma Roberts/Hayden Panettiere/Rory Culkin in 4 or even Timothy Olyphant, Jerry O'Connell and the bulk of 2's supporting cast. While there are massive highlights amongst the newbies, and I'm sure they'll genuinely be different person-to-person, fan-to-fan. Personally, I loved Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding as Randy Meeks' twin niblings.

Scream is a delightfully worthy entry into one of the great genre franchises that hopefully gets David Arquette some sick work. The dude crushed it once again as a truly iconic character that continues to grow.

SCREAM (2022)

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