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What Critics Are Saying About the New Scream

It's just what you've come to expect—though 'blunter' and 'bloodier'
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2022 12:02 PM CST

(Newser) – Ghostface is back in fictional Woodsboro, Calif.—and on the big screen—in Scream, the latest flick in the long-running horror series and the first not directed by the late Wes Craven. Following 2011's Scream 4, the film introduces itself as a "requel"—meaning sequel and reboot in one—with Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox resuming their roles alongside newcomers Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, and others. Here's what critics are saying:

  • It has the same basic template of the previous movies and "turns out to be a great deal of fun, cleverly wedding familiar faces with new stars in what ... plays like a refresh," writes CNN's Brian Lowry. The film pokes fun at Ghostface's 25-year history with the audience while bringing "a level of every-detail-counts earnestness" along with "the requisite gore by the bucket," Lowry writes, concluding "it should possess a healthy shelf life."

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  • "Blunter" and "bloodier" than its predecessors, the film has "much to say about the state of the industry, from juicy debates about the notion of 'elevated horror' vs. retro schlock, as well as the tendency to constantly reboot and remake," writes Katie Walsh of the Tribune News Service. "Once again, Scream is telling it like it is." Though there's "not enough time or space to fully develop everyone's personal motivations," Quaid "steals the show," she adds. "You'll be glad Ghostface picked up the knife one more time."

  • Jake Coyle at the AP sees "a solid young cast" but little else. Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (Ready or Not) "don't offer up much reason for a retread beside some kitschy killer nostalgia, more fun with phones and enough self-mocking irony to almost distract from how thin the movie is," he writes. It "proceeds with a dull repetitiveness" and mostly "captures the horror being trapped inside a never-ending loop."

  • The Washington Post's Michael O'Sullivan, who panned Scream 4 as more of the same, wasn't feeling it either. "Try as it might—and oh how it tries, mightily—to be a 'meta-slasher whodunit,' as one of the high school crews puts it, this Scream feels less like a movie than a podcast about a movie, one hosted by a claque of irritating, smarty-pants commentators who don't know when to shut up." Ultimately, it suffers from "toxic fandom"—"fatally."
(Read more movie review stories.)

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