#Review: Scream

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What’s your favourite scary movie? If you grew up in the 90s it might just be the horror Scream which subverted the genre and created its own identity within it. Now 26 years on and several sequels of varying success a crop of new pretty teen heads are on the chopping block in Scream.

This latest story follows Sam (Melissa Barrera) who heads back to Woodsboro after her estranged sister is almost killed by a new Ghostface. The reason for this Ghostface’s appearance is quite an intimate one for Sam and she will have to confront her past to beat this latest individual who has taken on the mantle of the infamous Ghostface.

Scream revisits the past while trying to tell a compelling present

Scream is a strange film. There is a lot of connections with this in the previous films. It actually feels more like a long-running series on the CW rather than a cinematic story. Now that the older characters have moved on we’re introduced to a new group of teens and they’re not as engaging as some of the wild characters we’ve met in previous entries. There is no over the top Stu Macher with his tongue hanging out like some kind of cartoonish monster. Though there are decent death scenes there are only a few that merit note.

Thankfully highlights of the film include David Arquette who reprises his longstanding role as Dewey. He is to me the best character in the whole film. Arquette is giving it his all and brings a lot of emotion with him with his interactions with the new cast as well the history he has with Neve Campbell’s Sidney and Courteney Cox’s Gale.

Along with him is Jack Quaid who plays Richie. Richie is Sam’s boyfriend and he is new to the world of Woodsboro and its checkered history. Watching him learn the rules and try to stay alive is easily one of the most enjoyable parts of the film. I may be biased though with the fact that Quaid is still channelling that Hughie energy from The Boys as well as that Boimler (Star Trek: Lower Decks) scream whenever he’s scared.

I wish I could say the same though for Sidney and Gale who feel like extended cameos more than characters in this film. They arrive into the film at a certain point and it feels somewhat forced which is a shame. Not only that the film telegraphs everything. In the previous films, there was smart writing and foreshadowing that helped astute observers possibly figure out the killer. In this latest entry, it feels far more amateurish.

This may have to do with the fact that original writer Kevin Williamson is not onboard for the writing duties. It’s a similar reason why I thought the third entry of Scream wasn’t as good because, in my opinion, Williamson knows these characters and this world they live in better than anyone.

Ultimately Scream is a mixed bag, there were elements that I genuinely enjoyed. They involved the majority of the kills, one in particular in a hospital and some of the cast rising above the rest. Sadly though the writing just isn’t there a lot of time. It feels forced compared to previous films.

Scream is a lot of fun for hardcore fans of the franchise but for anyone else it may be a miss at the cinemas. Stay tuned to Scannain for more news, reviews and interviews.