Movie Reviews

Scream 5 Is Changing One Major Aspect of the Franchise

Wes Craven’s original Scream movie is considered a classic of the meta-horror genre, where the movie plays with the audience’s expectations of a typical slasher film. One of the most famous meta-commentary scenes from Scream has a character spell out the rules of a slasher flick according to which the story’s character’s can or should be murdered. During a virtual interview, co-writer, and producer of the upcoming Scream 5, Kevin Williamson, explained how the newest entry in the franchise will differ from previous Scream movies with regards to such meta-textual moments.

“[The new rules are] no deconstruction. No self-awareness. Just do the opposite of what we did. I do worry that the franchise kind of wears itself out with all the meta and the deconstruction and there’s only so many times you can [do this]. So many people have since then done horror films like it, or in the vein of. So you kind of worry that it’s run its course.”

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As Williamson points out, while the original Scream’s meta-narrative was something new and refreshing at the time of its release, in the decades since many new slasher movies have taken the same approach. One of the most prominent examples is the 2011 horror-comedy The Cabin in the Woods. According to Williamson, Scream 5 will depart from its meta legacy by committing fully to the horror without any winking nods to the audience in the middle of a scene.

“What I love about the new Scream is that it does take a fresh approach. It’s this beautiful sort of fresh new movie, but it also has this nostalgic factor that runs through it. That to me was a perfect blend of how to do the next Scream. So that was what I was most excited about. I’m blown away by the directors, and I was really nervous because nobody is Wes Craven. I was really hesitant to even jump on board and be a part of it, and boy am I glad I did because I think it’s going to make Wes proud.”

Much like Williamson, Neve Campbell, who will be reprising her iconic role as Sidney Prescott, was also hesitant about coming back to the franchise without the guiding hand of Wes Craven in charge of the proceedings. It took a letter from the new directors to convince Campbell that Scream 5 will honor the spirit of Craven’s original movie.

“I had been really apprehensive about doing one of these films without Wes. The directors actually sent me a letter when the offer was sent and said the reason they are directors is because of Wes. So they’re even so honoured to even be asked to make this film, and that they’re such huge fans of him and the films themselves, and of the cast, and that they really wanted to honor his voice, which I really, really believe they did.”

Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, Scream 5 stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Dylan Minnette, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Melissa Barrera, and Jenna Ortega. The film is scheduled to arrive in theaters on January 14, 2022.

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Neeraj Chand

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