“Scream” 2022 Review

Paramount Pictures

Gage Chapman, Editor

Before we begin, I’d like to give a spoiler warning for “Scream” 2022, as well as some of the other movies in the franchise. Also, the first film in the franchise shares the same title as the new one, so assume that whenever I say “Scream” I am referring to the 2022 movie unless otherwise stated. “Scream” is a fun who done it horror movie that does a good job of keeping the vibe of the originals without fully replicating them. The movie introduces a new crop of characters, all of which are connected in some way to a character of the past, some of which are in this film. The film brings back the big three from the past films, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) Dewey Riley (David Arquette), and Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) all of which do a great job of jumping back into their roles.
The film begins in classic “Scream” fashion as a home-alone high school girl, Tara Carpenter played by Jenna Ortega, picks up a random phone call. Tara ends up getting chased around her house, more so her kitchen, before getting stabbed right as the police arrive. Tara ends up surviving to introduce us to her sister Sam (Melissa Barrera) who we later learn is the daughter of Billy Loomis, one of the killers from the original film, and her boyfriend Richie, who is played by Jack Quaid. With these introductions, we are also introduced to one of the main problems with the film. This problem is a lack of a true main character, or heroine to carry on the franchise. Sam is set up to be the main character, but she doesn’t do much that is main character worthy aside from being Billy Loomis’s daughter.
As the movie progresses we are introduced to more suspects and potential victims, before Sam and Richie visit Dewey to try and find the killer. We find out that Dewey is no longer a cop and that his life has gone down the drain. At first, Dewey wants to stay out of things saying that he had been stabbed 11 times, but after a talk with Sidney, he gives in. With a hesitant Dewey now on the team, we learn the rules for the movie. In every scream movie, there’s a scene where the movie expert of the team explains the rules of the movie, in this case, that person is Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown) who is related to Randy Meeks from the original. Mindy explains that this movie is a “requel” something that has recently been popular as new movies revisit old franchises. A requel brings in new characters that are assisted by characters of old movies.
After this meeting, we jump to the house of Sheriff Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton) and her son Wes (Dylan Minnette) Sheriff Hicks was first in the 2011 film as a rookie cop. As Wes gets in the shower and Sheriff Hicks goes to get dinner we get a very original feeling scene, and what might be my favorite stretch of the movie. As Hicks drives off she gets a call from the killer who makes a reference to the famous shower scene in the “Psyco” causing Hicks to rush home as fast as possible. When she arrives at the house she rushes towards the door only for Ghostface to pop out from a bush to stab her. We then go back to Wes who heard something as he got out of the shower, after asking if his Mom was home he dismisses the sound and starts getting stuff out for dinner. We then get a very sell-aware scene that the “Scream” franchise has trademarked. As Wes gets stuff out for dinner the framing makes it so every cabinet or refrigerator he opens blocks the background setting up a traditional horror movie clique of the killer appearing as the door is shut, but Ghostface never appears. After setting the table Wes finds the front door slightly ajar, he luckily closes the door instead of looking out, but then he turns around to find Ghostface lunging at him. In my opinion, the only problem with this scene is Wes’s death, it feels like they could have done something more but it’s still effective. As the police arrive at the scene, we get the reunion of Dewey, Gale, and Sidney as they catch up and we learn about what they’ve been up to. At the crime scene Sam sees the officer that had been watching over Tara’s hospital room, she confronts him and finds out that no one is watching over Tara.
We jump to Tara as she climbs into a wheelchair to investigate the lifeless private floor she had been moved to. As she painfully wheels down the hallway she finds a security guard on the floor in a pool of blood. Richie appears as they hide in a dark room. Ghostface appears in what might be the slowest chase scene in a horror movie, including Halloween. Ghostface then calls Sam, saying that she must choose who lives and who dies, but the elevator doors open right on time as she shoots, appearing to kill Ghostface. Everyone goes to get on the elevator but Dewey, remembering the rules from the first movie, goes to finish the job. Unfortunately for Dewey, he becomes part of what might be the most gruesome on-screen death from the entire franchise. All of the characters then learn of Dewey’s death and we get a good heart to heart between Tara and Sam, as well as some conversations between Sidney, Gale, and Sam. Sam decides to leave town with Tara and Richie despite Sidney’s best efforts to convince them to stay. Right before they’re able to get out of town Tara realizes she doesn’t have her inhaler, but she has an extra at her friend Amber’s house.
Once at Amber’s they walk into a party, or as they call it a memorial for Wes, and while we’re here let’s meet the last two members of the cast. We have Chad Meeks-Martin (Mason Gooding) who is Mindy’s twin brother, and Liv McKenzie (Sonia Ben Ammar) who is Chad’s girlfriend. After a fight with Chad, Liv goes off somewhere, and we get some weird interactions between just about everyone, which helps to keep the “Scream” mantra that everyone’s a suspect. Armed with a candlestick Chad uses a find my iPhone-like app to track Liv’s location. As he gets closer to the location, his phone starts to beep faster and louder, only instead of finding Liv, he finds Ghostface. We get an ok chase sequence as Ghostface tracks down Chad, unfortunately for us, Chad is smart and throws the beeping phone as far as he can because a chase sequence with the phone beeping as the killer gets closer could be pretty cool. However, Ghostface is still able to find and stab Chad. We cut back to the party as Sam and the gang arrive and, Richie kicks everyone out of the house as Tara goes to get her inhaler. We then get some random scenes and a small appearance by Ghostface before all the remaining partygoers end up in the tv room. Some accusations get thrown around before Amber pulls a gun and shoots Liv, revealing her as the killer.
As chaos runs wild throughout the house, we cut to the front of the house as Gale and Sidney arrive. Armed and ready, they make their way towards the door before Amber stumbles out claiming she’d been stabbed, they fall for it just long enough for Amber to shoot Gale in the stomach. Now inside the house, Sidney gets a call from what is now revealed to be the second killer. Sidney starts shooting through random doors until she hits Richie who had been hiding in a closet. Ghostface appears and tackles Sidney through a railing, causing them to land stunted on the first floor. Richie hobbles down the stairs to get the gun, but Sam grabs it first and takes aim at Ghostface. Right as she’s about to shoot, Richie stabs her in the side, revealing him to be the second killer. The killers take Sam and Sidney into the kitchen along with a wounded Gale, where they explain their motive behind the killings. Sam finds a way to escape as Richie goes to get her, leaving Amber to watch Sidney and Gale. The three fight it out in the kitchen until Gale shoots Amber causing her to fall back on the lit stove. We then go back to Richie, who appears to have the upper hand on Sam, but that doesn’t last long as she creates her own rule for the movie and stabs Richie. Sam meets up with Gale and Sidney, along with Tera, as the credits begin to roll.
Although “Scream” suffers from a lack of a main character and some so-so acting from a young cast, the positives outweigh the negatives. From a mood-setting opening scene to having the final act be set in the same house as the original final act, this movie draws plenty of parallels to the original. It also stays true to itself as a self-aware horror movie that’s not afraid to spoof classic horror movie tropes. Overall, “Scream” is a fun movie and a decent addition to the franchise.