By: Justin Hopkins
Being excited for Scream was almost a given. They’ve never really had a miss. I even really liked Scream 3 which is often pointed to as their weakest entry. Which is something to be proud of. Seeing how bad some other franchises have gotten. Scream has a lot going for them going in. The best final girl in Sydney, an iconic costume in Ghost face, and the way they weave meta and where the horror scene is at today all building intrigue. There is some worry, since this is the first one since the loss of the great Wes Craven and new team coming in, but after four hits under Scream’s belt. Had no reason to doubt. With that said, lets dive in and see how they did.
The movie kicks us off with, Tara. While Texting her friend Amber gets a call on the landline, from who turn out to be the killer, and another round of questions kicks off. To save Amber’s life. Revolving around the Stab movie Franchise, despite her only knowing Elevated horror. She knocks out the first two, but trips on the third. Tara tries to run for the door. Wanting to save her friend, but opens the door to the killer. Who gets a slice in. Backing her into the house, but is only safe momentarily before she is attacked again, and we cut to title screen. Coming back we meet Sam and Boyfriend Richie. When Sam gets a call. Informing her that her Sister Tara was attacked. She is okay, but in the hospital, and Sam and Richie are off to Woodsboro. While we meet the friend group. Liv, Mindy, Chad, Amber, and Wes. None of which are happy with Wes for calling Sam. After a brief conversation, calling each other out and addressing Liv’s Creepy Stalker. They had of to the hospital. We join up with Sam and Richie, with Sam getting caught up on the history of the town since he doesn’t know and never saw the Stab movies, before we get the happy reunion at the hospital. Friends leave the sister’s alone and we go off to the bar with them. Amber is not happy with Sam being back. She was a troubled teen and left abruptly in the middle of the night. The conversation is cut off by the stalker arriving and getting into an altercation with Chad. Threatening them on his way out, but is taken out by Ghostface in the alley. Back at the hospital, we see Sam waking up. Richie watching Stab movies for research reasons and she says she is going to get some food, but is really going to take anti-psychotics and we see the deceased Billy Loomis appear in the mirror. Talking to her about family secrets. Phone call snapping her out and it is the killer. Who says they know about her secrets and she calls him out and Sam is attacked from behind. Managing to fight them off and get away. Gets interrogated and told to leave town by Hicks. Sam returns to Tara and openly tells her the truth. About why Dad left and why she went off the rails when Sam learned that Billy Loomis was her real Dad. To which, Tara throws her out. For bringing up all of this now of all times. With nowhere else to go, Sam and Richie turns to the past for help and leads them to Dewey and where I will leave this for now.
I love how they put this “Requel” together. The way they brought in the new characters, by having a few of them being related to the older characters who are gone now. Such as Randy’s Niece and Nephew being Minx and Chad. Along with creepy stalker being a relative of Stu. While it is a bit of a stretch for Sam being Billy’s kid. I am willing to go along with it because we got Skeet Ulrich back and it did play well in the climax.
I always love the conversations in these movies where they break down the rules in play for the movie. The class room conversation in 4, to Randy in one through three. Only fitting that it6 fell to his niece here and she knocked it out of the park. Loved the flow of the conversation and her frantic energy bounced off everyone’s questions really well. Creating a really fun scenes in the process. Speaking of fun..
The murders were brutal and I loved it. There is a simplicity with Ghostface that I just adore. Not a lot of crazy traps or elaborate deaths. Just using a knife for majority of the time. Quick attacks to the neck or rapid shots to the body. Only making it look more brutal. Lingering on the blade stuck in ones neck or the quick little jab when they took out the stalker, while Red Right Hand played. Chef’s kisses and round of applause all around.
While, I won’t be talking about who the killers are quite yet. I do want to talk about the motives, cause there motives made me laugh way to hard, in a good way. Having it be two toxic fans of the Stab movies, who were upset over the direction the film series went and were attempting to force it to go back to basics by giving them true story material to work with, that is just excellent and how it feels dealing with a toxic fan. Bravo to those who worked this out.
On to the cast and crew and they did a good job. Jasmin Savoy Brown being my favorite of the bunch. Her and Chad, played by Mason Gooding were the movie knowledge characters of the group, and Mason was good, but Jasmin brought the manic energy of the two and stole the scenes she was in because of her obsession on the topic. Jenna Ortega did a lovely job as Tara. She kept taking a beating throughout and felt really bad for her and Jenna did great portraying that. Mikey Madison, Dylan Minnette, and Sonia Ammar did a solid job rounding out the rest of the friend group. Although we did get more of Sonia. We didn’t get enough Liv. Going off the scene with Mindy where she was snapping over constantly being accused of being the killer only to be called to boring to be the killer. She was real creepy in that scene and loved it. Wish we got more following it. It was fun to see Heather Matarazzo back. Neve Campbell is still the best finale girl of all time. She is taking none of this. Just opening fire on closed doors. Telling off the killer and it is wonderful. David Arquette had a great send off to his character and Courtney Cox was there. She felt like Gale, but did not have a lot to do. Now, lets talk about Melissa Barrera.
I am still torn on what to think about her performance as Sam. The things she did right, was fantastic. Her just coming out with the secret and telling Tara the truth. The ending when she was taking out the one killer and wiping the blade clean, just like Papa, was one of the best moments in the movie. She felt like a strong but flawed character, but felt like they only scraped the tip of the iceberg here and left a lot on the table. Would like to have seen them play up suspicion around her a bit more and dive more into it. Need to see this one again before I can say how much I like the character or not, but they have set the table perfect to really explore this character more in sequels.
They really failed on the mystery part of this. You can easily piece this together pretty quickly. We will start with Richie, the boyfriend who knows nothing about any of this and is assertive about this. Only character who is downed by a light shove to a door. While every other character is tanking bullets and stab wounds. While Amber is just so confrontational and dirty looks. This was the least effective reveal in the series.
So final thoughts on Scream 2022. Going into it, Scream hasn’t had a miss yet and that doesn’t change now. Forgot how awesome the Ghostface costume looks on the big screen. Some fun kills and great moment. Mixed the older generation well enough with the younger. Could have given Gale a bit more to do, but didn’t really take me out of it to much. Loved the retelling of scenes with slight alterations to them. The new cast of characters were a lot of fun. Especially Tara and Mindy. While setting up a good future and interesting story to tell with Sam. Future looks bright for this franchise and would suggest checking this out in theaters. Final Grade – B+
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
The Craft, like so, so many other movies it seems, has been a movie that I have been wanting to watch for longer then it probably should have been. I think about it, tell myself that I am going to watch, and end up forgetting about it. So, when I set about trying to find a good classic movie to review for Women’s History Month. Knowing very well, that I was not going to be doing a Rom-Com. The Craft came rushing to the front of the line and with the talented line-up The Craft felt like the perfect choice. So lets see if the long wait was worth it.
The movie starts off with three girls holding a ritual of some sorts, followed by a wild title card and we jump to Sarah and her family arriving to their new home. Moving from San Francisco. On her first day at Catholic School, we see the three from the beginning. Nancy, Bonnie and Rochelle, and they are in disagreement about whether or not they need a fourth to complete the circle. Nancy being against it and Bonnie pushing for it. While Bonnie was in French class with Sarah. She sees her levitating a pencil up on its point and believes she is the fourth and Nancy immediately scares her off. At lunch when Chris comes to flirt with her, lets her in on who they were. Calling the supposed witches along with several other insulting words. Inviting her to watch his football practice, which she does, but from far away and the girls find her. Telling her of some of the awful things he has done and that he is only using her. Inviting Sarah to come along with them. Which she begrudgingly does. Going off to a shop based around Wiccan belief, candle, spells, charms and such. Sarah doesn’t believe to much of it, but is talked into buying a few book from the Shop Owner. After they leave, the homeless man who was in her house the day before bumps into her and starts chasing her. Screaming about how he dreamed she was dead. starting to chase her across the street. When the three other notice what is happening and they all see him get hit by a car. Which causes them to flee. Once they get to a safe place in the woods are excited. They believe that they caused it because all four of them hoped he would get hit to save Sarah and we learn a bit more about their beliefs. Believe in what they call Manon, which is everything around them. The Earth, plants spirits and life energies and through it, can help them and make everything better. A thought that turns Sarah away. Not believing the pain can just go away and leaves. Going to Chris. When she declines his invitation to go back to his house, she find out the next day, Chris told everyone that she is the lousiest he has ever slept with and treats her terribly when she confronts him on it. Making it seem like she is a clingy creep. As a group the three come together and for a ritual, where she places a Love Spell on Chris and it works. So, they come together for more and the power begins to get to them and this is where I will leave it for now.
This movie does a fantastic job at building the four girls. None of them starting out as evil, just people who are hurting. The pain, both physically and mentally Bonnie goes through from the burn scars on her back. Rochelle being bullied because of her race. Nancy coming off as strong in public, but feeling powerless at home to help her Mom and not having any way to make it better and Sarah still suffering over not having her Mom and the Stunt Chris puled solidifying her even more as an outcast she felt like. They felt like they were desperate to find power, a way to make their pains go away of fell some sort of justice that they never get and are elated when it happens and crushed when it goes south and shows the ugly side of when power corrupts and how toxic it can be.
While this movie did have some CGI, which could be hit or miss, but they had some really great practical effects and prosthetics at work. Camera angle from under the car when the homeless man got hit by a car. An angle that I was not ready for. The blistering scalp on Lizzie and even the burn scars on Bonnie looked good.
The four women involved did such a fantastic job and all seemed to have amazing chemistry with one another. I often forget how good Neve Campbell is. Feeling her pain during the gene therapy session and the desperation of her pleading with Manon during the spell to please take her scars and are elated for her when it happens. Actually soul crushing to see her go bad at the end. Playing so well off of Rachel True’s Rochelle. Who, despite her own issues, felt like had the potential to be the level headed one of the three. Robin Tunney played Sarah to perfection and making herself the perfect foil to Fairuza Balk’s Nancy. Fairuza stole the show with her performance. She was so over the top and seeing her loosing herself to her powers was a sight to behold. Before we move to the next, got to spotlight Christine Taylor’s Laura Lizzie, the racist bully. Her performance in the showers was near redemption worthy. She was a rude, nasty person to Rochelle but Laura did so well in the fetal position with hair coming out in her hands and it just should she learned and Laura did so well. Which brings us to the negative.
It almost feels like they wanted Rochelle to turn on Nancy. Which caused her character to lose a bit of shine toward the end because of her flipping emotions. Had the scene in the shower and see the remorse on Rochelle, but that night she is invading Sarah’s dreams and threatening her in the bathroom. Than she doesn’t want to go upstairs because she thinks they went to far. Only, to come back the next day and taunt her. A Rochelle could have been something interesting and it ended up hurting her character for not picking a lane.
So, as we round this out. What grade will I be giving it. It is definitely a must see if you haven’t and worthy of anyone’s collection. The more and more I think about it, the more I think that it is top tier. Great story, with deep dives into society ills from four different perspectives. Some horrifying and a suspenseful climax. Even has a good kill. So, only one way to go. Final Grade – S
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading.