Scream 5: The Best Since The Original

Hannah Hughes ‘21 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

It has been eleven years since the release of Scream 4, the last installment in the Scream franchise, and although it was a solid entry in the series, none of the sequels have come close to capturing the magic of the original 1996 film. Until now. 

 Scream was and is one of the most important films in the history of the horror genre, as it served as a revitalization of the slasher genre after they skyrocketed in popularity in the 1980s. The fact the film used its self-awareness to its advantage made it a treat for both new and seasoned fans of the genre. 

The past three sequels proved to be entertaining, but really lacked the je ne sais quois that made the first Scream such a big hit. And with Wes Craven (the original director of Scream 1-4) passing in 2015, it seemed like Ghostface had finally retired. But this was not the case!

Many fans were extremely skeptical about the release of Scream 5, as it would be the first film without Craven at the helm. However, the film honors his legacy in the best ways possible, with lots of blood, lots of kills, and plenty of references to the original. 

The appreciation for the 1996 film is apparent throughout the entirety of Scream 5, from the dialogue, to the various settings, to small details, like the score and soundtrack. Sometimes in the past, the sequels felt as if they buried the origins of the story in the first place.  This film brought them to the forefront, making it clear that its intentions were to build upon the strong foundation that Wes Craven has created. 

As much as the movie was filled with these references, the plot, as well as the new characters, were able to stand up on their own. Although it is great to see our “core three”, which consists of Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox), Dewey Riley (David Arquette), and Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) reprise their roles, it is clear that they are no longer meant to be our focus. They are there to support and “pass the torch” to our new cast of characters, which have become Ghostface’s latest obsession.

Photo courtesy of Hello Sidney.

These characters are likable, particularly because they are so reminiscent of our original cast. At times, their dialogue misses the mark but each of their personalities are so unique and entertaining, it makes up for it. They keep the audience engaged and guessing, because any one of them could be Ghostface. 

At the core of our new characters we have two sisters: Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega). Having such a strong sisterly relationship at the center of this movie is something that is new, but strengthens the film and ties it all together. Ortega gives one of the best performances of her career. Although Barrera’s Sam takes a little time to warm up to, her portrayal of Sam is layered, raw, and real.

Photo courtesy of Polygon.

Scream 5 is truly what the original 1996 Scream would look like if it was made today. It takes all that was great about the first film and brings it into the modern era for an entirely new generation to enjoy. It has proved that the franchise has got its groove back, and Wes Craven himself would be proud of the latest installment in a series he worked so very hard to create and maintain. 

So if you’re up for a little scare, go see Scream 5 in theaters now! You’ll laugh, jump out of your seat, and be hooked until the very end, because as Randy Meeks once said, “Everybody’s a suspect!”

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