Scream 5 is a modern-day continuation of the popular ’90s Wes Craven slasher series. With a mixed cast of new faces (Melissa Barrera, Jenny Ortega, Dylan Minnette) and familiar ones (David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox), Scream 5 manages to blend nostalgia with a fresh twist.
In terms of production, Scream 5 is not a movie to write home about. It is not particularly creative or aesthetically appealing when it comes to visuals. The editing is relatively straightforward, at times choppy, and even manages to weaken most of the jump-scares. This is a disappointing reality of Scream 5, which heavily impacts the story’s tension. Overall, the film proves to be less a horror movie and more of a comedy.
Scream is known for its comedic self-awareness, and Scream 5 succeeded in achieving this witty, dark sense of humor. This element of writing was enjoyable and was definitely the film’s strong suit. Without its comedic elements, Scream 5 would be another forgettable, cliche horror film. While the original Scream was meta in such a way that poked fun at teen horror movies, Scream 5 is meta in a way that criticizes itself for the many reboots of a well-loved series. There were a fair amount of jokes that shed light on the ridiculousness of the film and its worn-out nature as a fifth reboot/sequel. This sense of humor was charming and made the film much more digestible, knowing that it does not take itself too seriously. This was successful writing, seeing as the audience did much more laughing than screaming.
Scattered throughout the film are many easter eggs for horror fans and original Scream fans to find and appreciate. This attention to detail was fun and served as a subtle ode to the original film’s own easter eggs hidden throughout. On top of these details, the original actors gave Scream fans precisely what they wanted.
In terms of acting, none of the performances were particularly outstanding. However, the original cast seemingly stole the show due to the excitement of nostalgia and familiarity. Yet, a couple of honorable mentions include Jack Quaid as Richie Kirsch and Jasmin Savoy Brown as Mindy Meeks-Martin. Both roles served a comedic purpose, and both actors brought this purpose to fruition well. When either of these actors was on camera, they seemingly stole the audience’s attention due to sheer personality and presence.
On the other hand, the worst performances were from Melissa Barrera as Sam Carpenter and Sonia Ammar as Liv McKenzie. These two were largely forgettable characters based solely on their performances. Neither were believable, likable, or memorable in any way. This was a huge letdown considering both roles were intended to be very significant to the storyline, especially Melissa Barrera as the lead. In all honesty, the acting was cringe-worthy throughout. If recast, the film could have been executed much more effectively.
I will keep this thought short and to the point to avoid any spoilers. The ending was fairly predictable and unsatisfying. In large part, the success of Scream is the mystery of Ghostface, the person or persons behind the mask. The build-up of the mystery was present, but none of the potential suspects were nearly as convincing or clever as the original. This made for a Scream movie that missed a huge element of the franchise’s interactive tension with dead ends, twists, and turns. Unfortunately, the iconic reveal scene was lackluster, uninspired, and erratic.
While I only gave this film a 2.5 out of 5 stars, it can still be quite an entertaining watch. It is not meant for anyone looking for a thrilling bloodbath or a refined, elevated horror. Rather, it is made for those who have faithfully seen the entirety of the Scream franchise and are satisfied with cheesy teen slashers.