Are You Ready to “Scream” Again?

Paramount Pictures

Can it be January already? I love this time of year, but I’m not sure if I can wait that long for this film. I just hope my excitement isn’t all for not.

The upcoming Paramount Pictures film “Scream”, looks more brutal than ever before, but certainly knows how to tease a mystery. Both of those things certainly could work in its favor, and for now, are making me far more excited for this film than I was expecting to be. I feel like that alone is a huge positive step.

It’s been a decade since the last film in this franchise, which, upon further reflection, has definitely aged and been received better than when it originally came out. Which brings us here, more or less. Long in production and talked about, but still unclear if it was really needed, “Scream 5” (which it’s not called but should’ve been), is finally ready to come out. However, there remain two main questions to answer, but the more important one is: What’s this film going to say? For that one, much more than the one about who the killer is and what’s the motivation, if the answer isn’t solid, people may very well riot.

“I’m Sidney Prescott, of course I have a gun”.

Okay, so I’ll just say it, which may not be fair as the other trailers may have had this same weakness: Is this one too spoiler-y with the kills and those who will be attacked? On some level I don’t feel like it is. Of course characters are going to die, that’s a given. So, including some in the trailer isn’t out of nowhere, but even in the quick montage-like nature of the tail end of the new trailer, it feels like there’s a lot being given away. Since I’ve now seen it at least three times, I’m hoping that’s enough and I can move on with life until there’s a second one and a whole lot of TV spots.

Speaking of moving on, time to dive into what’s important with this upcoming film, which again, I’m really excited about. I know a lot of people are championing the directors, and have been for some time, but I can’t. I’ve not seen the film that has so many excited for their involvement in this one, so I guess it’s time to fix that. That’s one area I’m still skeptical on.

Outside of that, what has me asking questions, and hopefully not over analyzing the trailer (as I hate doing some kind of frame by frame review), is what this film will do. What’s it going to say? This one doesn’t seem to have a clear message like “Scream 4” did right out of the gate. The past has always been a theme in this franchise, so I don’t feel like that counts. It’ll clearly be important, but that’s for when the killer is finally revealed, which, of course, is one of the questions. However, I’m more intrigued by a different question, which is probably more important than who the killer is. Yes, it’s also linked to the killer as it’ll be part of the motivation of the character(s?), but it explains why the studio wanted to do another film in this aging franchise at all. What’s bringing someone new out into the world? Why are they obsessed with starting a new kind of terror? Hopefully this film acknowledges the events of the previous film, but even if they skip some things, that’s still an important question that will need a good answer. If not that, a satisfactory one.

Which, before I go, I must admit something. I went back and watched all the trailers for the previous films and have an answer of a certain sort, but now I have more questions. Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott has always been at the center, but somehow with this trailer, even though, of course she’s in it and is involving herself in the investigation (how could she not?) as opposed to staying away, why does it feel like it’s not about her? It probably is, but just the way the trailer is cut, compared to the others, she’s not really a focus. Are the writers changing things up a lot, and this is just one of the ways they’re doing so? And, going hand in hand with what this film will say from a commentary standpoint, where are the rules? What are they? They’re vaguely referenced, but there’s nothing clear about this film’s aim. The previous films have been very heavy with commentary on film as a whole, not just horror films. This trailer seems to leave that up in the air. Is that something that they’re going to move away from and keep it just a mystery with brutal deaths and a linkage to the events from the past 25 years? I’m also curious about how life in Woodsboro has moved forward. Another 10 years or so has passed, and the excellent “Scream 4” really set up something new and refreshing with regards to the infamous murders. I’m mostly concerned that somehow all that work will effectively be erased or worse. It’s becoming a novel concept to ignore the events of previous films in order to create a new franchise and revitalize that which is getting up there in age.

While there’s a lot of time left until this film debuts and a lot of questions, for now, I’ll just take what I’ve been given. All of these things are clearly going to keep me interested, so I’ll try and remain optimistic. Fingers crossed.

Teaser Poster:

Paramount Pictures

Expected Release: Jan. 14, 2022

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett

Writers: James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick

Starring: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Melissa Barrera, Kyle Gallner, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Dylan Minnette, Jenny Ortega, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Jasmin Savoy Brown and Sonia Ammar

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