Not as fresh as hoped is this fifth installment of a ‘meta’ horror franchise begun by the late horror maestro Wes Craven.
Now, Scream is back to entertain as it moves from internet celebrity to topic fan skewering under the guidance of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. They can’t make this reboot sequel very memorable or close to what they did in the frisky, dark funny (Ready or Not). Even as elated entries and names in the genre are name dropped.
A fondness to the scary-movie tableaux set up for the serial killing psychopath to slaughter victims back in sleepy Woodsboro California returns without the sure-handed coherence of Craven into an engaging, often piercing whodunit.
Here, there are Generation Z characters connect to new victim Tara (Jenna Ortega) who infuriates the stalking hood n’ cape menacing figure, Ghost-face. It seems her estranged older sister Sam (Melissa Barrera) of In The Heights who’s back in town with Riche (Jack Quaid, son of Dennis and Meg Ryan) has a link to the town’s grim past.
The screen play collaborated in part by James Vanderbilt involves ‘legacy’ characters brought into the mix after some consultation. They include the once Sheriff Dewey Riley (David Arquette, who now has clown aspirations) and ex wife Gale (Courtney Cox), blossoming into a morning-show host. Oh, you know Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott can’t be far behind, the resilient mom and self-help author is back as the solid survivalist that’s remembered.
The vicious spat of mayhem within the Easter eggs and red herrings and irony-filled talk isn’t always about logic in it’s knowing gags and wicked set-pieces in its intermittent amusing spins. But, the swiftness is hardly inspired for the insouciant sometimes emotive means into potential dastardly perpetrators.
Scream enables what its fanbase requires lightly updated for the present in a less shaded, than perfunctory way. As the resolution doesn’t really rely on creativity insomuch as recycling. While Ortega and notably Barrera do what they can with undernourished parts, having the tow of Campbell and Co (a formidable due) and Arquette endowing pathos to a hapless, if sweet guy is some consolation to a lost opportunity into Less cheesy, more ambitious stab into grisly fun.