Sunday, March 20, 2022

Scream 2022 - What worked and what didn't work

 Scream 2022 - What worked and what didn't work.

This past January the long awaited Scream 5 was released. To quickly fill you in, the Scream movies have always meant a lot to me since they were such a huge part of my childhood. In mid 1996, I'll never forget my older sister Alexis telling me that at school she heard about a movie where a girl gets stuck through a doggy door that's on a garage door, and it goes up and crushes her head. My eight year old self was fascinated. I was obsessed with horror from a young age, and always as a treat I was allowed to rent from the horror second from our local mom and pop video store. I instantly ran to my mother and told her about this movie, and a few nights later we rented Scream, and I sat back in awe. 

A few months later Scream 2 was announced and I'll never forget recording the teaser trailer that played after Scream broadcasted on cable, and how many times my sister and I watched it. In fact, that Halloween we both dressed up as ghost face. That December in 1997, my mother was cool enough to actually take my sister and I opening night to see the sequel, and she did the same in 2000 with the third. These movies were favorites of mine, and I had many great memories re-watching them with my late mother who absolutely loved them. In fact, when I was away at college in 2011, I was lucky enough to go to the midnight showing of Scream 4 (which blew me away after the rather clumsy and comedic direction part 3 went with.) 

After Wes Craven's passing, I figured that was it. He made overall 4 pretty solid slasher films, and that was that. I never watched any seasons of the MTV spinoff show, but was rather shocked when I heard rumors of a possible fifth film being made. Somehow I felt like this was sorta in bad taste since Wes was honestly the heart behind these films. With him no longer here...where could they go?

Well, back to Woodsboro...that's where.

I didn't really follow production which honestly helped me keep my standards low for this one. All I knew was who was being casted, that the original 3 were returning, and that the directors of Ready Or Not (which I felt was "okay") were taking over. Well, January came and guess what guys?


Ugh! Legit pure Hell on Earth, so it took me awhile to see it. I think instead of writing the regular lowdown on it, I'm just going to list what worked for me as a fan, and what didn't work. Mind you, I've been rewatching it, to try and understand the hype behind this film. It did great at the box-office, which means there will be a 6th. Hey, as a fan of long stretching horror series, with terrible sequels, I'm sure my ass will be there opening night to carry on my tradition I sadly had to break with this one after getting so sick.

What worked...

1). The opening - As much as I love part 4, that opening truly sucked. This one brought it back to basics, and was downright brutal. The broken ankle and blade through her hand really got me.

2) Red Right Hand returning - Ah, that iconic song we all knew so well from the original trilogy. Well, sadly it was absent in part 4, so the little Easter egg of it returning was a huge treat.

3) Some of the new characters - Sorry, this is pretty split down the middle. With every Scream we are introduced to a brand-new cast. Part 4's cast was overall pretty likable (I know there's hate on Kirby, but I didn't think she was that bad guys! Plus, gotta love that fans know she's alive...even though I really don't think the actress would return.) As for the cast, only half of them were likable in my eyes and really worked. Mikey Madison (Amber), Dylan Minnette (Wes), Jenna Ortega (Tara), Mason Gooding (Chad), and last but not least Jack Quaid (Richie). These new characters worked really well for me. I found them likable, and not annoying at all. (PS. I'm not counting Kyle Galiner (Vince) since he was barley in it.

4) The gore - It was great. I really have to hand it to the effects team. Like I mentioned earlier, even though I didn't find the kills very creative, they were truly brutal. We got knifes through necks, brains blown out, somebody gutted from both sides, blades through hands, broken bones, somebody lit on fire, and somebody stabbed 22 times and shot. Whoa!

5) Finally one of the OG trio dies - Even though Dewey was my least favorite one to go, and it crushed me to see him finally bite it (after getting stabbed how many times throughout the series?!) This made this real, and really makes things darker.

6) All of the Easter eggs for fans - There's too many to count. Vince's tattoos, the voice cameos, Stu's original get it all with this one.

What didn't work...

1) The "requel" overall idea -
I understand that the Scream movies are very self aware. Very "meta" and focuses on different aspects for each entry. This one really just didn't do it for me. Maybe it's because I HATED the 2018 Halloween. In fact, I hate whenever any movie does this. I found Mindy's overall rant about the new rules pretty cringeworthy.

2) The lead - No offense to Melissa Barrera, but I couldn't stand her character. Not one single part of her character was likable. I honestly hope they kill her off first in the opening of the 6th film. Sorry...not sorry.

3) The CGI De-aged Billy Loomis. - Even though, yes the Billy storyline wasn't that far fetched I really couldn't stop rolling my eyes when Sam is shown having visions of her father...yet looking exactly as he did the night he was killed (how would she know what he exactly looked like?) Also my eyeballs almost rolled out of my head during the scene where Sam is crawling on the floor, and Billy motions to where a knife is, and smirks at her. Then at the end her looking at his reflection and smiling. Fans can argue that this was all Sam since it was part of her visions in her head...but I'm sorry, I'm not buying it. I call total bullshit. They yet again were trying to do fan service and took this piece of shit character, who was a truly awful human being and tried to make him the good guy? thanks. You killed Drew. You're dead to me. If they bring back Stu in the next one, stick a fork in me...I'll be done.

4) The killer's motive - This was hands down the weakest motive to date for the killers. Now I had no problem with Richie and Amber being the killers, but the reasons why they are doing everything was so stupid it honestly ruined the movie for me. In fact it made Mickey's blame the movies motive actually sound pretty good.

5) The massive amount of cringe from Sid and Gale - I talked about this with a friend, and the two of us agreed that Sid and Gale in act 3 legit gave the worst performances these two actresses have ever gave. Just so many cringey lines and moments. "You ready for this?" "This? Never." "You want the honors?" ect. Just everything about them in the last act got under my skin.

Overall I would give Scream 2 stars. It tried hard, but just didn't fill the shoes Wes left behind. I did like that the film was dedicated to him through, which really warmed my heart.

Still, go check it out ASAP. Trust me, my ass will be there opening night for part 6.