Scream review – R-rated horror that delivers on every level

By Louie Fecou
Published: January 24, 2022 (Last updated: December 22, 2023)
ghostface scream


The newest addition to the Scream franchise quite rightly aims for its target audience and embraces the gore and scares of a good old-fashioned slasher.

Well, here we go again, in more ways than one. Scream, or Scream 5, makes a return to the big screen with a great attempt at capturing the nostalgia wave that 2022 cinema releases seem to be riding on. Films such as Spider-Man: No Way Home and Matrix Resurrections have used nostalgia to help sell the premise, allowing filmmakers to embrace the meta, for better or worse.

Thankfully, the makers of Scream go for gore and scares, so no PG-13 rating here, allowing for plenty of gruesome kills and injury detail. To be honest, if you are a fan of slasher films, the diluted, insipid so-called horror of certain other recent outings would have left you feeling cheated, but Scream stays true to its original incarnation and goes, quite literally, for the jugular.

Once again, in the new meta way of filmmaking, we are treated to some scene recreation, and the return of some fan favourites to help push this narrative forward. It won’t spoil much to reveal that Courtney Cox, Neve Campbell and David Arquette all have major roles in this movie. Ghostface is still a scary stalking killer, and the film has a similar frenetic energy as other entries, paying homage to Wes Craven whenever it can.

25 years after Loomis and Macher brought terror to the town of Woodsboro, Ghostface has returned, attacking Tara Carpenter and leaving her hospitalized. Her estranged sister returns to the town with her boyfriend, but the killing spree has already begun, and secrets of the past resurface to reveal terrible truths.

Plot-wise, there is nothing really groundbreaking here, but Scream does still deliver one or two surprises in its final act.

When old GF attacks, people do their best to fight back and there are some nice high-stakes moments here as the audience don’t really know who will live and who will die. For me, there are perhaps a few too many times where wounded characters seem to be able to shrug off potentially fatal attacks, and there is a lot of flinch inducing wounds that normal people would not be able to run off, but I suppose this a Scream flick, so you have to run with it.

Of course, the real fun of Scream is playing detective and figuring out who is behind the murders, and this is once again a big part of the narrative. There are a few moments when the dialogue desperately tries to lead you to uninformed assumptions, and you know what the screenwriters are doing, but it does sometimes come off as contrived, however, this is a minor quibble.

This is much like No Way Home tonally, a film made by people who obviously care about the franchise for the fans who have supported it since 1996. It races along at a nice pace and has some nice directorial flares from Matt Bettinelli Olpin and Tyler Gillette.

Go check this out if you are a fan of the genre, and good, gory, scary fun.

More Stories on Scream

Movie Reviews, Movies