Twenty-five years ago, the sound of a heartbeat – a ringing telephone – and a woman screaming, started, what has become a popular and enduring franchise. As of the writing of this post, the Scream franchise has produced five films, one television series, and countless imitators; some of which have actually been entertaining. The opening scene of “Scream” (2022), pays homage to the first scene of the original 1996 “Scream” film. Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega), is a teenage girl, who is at home alone. Her mother is out of town at a medical conference, and her sister Sam (Melissa Barrera), doesn’t live at home. While texting with her friend Amber (Mickey Madison), the landline to the house begins to ring. Unlike the original film, the landline is not something that teenagers often utilize, so Tara continues to text with Amber, but the persistent ringing of the landline begins to annoy her. Tara answers the phone. The caller, a man named Charlie, wants to talk to her sister. He claims to have heard a number of things about Tara from Sam, during their AA meetings, which he lets slip. The conversation is cordial at first, but soon descends into, what will be for Tara, a fight for her survival. Tara is given an ultimatum, play movie trivia pertaining to horror films, and get the answers correct, or both she and Amber will be killed. The security system to the house is faltering, as the deranged person on the phone is attempting to get inside. As it turns out, Tara wasn’t texting with her friend, the would be intruder, had cloned Amber’s phone.
Tara survives the attack, and is recovering in the hospital. The next day at school, her tight knit circle of friends: the aforementioned Amber, Wes (Dylan Minnette), Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown), Chad (Mason Gooding), and Liz (Sonia Ammar), discuss what happened to Tara. Wes, contacts Sam, who immediately returns to Woodsboro, with her boyfriend, Richie (Jack Quaid). Sam is all too familiar with the sordid history of her hometown, and she wants to make sure, that Ghostface won’t have another opprtunity to try and kill her sister.
Along with Richie, Sam goes to see the former Sheriff, Dewey Riley, played by David Arquette (High Heel). He is living by himself, in a trailer, and is drinking heavily. The only enjoyment he seemingly gets is watching his ex-wife, media star, Gale Weathers, portrayed by Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Courtney Cox (Cougar Town), when she is live on air, during the morning news, being broadcast from New York. Dewey listens to what Sam has to say, but after being a survivor of a number of attacks by people taking on the persona of Ghostface throughout the years, he’s hesitant to get involved. When Sam and Ritchie leave, however, he texts Gale to let her know that the Ghostface killer is back. He next contacts divorced mother of three, the heroine of the Scream franchise, Sydney Prescott. The part is acted by Neve Campbell (House of Cards). Within a short period of time, Dewey, Gale, and Sydney, will once again converge in Woodsboro to try and stop Ghostface.
Who is Ghostface this time? What are the motivations behind the killings? Can Ghostface be stopped? How many people will die in order to stop the killer? Is there a link between the current killings, and those that took place in the past? All of those questions and more will be answered by the film’s conclusion.
Trivia buffs take note: Voice actor Roger L. Jackson, has voiced the character of Ghostface on the phone, in all of the Scream films. This is the first of the five films in the series not to be directed by the late Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street). The film is dedicated to Craven, and the character Wes was named for him. Matthew Lillard (Bosch), and Golden Globe winner Drew Barrymore (Grey Gardens), who were both in the original “Scream,” have speaking cameos in the film. The working title of the movie, in order to keep fans and the paparazzi away was called “Parkside Alpha.” This was the first Scream film not to be scored by two time Oscar nominee and Emmy Winner Marco Beltrami (Free Solo). The third Scream film to be set in the town of Woodsboro.
“Scream” (2022) was co-directed by Matt Bettinelli – Olpin (VHS), and Tyler Gillett (Ready or Not). The screenplay was co-written by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac), andGuy Busick (Castle Rock); based on characters created by Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries). The film was released on January 12, 2022 in multiple countries, which included, but was not limited to, France and Switzerland. Parts horror, mystery, and thriller, the movie has a runtime of 114 minutes.
The film held my interest from start to finish. As a fan of the franchise, I appreciated that the filmmakers decided to pay homage to the now iconic opening scene from the original Scream film, which featured Drew Barrymore as Casey Becker. I am also glad that since 1996, the Scream films have been produced at a faster pace than some other franchises, which shall remain nameless, but whose actors look so beyond the age of the role they’re playing, that it comes across as a bit ridiculous. Yes – Arquette, Campbell, and Cox, are older in the film, but they don’t look like they left the nursing home to come back and help save their hometown. The plot behind “Scream” (2022) was interesting, and although I had my suspicions early on, as to who the killer might be, it kept me guessing until the end. On February 3, 2022, Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media confirmed that there will be a “Scream 6;” it begins filming this summer, in Montreal, Canada. As of the writing of this post “Scream” (2022) is available to rent or purchase on Amazon Prime, and will be available to buy on Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on April 5.