Scream franchise returns to screens


Sophia Sanchez

On January 14, Ghost Face came back with Scream 5 bringing a new cast and some familiar old faces. Directed by Tyler Gillet and produced by James Vanderbilt and Paul Neinstein, Scream 5 adds on to the seemingly ended franchise. 

Sophia Sanchez, Staff Writer

Once again, people’s “favorite scary movie” returns to the screen. 

Scream was released on December 20, 1996, and quickly gained popularity. Directed by Wes Craven, the almost comically gory movie broke barriers within the thriller movie industry. What really stuck out was the fact that Ghost Face, the killer, was a teenager just like the rest of the cast. He was not some wizard or make-believe story, just a crazy kid with a knife and mask.

On January 14, Ghost Face came back with Scream 5 bringing a new cast and some familiar old faces. Directed by Tyler Gillet and produced by James Vanderbilt and Paul Neinstein, Scream 5 adds on to the seemingly ended franchise. 

Scream 5 begins eleven years after the events of Scream 4. The first scene repeats the sequence of all the Scream movies introducing the main character, Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) who is home alone and receives a phone call. Assuming it was her best friend, Amber Freeman (Mikey Madison), she is met with a surprise when it turns out to be Ghost Face is ready with his question “what’s your favorite scary movie”. Tara answered with “Stab” which is basically the Scream franchise in their world, also involving ghost face. Of course, the unsuspecting Tara is attacked but fortunately survives. Her attack brought her seemingly deadbeat sister, Sam (Mellisa Barrera), and Sam’s boyfriend, Kirsh (Jack Quaid) into Woodsboro. After Sam is attacked, her goal was to find the person responsible for her sister’s attack. Interviewing Taras’s friends made her warier, and so she teams up with Officer Dewy Riley (David Arquette) to track down the killer and get her sister away from the town. When Taras’s close friend Wes Hicks (Dylan Minnette) dies, reporter Gale Weather (Courtney Cox) and Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell) return to Woodsboro. With the old gang back together and a killer on the loose, Sam and her sister struggle to make it out alive. 

As soon as I heard yet another Scream movie was coming out I immediately bought tickets to the nearest movie theater near me. I think these movies are in the best way dumb; The acting, the effects, and the whole storyline are always over the top. I was surprised that the similarities between Scream 5 and the original are almost identical. The characters were always bringing up the first Stab movie which is a replica of the first Scream movie (in their world), making the original cast celebrities of the town. It was an indirect way for the characters to bring up the original plot of Scream. 

As much as I enjoyed the movie, I couldn’t help but feel a bit underwhelmed with the plotline. If you aren’t familiar with the Scream franchise there is always a twist concerning who the killer is. Usually, they are pretty obvious to whom the killer or killers are but the first two movies at least kept the audience guessing. With Scream 5, there was a point in the movie where they directly pointed out who the killer was. I won’t say who they were, but of course, they didn’t admit to it but it was so painfully obvious that I wasn’t even surprised when they were revealed at the end. The suspense was dead. The fact that Tara had a decently sized friend group made it more mysterious at first when Sam was interrogating them. But very quickly most characters were scratched off the killer’s list and pushed aside.

That’s another thing: the side characters. In most of the Scream movies the writers give most side characters some depth. They give them character traits that make them likable or dislikeable to the audience. They make them actually people. Most of the time I have some sort of connection to the side characters because of their personality. However the new characters don’t even seem real. I honestly blame the time gap between Scream 4 and Scream 5 for this. A new teen generation has come up and now movie industries are trying to keep up with trends. Some of the characters in here seem so stereotypical that they don’t even seem real. Tara’s conversations with her friends are so stiff in some parts it’s almost like the actors too can not take them seriously. For example, at the beginning of the movie Tara’s friends are together at the school talking about who they think her attacker was. Her friend Chad (Mason Goodwing) is supposedly the dumb jock of the group and his girlfriend Liv (Sonia Ammar) is honestly a mystery. I think the only personality trait they gave her was that she liked to scream and run off. Their relationship is rocky, but wow, this friend group seems to hate each other. They’re awkward and always throwing insults at one another. I feel like almost all of the teenager characters are all written on the ‘I hate everyone’ teenager stereotype. I wish they gave a little more time to work on the characters personality a bit more but I do believe the casting was good.

I honestly really did enjoy this movie. It was funny, and the camera work was amazing. For the fifth movie of this franchise I was thoroughly impressed that they even made it this far, and managed to keep the movie interesting. Scream has always been one of my favorite thriller movies and I’m glad to see that the entire crew really did put effort into making it entertaining.