Scream 5 is days away from opening on screens. With that, I thought I’d give my take on the Scream franchise so far. Yes, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST 4 MOVIES!
This was a love letter to the horror geek, mostly embodied by Randy, who lets everyone know the rules to surviving a horror movie. There’s the reverence for Jamie Lee Curtis, Linda Blair’s cameo as a reporter, Wes Craven’s cameo as the janitor wearing the Freddy outfit, Tatum’s mistake of referencing horror director “Wes Carpenter.” It was a good time, a near perfect film.
The only issue I really had with the film was with the obvious killer being Billy. The only thing that really throws you off of Billy being the killer is that it’s just too obvious, and you don’t think they’d make it that easy to guess. I know the voice was played by an actor (Roger Jackson) who is not one of the main cast, but, when I first heard the voice after being introduced to the teens, I remember thinking – that’s the boyfriend’s voice. When the killer calls Sidney and she thinks it’s Randy doing something sexy with his voice, I thought – why wouldn’t she think it’s Billy? It sounds just like him. Oh, they are trying to throw us off. There was a point in the movie where I no longer thought Billy was the killer – again, that’s just because I thought they made it so obvious. Was that the intent?
Overall, though, the movie was well-executed and lots of fun. It opened the door for studios and major actors to take a chance on horror. It introduce a lot of people to Rose McGowan’s nipples, which I’ve been seeing as a meme a lot when people are posting about their excitement for the next installment.
4.5 / 5 Ghost Masks
Holy shit! Scream 2 starts with an opening scene that is even better than the Drew Barrymore scene in the original. By the way, Drew Barrymore is definitely a top 5 actress for me. We are about the same age, so I’ve “grown up” with her and have had a celebrity crush on her for quite a long time, so I could easily justify her opening scene being the best ever. To this day, I still think Scream 2’s opener may be the best start of any horror film I’ve seen.
Then, the middle hits. It’s fine. There’s the car crash scene where they have to escape the car with the killer passed out. It’s intense. It’s been awhile since I’ve watched it. Do they make sense of not pulling the mask off the killer? Were they going to do so and that’s when they look back to see the killer is gone? Anyway, the rest of the middle is, in my opinion, ho hum, falling in line with your typical slasher. Within that middle, Randy is violently murdered. I think you could see that from two points-of-view. One, anything can happen in the sequel and no one is safe. However, they could’ve chosen Gale or Dewey. They chose Randy, the horror geek. Two, the horror geek is killed because it was the filmmakers saying – sorry, horror geeks, this isn’t about you anymore; we’re simply going for the mainstream audience at this point. You’re done.
I remember rolling my eyes at the finale when I first saw it in the theaters. I remember rolling my eyes when I re-watched it in 2021. So, Billy’s family is genetically psychotic? His mom couldn’t deal with the fact Sidney had to defend herself from her son? Even if she lost a lot of weight, I’d think Sidney would still think Billy’s mom looked familiar unless she never really met her. I don’t know.
The Stab franchise is introduced here, and it contains a good amount of comedy for the audience, setting up that great opening scene. Like in any movie like this, you have to just watch and enjoy the movie within the movie and not think about it too much. They show a funny re-enactment of Billy and Sid running into each other after Billy spent the night at the jail, the humor being the “Billy” actor’s portrayal of slapping his head and staying “Stupid” after their interaction. I think my wife leaned over to me and said – the only one who knows he did that was Billy, and he’s dead, so how did they capture it in the adaptation? Sometimes, you have to remind yourself it’s only a movie.
3.5 / 5 Ghost Masks
Stab 3 is filming, and a killer is turning the fictional Stab movie into real life.
There are a couple things I like about the movie. First, you can’t help but smile whenever Parker Posey enters a scene, right? I’m not even talking about Scream 3; I’m talking about anything she’s doing, so it was great casting to have her in the movie. Second, I liked that Sidney was a recluse, trying to live her life in safety. After the first incident, yeah, you can think it’s over and try to move on with your life. After the second incident, I would agree that you’d try to avoid contact with as many people as possible. That said, I can’t remember the timeline from Part 2 to 3. Is it the same 3 year span in between release dates? If so, wouldn’t she still be in college? Did they say how she could afford living the life she does? I thought Stab was based on Gale’s book(s), so did Sid receive any money from that? Did she come into a lot of money? I may need to re-watch the film for these details.
Aside from this, it’s another run-of-the-mill slasher film. It feels like it has turned into the type of movie the first film was satirizing. Yet another person is Sid’s life is psychotic; this time, it’s her half-brother. He knows about Sidney, but Sidney doesn’t know about him. Did he try to reach out after their mother’s death? Did Sidney spurn him? Why was his first inclination to kill Sid instead of reaching out to her? I don’t know. It was weak. Luckily, Parker Posey was cast, keeping this from being a complete waste of time.
2 / 5 Ghost Masks
So many questions. Sooooo many questions.
Sidney has written a book about her experiences, and, of course, it’s taking the world by storm. She comes back into the public eye (not sure if she had stayed secluded in the 10 years since the previous film), returns to her hometown, and (dun, dun, dun) the killings start again. This time, it turns out to be her niece, who wants all the attention Sid has received from the murders.
Again, there’s nothing exciting about the movie, another run of the mill slasher. Maybe it’s been because ten years have passed, but I felt like Sidney wasn’t as intelligent in this movie. A lot of times, I was asking why she would do something because she should know better OR be jaded enough from her past experience not to do stupid things. The returning characters weren’t all that endearing, and the new characters weren’t anyone I cared about.
Where I got really confused was the ending at the hospital. I read that Kevin Williamson ended the movie as they were leaving the house. I think a re-write of the script added on the hospital piece, and none of it worked. While Scream 2 may have the best opening scene of any horror movie ever, I think Scream 4 has the worst closing scene. I tried looking it up after watching it to see if there were explanations, but I think it was just bad and lazy writing.
The Ending: Jill is seen as a hero for escaping the murders. Everyone who knows she is the killer is believed to be dead. Dewey is talking with her in the hospital and then lies to her about Sidney’s condition, even though he doesn’t suspect that she is actually the killer. Again, I don’t know if he was written to have lied to her or if it was just bad writing. He tells Jill that Sid is still alive but is in the ICU. It’s touch-and-go, but they think she might make it. I’m guessing you see Sidney within the next hour, and she is 90-95% recovered. Definitely not touch-and-go. Definitely is going to make it. Dewey goes to visit Gale (where he eventually realizes Jill is the murderer). Gale, who has the least damaging wounds of the three (Gale, Sid, Jill), appears to be in the worst shape of the three. I know different people get impacted differently by things, but it doesn’t make any sense. Jill, who mimicked Gale’s wound on herself as well as damaging herself even further, is able to get out of bed like nothing has happened (if this is the case, why is Gale even in the hospital?). Jill disconnects from her equipment and heads to Sidney’s room. Sidney and Gale also eventually disconnect from their machines, and a fight breaks out in Sid’s room. NO MEDICAL STAFF COMES IN TO SEE WHAT’S GOING ON. NO MEDICAL STAFF CHECKS ON THREE DIFFERENT PATIENTS WHO WOULD’VE SHOWN AS FLATLINING. Everything about the hospital scene is terribly written. Again, I’m good at thinking It’s just a movie (see Stab comment in Scream 2 above), but, even for me, this was egregiously bad writing. Finally, at the end, with Jill dead(?), Jill moves. Is she actually still alive? Was this missed in the editing process? At this point with as bad as this whole sequence has been, I have to assume it was a mistake.
1 / 5 Ghost Masks
Scream 5 (2022)
I have no idea what’s going to happen in Scream 5. Sidney coming anywhere near a Ghostface killer again and having kept her identity as Sidney Prescott would be an idiotic start. I had read rumors at one point that Stu actually survived the first Scream and was intended to return in one of the sequels. If this is the case, he would’ve been either been the #1 suspect in previous sequels OR would’ve at least been mentioned – “Just checked and Stu is still locked in the hospital/jail/etc.” If he had escaped wherever he was, he’d be the #1 suspect from the beginning of this film. I hope he is not brought back….ever. I can’t imagine it’s another one of Sidney’s family members. I can’t imagine it would be any of the other previous survivors – not even Gale to try to get a new book published…also that would seem too reminiscent of Part 4. I’m going to wait until the movie streams. Can’t spend time/money out of the house on the series at this point. That said, I do want to see the latest…eventually.