Back in 1996 when Wes Craven released the first of his iconic and highly successful horror franchise, no one thought it would be as influential as it ended up being. Cited as the main film to revitalise the slasher genre. Scream made over $173 million, more than any slasher film until 2018’s Halloween. Pretty good going for a first in its series horror film!
Now after 25 years and with the release of the fifth instalment, much has changed with Scream 5 not just being a one-off popcorn flick slasher like its first incarnation, but instead a further chapter in of one of the most successful and best loved horror film franchises of all time.
Scream itself was loosely based on the real-life murders of the Gainesville Ripper, an idea the franchise leans into heavily with pretty much all of the films. The series and story also links to the world of real life movie producing and with its ‘in movie’ parodic film franchise ‘Stab’, as lead character Sidney Prescot desperately tries to escape the attempts on her life by the mysterious ‘Ghost face’ killer.
Following a ‘Who dun it’ format, each film has the audience questioning who the killer is with even the lead Sidney being a viable suspect at one time or another throughout the films. No one is safe in these movies and Scream loves to show you the killing of old and new characters in very gruesome and creative sequences.
The series also provides a satirical commentary on the formulaic structure and tropes of the genre as each movie tackles its respected place in the franchise, eg; the original discusses the rules of a slasher, the sequel uses the laws of a sequel, the third, the rules of a trilogy, the forth, remakes and so on and so on. This is one of the things that makes these films so good as they do ‘self-aware’ better than almost any horror franchise I have ever seen.
The latest in the series takes on the most recent fad in movie making known as the ‘Requel’. A requel is where a franchise revisits the original subject material with new characters but also continues where the last film left off including the return of key players to the story. Highly successful examples of this type of storytelling have been the latest Star Wars movies, Ghostbusters, Cobra Kai and the Star Trek films. Often these movies will drop the number in the series and return to the original title, hence Scream 5 is called ‘Scream’.
One of the things that brings the fans back to these movies is the characters. The main cast, as vulnerable as they are to a knife in the gut, have been brilliantly developed over the past 25 years. Their likeability and flaws make them so watchable and loved by the fans worldwide and you sit on the edge of your seat hoping you don’t lose another one in each adventure.
If it’s Dewy and Gales ‘Will they? Won’t they?’ relationship or Randy’s ironic commentary criticising characters actions like going down into the abandoned basement alone along with saying “I’ll be right back!”. These characters have allowed the franchise to flourish and always remain fresh for new audiences to enjoy.
Scream has seemingly done the impossible by pretty much following the exact same format with the same characters for five movies, while never getting monotonous or repetitive and the fifth installment continues in that stead.
I can’t wait for the day when I can show my own Teenagers ‘Scream 12’ and the potential “Ghost face” stories, long after the demise of Sidney Prescot.
Does Sidney die in Scream 5? Or is she the killer this time? You’ll have to watch the latest movie to find out – we’re saying nothing.
Anything is possible in the Scream franchise and that’s what makes it the best horror movie series of all time!!!
Available Now to Download and keep and on DVD, Blu-Ray and 4K 11/4/22 (18) 4 Stars
Youth #Gottit View:
If you love the Scream movies you are in for a real treat. This is the greatest Horror Franchise of all time with every film worth watching. Highly Recommended!!!
Scream 1-4 available on DVD, Blu-Ray, 4K and Digital Download!!!