Scream (2022) a “Requel” to Stand the Test of Time!

Image acquired from All rights reserved to Paramount Pictures.

Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett

Starring: Jenna Ortega, Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, Melissa Barrera, David Arquette, Dylan Minnette and Jack Quaid

As a horror movie fan, I think that Scream (2022) was brilliant. I left the theatre thinking about the characters and being satisfied with the execution of the project. That brought me to the question of why I thought this movie was so good, when there have been many good horror movies in the past 10 years or so. Because at surface level, there really is nothing special about this movie, it has an interesting plot and crazy kills, which can be said about many modern day horror movies. In reality, the answer to this question lies in past horror movies and what makes them so great.

Have there actually been any good horror movies lately? Although the 2010’s brought horror movies such as It Follows, The Conjuring, and Hereditary, modern day horror movies have either been fueled by jump scares and terror or slasher stories and comedy, no movies have had the perfect combination of these factors such as they did in the 80s and 90s. Movies like Child’s Play, The Shining, and Halloween, had scary villains that terrorized the audience but also had good slasher mysteries and comedy to lighten the audience from thinking too deeply about what they were actually witnessing. If modern day horror movies cannot bring back the originality of horror movies made by film legends such as Wes Craven and Stanley Kubrick, then the next logical step would be to make remakes of original horror movies. At first there were many unsuccessful attempts, such as Friday the 13th (2009) and later Pet Sematary (2019) who just played off the original story and made a few changes to make it more modern. Then came along Halloween (2018). Although Halloween didn’t have the greatest movie reviews, it set up the perfect story structure of having a similar horror story occurring in the same setting, but this time with new modern characters who are connected to the originals, and also having the original characters, such as Laurie Strode played by Jamie Lee Curtis, be an integral part of the new story. This new structure is a combination of a remake and a sequel, or as it is called in Scream (2022), a “requel”. These movies satisfy the fans of the original by having callbacks to the original movie that will make the fans remember their favorite scenes, but also taking new twists and turns on the classic story. Although Halloween (2018) got mediocre reviews, it set up a structure that Scream (2022) executes almost perfectly. 

Scream (2022) was the perfect “requel”. At first, I was worried about whether or not the movie was going to live up to the legacy of the first Scream (1996). Then I found out that it was going to be directed by Miles Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who also directed one of the best modern horror films, Ready or Not (2019) and I felt more reassured about the film. Ready or Not (2019) had the perfect combination of the original horror movies, with an original story, crazy kills, and of course, comedy. The films made by Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillet remind me of my favorite original horror movies such as American Psycho (2000) and Scream (1996) by including psychotic villains that you can’t help but laugh at with a sick sense of humor. Scream (2022) lived up to be the perfect “requel”. It starts when Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega), a Highschool student from Woodsboro California, is brutally attacked by a person wearing a ghost face mask, which causes her estranged sister Sam (Mellissa Barrera), to come back to Woodsboro with her boyfriend, Kirsch (Jack Quaid). When more attacks start occurring by the new ghost face, Sam alerts Dewey (David Arquette), a police officer from the original, that these attacks are happening again. Dewey tells Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) and the original final girl, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) which causes them to come back to Woodsboro and help Tara’s friends find out who is behind these new attacks. One of the best parts of the original Scream was its direct callback to other horror movies and talking about the scenarios occurring in movies such as Halloween (1978), not realizing that these very same things are happening in their world. Scream (2022) does this perfectly again, with referencing a horror movie called “Stab” that was made based off of the original story of Sidney Prescott. With scenes that have direct correlation to shots from the original movie, casual fourth wall breaks, and referencing to the iconic “rules of horror movies”, Scream lives up to its legacy of the original. It shows an original new modern story off of the 90s movie and pays legacy to the late Wes Craven. With creative kills, laughs, and shocking twists, Scream (2022) shows how to make a perfect “requel”.