Hello everybody and welcome back to another Mr. Pat's 31 Days of Halloween! Since we last met I went through some big changes, mainly, the family and I moved down to Florida! With Florida comes unpredictable weather, like hurricanes. I'm going to try like hell to get all 31 reviews done each day, but the power situation can make it difficult, but I will get 31 done! So to start off the month, let's look at the restart of a 90's horror stable...
Scream 5 (2022)
The 342nd Review
I did not like the 2011 sequel. I thought it was pretentious, silly and its big "wave of the future" having kills being broadcast live on the internet was done better by Halloween Resurrection, almost a decade before! And you know what? I'm gonna say it again despite being in the minority here, but that movie is better than it gets credit for!
Anyways, we pick things up 11 years after the events of the last installment. Now we follow around another new set of teens. The movie starts how you'd expect; a young victim gets a phone call that leads to some stabbing. The second you hear the home phone ring you know she's getting stabbed. As an aside, does anyone still have a landline in the year of our Lord 2022? Anyways, the movie does something different right off the bat that threw me for a second, she survives. From there, I'm immediately intrigued.
After that, Ghostface starts to pick off people who have some type of connection to the Woodsborough murders while Sydney, Dewey and Gale and some newcomers try to stop the killer. It's pretty much the same plot from all the other movies with enough tweaks and slight deviations from the formula to keep it interesting. Plus, we already know the stakes are high because it started off with a stabbing, but for the rest of the movie, the girl is hobbled and has to use a wheelchair so her already dire situation is that much worse.
I have some thoughts on this movie, obviously, I wouldn't do this if I didn't. Scream 5 does a lot of things right and for a long time I was surprised by how much I was enjoying it. One scene in particular I really liked. After a high stakes drive that ends in murder an oblivious teenager is setting his kitchen table unaware that the body of his mother just outside his front door. While doing so the movie does every cliche where something like a fridge door is blocking the camera view and you expect the baddie to be right behind it, but when the dude shuts the door there's no one there. This happens multiple times in one scene and I loved it. I thought it was hilarious by the third time it happened, your heart starts beating faster waiting for something to happen... and then it doesn't so many times. I loved it. But then the way the scene ultimately ends makes the whole thing feel like a letdown.
That's the movie in a nutshell. It does a lot of cool stuff but then trips and falls over its own feet right before the endzone. It messes with what you think is supposed to happen and does the opposite and it's actually a lot of fun for the most part. The filmmakers were clearly fans of the series but instead of just rehashing the formula, it zigged when you may have expected it to zag. But because they're fans of the franchise, this movie gets preachy... a lot. In the middle of scenes characters will start monologuing about anything and everything. One of the characters goes into a rant about fans and it seriously felt like the filmmakers were lecturing me because I didn't like Scream 4. Then the killers end up being super crazed fans making the argument that fandom can't be toxic. Like, could you be any more on the nose? I didn't dislike Scream 4 because it tried something new, I disliked it because it wasn't a good movie. The writing is nowhere as clever as it thinks it is.
But that's not the biggest problem with the movie. I'm going to warn you now and this is something I don't ever do, but we're going to talk spoilers. If you don't want to hear a major moment in the movie, and probably the biggest moment in the entire series, you should probably stop the video, but not before you like the video and "smash that subscribe button" as the much more successful Youtubers would say. Still here? OK. Dewey dies. Normally I'd be semi-OK with that but it was just such a lame death. I don't want to get into the whole thing but it requires Dewey to be the one thing he hasn't been for the most part in this series; an idiot. It was just so frustrating to see him go like that especially when you find out who the killer is and then it makes it even worse.
Reading what the filmmakers had to say about it made it even worse. It sounds like they just sat around and someone said, "We should kill off Dewey, wouldn't that be crazy?!" Before they all agreed and congratulated each other. People aren't watching these movies because of the new cast or because Ghostface is a compelling villain, they like the original survivors. And now, because Neve Campbell was lowballed she won't be doing Scream 6. So, because they killed off Dewey and decided they wanted to be cheap with the anchor of the entire series, the only link to the past is now Gale Weathers. Nothing against Courtney Cox, but I don't think people resonate with her character like they do Dewey and Sidney. I guess there's also Hayden Panettiere's Kirby who is still around but she's only been in one movie and then there's Stu who they've wanted to bring back since Scream 3.
Speaking of Dewey, another thing that bugged me is how he's portrayed. He's essentially a loser living in a trailer park and drinking himself away. I can understand the PTSD from everything he's gone through, but why is he in a trailer? His actual name is being used in a successful series of movies that's spawned eight films, with one coming out the year prior, no way should he be living in squalor. Dude should be able to just live off royalties.
It may sound like I disliked the movie because of what they did to Dewey, but I didn't. It certainly hurt the movie's final ranking, but it's a fine slasher. The kills are good, the characters are mostly fun, even if they are a little too glib about the murders of their friends. It's hard to explain, while in the original Scream the characters fit the usual horror movie tropes but they felt like real people for the most part. I get this series tends to point out the tropes and that's part of the fun, but none of these people seemed real. But to this movie's credit it manages to include an interesting twist. The movie also sets something up that could make for a really interesting jumping off point for future movies. I just don't know how I feel about another movie without Campbell and Arquette. His death kinda pissed me off. I know I spent a lot of this review pointing out things I didn't like, but I didn't dislike it. It's just its faults that stood out more than its strengths. And killing off Dewey? I didn't like that.