Scream 2022
Ghostface in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "Scream." Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

“Do you like scary movies?” Those infamous words have become an iconic line in movie history since the first iteration of the Scream franchise graced us some 26 years ago. Now returning for its fifth feature and bringing along with it some of its legacy characters it might just be time to pack away that ghost face mask and leave the pseudo scares dead and buried.

Sequel, requel, call it what you want but yet again the action returns us once again to the town of Woodsboro, the home of the slasher story and perfect setting for the copycat attempts that have brought notoriety to this sleepy town.  Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette all return to reprise their roles from the original movie. Enlisted by Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera) who finds herself returning to Woodsboro with boyfriend Richie (Jack Quaid) after her sister Tara (Jenna Ortega) is viciously attacked in her home.

Revealing another more on the plot would seriously cross the line of unearthing spoiler after spoiler and quite frankly, after the warning we got at the screening. I’d fear for my life right about now even If I dare attempt to go down that route.

Whilst what we have here is yet another homage to the franchises beginnings and a respectful nod to Wes Craven’s vision. It’s just a dose of seriously asinine murderous stalking and blood splattering gore that relies more on the comedy of its situation than any real jump out of your skin scares.

The life of this movie hangs dangerously on the knife-edge of its self-depreciation. Constant referrals of horror movie troupes, finger-pointing accusations and jabs at prequels, sequels and the like have their humorous moments but with anything that gets flogged to death, it begins to grate on the nerves to distraction even if it does strip bare the absurdities of toxic fandom’s and a generation of self-serving teens with a pretentious view on the so-called art of an “elevated horror”.

With all that being said, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett don’t pretend this is anything other than what it has turned out to be and for that, you can’t help but respect and admire the few surprises in twists and turns that have been injected into a flagging series of films. If anything you’ll come away laughing if nothing else.

Scream hits cinemas on January 14th.