‘Scream 5’ joins ‘requel’ trend


Violet Chace, Entertainment Editor

In 1996 the horror genre changed forever following the release of Scream”. It was self-aware and called out the common tropes of the slasher sub-genre, which was popular at the time. It referenced fan-favorite films likeFriday the 13th” and portrayed characters who understood the so-called “rules” to surviving a horror movie. The Scream movies are murder mystery parodies of slasher films. The original movie marked a pivotal point in horror that popularized self-awareness and clever storytelling. Wes Craven, who directed the iconic slasher film “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” directed the first four “Scream” movies, and 26 years after the original, “Scream 5” was released to theaters in his honor.

“Halloween (2018)”, “Chucky (2021)” and “Candyman (2021)” have reintroduced former horror franchises years after the original films hit theaters. On January 14, the fifth installment of the “Scream” franchise jumped on the bandwagon. As the film points out, it is following the “requel” trend. It is not quite a reboot since it has members of the original cast and is technically a continuation of the first storyline, but it is not really a sequel either since the Scream movies stopped being made over a decade ago with the exception of a MTV show that flopped. 

“Scream 5” begins with a copycat Ghostface killer terrorizing the city of Woodsboro yet again. Everyone becomes paranoid and accusatory as victims of the original attacks in the 1990s return to help figure out which member of the friend group is behind the mask. 

“Scream 5” is a decent addition to the franchise. It brings in new elements and old favorites. The returning cast is written into the story well and the actors do a great job bringing back the same energy that is so distinct in the original film. The new characters work well with the original ones and the film has a great overall balance of comedy, horror, and development that makes it an easy watch. 

The “Scream” franchise is known for referencing other movies that horror fanatics are all familiar with. Scream 5 discussed the increased popularity in elevated horror like “The Babadook” and Jordan Peele films. This movie knows its fan base and it is obvious that creators are as passionate about the genre as the fans are. There is even a cameo from the popular horror YouTube channel “Dead Meat.” By looking into what the fandom cares about, creators were able to make an effective film without disappointing viewers. 

“Scream 5” wasn’t perfect, especially for viewers taking the movie seriously. There were instances when characters would seemingly walk off gunshots or stab wounds and there are lots of unrealistic scenarios. But “Scream” movies aren’t really made to be taken seriously. They’re more like murder mystery slashers than they are realistic or insightful “elevated horror” as the film points out. The “Scream” movies often highlight the obvious flaws in how stereotypical they are to be metta even though it comes across as cheesy and in your face. It’s a type of parody humor that doesn’t always land but is a staple of the franchise that wouldn’t be complete without it.

As always the ending was clever and a little dumb. Fans will definitely appreciate how the Ghostface reveal unfolds and it ties the franchise together well. Hopefully the creators of “Scream 5” will quit while they’re ahead and stop making more movies before they end up like the disaster that is the “Friday the 13th” franchise. The “requel” up next in the horror genre is “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” set to release this year.