After 11 years since Scream 4 was released, a new film in the franchise returns with (as expected) more murder and more mayhem.
The latest edition to the franchise is one of the best of the franchise – and hopefully the last.
There’s a lot to appreciate in Scream 5. It’s probably the cleverest and funniest instalment since the original, and Scream fans will have no choice but to appreciate and love it.
While it’s the first in the film series that isn’t directed by Wes Craven – who directed the previous four films – due to his death in 2015, the film does not stray far from the plot and the characters, something fans of the series love. What makes it even better for the original fans, this latest release is very in line with its predecessors. It certainly seems as though Wes was there in spirit during the making of the film.
Set in Woodsboro, Ghostface once again returns as the masked killer terrorizes the town again, 11 years after the events of Scream 4. The film opens with the classic Scream scene, a young girl Tara (played by Jenna Ortega) answering the phone and speaking to the killer without realising, before she is quizzed and attacked. This time, however, the girl survives, bringing her sister – and a main character we become familiar with, Sam (Melissa Barerra), back to town.
Jenna Ortega is particularly excellent in her role, and her character, Tara, is likeable and memorable. For me, she steals the show compared to the other new characters, who, although well-played, were not as stand out as our original cast.
The return of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Dewey Riley (David Arquette) is sure to delight fans, but thankfully the storyline doesn’t completely rely on their return, else this film may seem like every other.
As usual, the fifth Scream film is self-aware, poking fun of the entire genre, as well as its own franchise. This is something that makes the film even more enjoyable. The premise it’s based on (and by extension the social commentary) is also very relevant and quite engrossing, if a bit unsubtle. Then again, aren’t all Scream films?
However, with four other Scream films, it’s bound to become predictable. Despite the constant, exhausting attempts of the script to surprise audiences, the outcome is the same as always, and the killers are exactly who you’d expect them to be. If you don’t love the other Scream films – or at least the original – then it’s very unlikely you’ll like this one.
As with the others, many scenes are completely unlikely, and in some cases frustratingly so. Too many people act in ridiculously stupid, cliché ways, and too many people survive attacks with very little consequence, to the extent that some scenes turn the film becomes a comedy that nobody’s laughing at. In fact, with such a full cast, some more on-screen deaths would probably have been a relief to the audience.
It’s entertaining, that’s for sure, but its by no means a triumph. After seeing this film, I’m 100% convinced that there’s no way to make another successful Scream film that’s refreshing or unpredictable, and because of that, it’s time to let the Scream franchise end.