Scream 2022 is significantly less rewarding than Wes Craven’s predecessors, as it commits the same major legacy character flaw as Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). Similar to JJ Abrams’ reboot of George Lucas’ popular space opera, shout 5 attempts to refresh Craven’s slasher franchise by joining new cast members with the original trio viewers know, Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott, Courtney Cox’s Gale Weathers, and David Arquette’s Dewey Riley.
shout 5 Set 25 years after Sidney, Gale and Dewey survived the first killing spree in Craven’s original classic, directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who were hired after Craven’s death in 2015, take the franchise in another direction. This time around, a new generation of teens are being stalked by Ghostface, led by Melissa Barrera as Sam Carpenter, the daughter of the original Ghostface Billy Loomis, and Jenna Ortega as Sam’s half-sister Tara. After Tara survives an attack from a copycat Ghostface in the opening scene, shout 5 alternates between the teenagers in Woodsboro and Sidney, Gale and Dewey, whose peaceful lives outside Woodsboro are disrupted by the new wave of murders.
Sidney, Gale and Dewey eventually return to Woodsboro, but shout 5 denies viewers the satisfaction of a legitimate reunion. Just like Luke, Han and Leia in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Sidney, Gale and Dewey never actually appear together in the same scene. They don’t stand much of a chance, as Dewey is killed by Ghostface early in the film, a surprising twist that acts as an obvious nod to a major event in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the death of Harrison Ford’s Han Solo. Dewey’s death is a failed attempt to… scream franchise for a new era. By killing Dewey to make way for fresh blood, shout 5 robs viewers of the chance to see the old gang reunite, forgetting that the franchise’s appeal has always been the original trio.
Will any of the original trios return for Scream 6?
In one of the many meta moments in shout 5, Sam and her friends discuss the rules of the remake sequel, or “requel.” Jasmin Savoy Brown’s Mindy explains: “New main characters, yes, but supported by and related to legacy characters. Not quite a reboot, not really a sequel.” The self-conscious acknowledgment of the requel, a modern horror trend started by Evil Dead 2 in 1987, doesn’t make the lack of reunion between Sidney, Dewey, and Gale any less frustrating. What elevates the? scream franchise above its imitators isn’t the witty jokes or bloody murders, but how the three interact. Nothing can match the fun of watching a shy, crazy Dewey flirt with Gale, or the funny passive-aggressive bickering between Gale and Sidney, two three-dimensional women with strong personalities. Dewey’s sudden death and the focus on new characters like Sam and Tara deprive viewers of these special moments.
Scream 2022 works best if it stays with Sidney, Gale, and Dewey. For example, before Dewey’s death, he has a brief encounter with Gale. Although separated, it is clear that the two still love and respect each other, and their conversation is touching. Even though Sidney has few scenes in shout 5The climax of the movie, when she and Gale take out Ghostface, is exciting because it’s reminiscent of all the other times they’ve been victorious. Still, these scenes pale in comparison to the previous ones scream movies, in which Sidney, Gale, and Dewey are the stars of the show, rather than supporting players.
Viewers disappointed by Scream 2022 maybe more disappointed by shout 6. With Dewey dead and Campbell not returning as Sidney, Cox will be the only member of the original cast with a role. It is possible that Gale’s role will be reduced if Sam and Tara take charge. Based on the shout 6 news already reported, it’s hard to imagine how the sequel could keep fans who’ve been with the franchise from the start from alienating and believing there’s no Woodsboro without his iconic scream queen.