Beware: There are some spoilers about Scream (2022) This is not a complete scene by scene direction but there will be talk about specific deaths

My favorite scary movie? Master of Disguise (Source: IMDB)

A hard legacy to uphold

Even, in my opinion, I know a lot of horror fans would agree that Ws Craven is the best horror movie director of all time. Not to disparage names like Hooper, Romero, or Carpenter, but Wes Craven is my fave horror director. He directed some underrated films like ‘The People Under the Stairs’, ‘Deadly Friend’, and ‘Shocker’ (a personal favorite). He also started not one, but two legendary slasher franchises. The main difference in one aspect between ‘Scream’ and ‘NOES’ is that Wes directed the prior four in this franchise. So many people, myself included, were a bit hesitant when Radio Silence was tasked to direct this installment.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have no issues with them as directors. In fact, I rather enjoyed ‘Ready or Not’. So with them attached, I did feel better. Plus they did say they would try to honor his legacy. And after getting a chance to see it…they did honor his legacy. It was nice to see that you can see their own touches and spin on it, but with enough there from movies past to show the love and respect.

Even for me, high school was not this scary.

There is so much good about this movie to talk about. First off we have to talk about the new cast. They all felt new without just taking the place of past tropes or characters from the other movies. To be fair, other than Jack Quaid (who I love in The Boys), I was not familiar with them as much, which worked in their favor with me. To me, it made them all feel equal in danger and made me wonder if they would survive from one attack to the next. It made for some harrowing moments, especially at the climax.

Another thing the cast was able to do was to carry the majority of the movie by themselves. With the exception of Dewey, the rest of the legacy trio was not there for a good chunk of the movie. Other than small cameos at the start, we did not see Gale until about halfway through and Sidney wasn’t even there until the third act. So with what the cast was able to do on their own, it makes me want to see them more if the powers that be decide to go ahead with further sequels.

Speaking of possible sequels, the movie was able to end in a way that makes it possible for more. On the other hand, I think that Scream can go on with no other sequels and I would be ok. With no spoilers, the movie was able to leave it open as well as to tie up any loose ends. We shall see how they go.

The first cut may be the deepest, but the rest hurt just as bad.

However, the motive behind why the killers…killed was probably the weakest out of the trilogy. There were a lot of logic leaps and plot holes to get to that point. It was almost illogical in times. It came across mainly as ‘4chan and Reddit made me do it’, which came across as something of a cop-out. And even for the killers to meet, a lot of suspending disbelief and head-scratching had to happen.

An issue I see arising for any possible future sequels is the lack of motive. Every movie had one based in movie culture, including this one. Between horror movies in general, sequels, trilogies, remakes, and now the concept of ‘re-quels’, there seems to be a lack of theories to be used without recycling. Toxic fandom was even touched on, so scratch that off the list as well.

One other big thing that held the movie back in parts was the reliance on relatives. Nearly everyone was related somehow to a character in the original ‘Scream’. It was nice to see mentions of past characters or even a few cameos of characters past, there was an overreliance of relatives. It is hard to make your own mark as original people if everyone is connected to the past. Maybe one or two would have made that more impactful, but as many as the movie had watered down that concept.

MAJOR SPOILERS! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

In the lead-up to the release of the movie, I was talking to a close friend of mine and fellow horror nerd about the big three legacy characters, Gale, Sid, and Dewey. We both agreed that one of them had to die. I forgot who he mentioned, but I did say I thought Sidney had to die. After surviving 4 movies, one or more had to die to get that unkillable aura around them. That role unfortunately had to fall on Dewey. While I had initially had picked the wrong one, the right choice was made.

Not the same man from the first (Source: Screen Rant)

Out of the three legacy characters, Dewey had the most growth and was the most three-dimensional out of all of them. Hell, you could argue that Sidney was the same character with no change, while Gale did have some minor changes. Dewey became the heart and soul of the franchise. He was a bumbling fool in the first who wasn’t even supposed to survive. By the time this installment came around, he was the antithesis of who he was. He became the most valuable one of the trio. I feel if one of the two women had died, it would not have changed feelings much. However, with Dewey sacrificing himself at the hospital, it made you think that maybe one of the other two might not make it. So in that way, Dewey had to die.

Final Thoughts

There was talk of not doing another Scream movie after the passing of Wes Craven, which I fully supported at the time. He was the glue and brought everything together, However, I was glad this was made. You could tell the directors respected Wes’s legacy and made the best movie they could. Even with the missteps the movie had, the positives far outweighed it. If this is the end, bravo. However, I would like to see more of the characters. If you are a fan of the franchise, I highly recommend this movie. If the original movie was Iron Man, this one is Avengers: Endgame.

4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)