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Scream (2022): Cash Grab or Fun Slasher?

Brooke is a longtime film fanatic, occasionally appreciating the more unpopular flicks. She is avid about sharing her movie opinions.

The newest installation in the Scream series is a topic of much controversy.

Let's be honest... What film isn't labeled controversial in some way? It may be as simple as a question of people thinking it was fun or not, or it could be a more serious issue at hand, such as a questionable underlying tone or theme.

For Scream, it seems mainly to be the former. While some fans of the original film applauded the way the newest installation utilized and grew upon the original content, others found it to be too much of a copy, and in some cases, downright boring.

Let's delve a bit deeper into what Scream did right and wrong.

Scream sticks to its source material, while seamlessly adding in new cast members, such as the standout Jenna Ortega.

This movie brings back the perfect amount of characters from the original and keeps them true to their stories and traits, even decades later. It was particularly impressive, the way it felt as though none of the original cast skipped a beat or felt out of character for even a moment. Neve Campbell delivered a stellar performance. Courteney Cox once again did a great job as Gale Weathers. And David Arquette was a Hopper-ified version of the Dewey fans know and love.

If you've seen Stranger Things, I suspect you may have, as I did, noticed the parallels between Dewey and Hopper. While it was the first thought to come to mind for me, it wasn't entirely unreasonable. In fact, it was completely understandable that the character had ended up where he did. I just found it an amusing observation, since I enjoy both characters.

As for the newer cast, most everyone delivered an impressive performance, particularly for the genre. Jenna Ortega never misses, and Scream was no different for her. She managed to be badass and sympathetic at the same time. No surprises here!

Let's be honest: Scream (2022) was an obvious cash grab.

I won't lie to you. Scream (2022) is a not-so-subtle cash grab by the studio. But are we surprised? Not really. Isn't that what every Scream movie after the first was meant to be? Therefore, while this is my biggest issue with the film, it doesn't really present much of a surprise, so I can't hold this against the movie.

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I went in knowing what I was going to watch, and I watched it anyway. And quite frankly, it was made so surprisingly well that the cash-grabby aspects hardly matter in the grand scheme of things.

With a well-paced plot, and a perfect length, Scream avoided politics to make itself a paragon of a simple, fun slasher.

Believe it or not, the topic of politics and social issues actually was addressed in the movie, but only in a brief mention about how certain slasher fans don't want something meaningful and deep. They just want a bit of fun and scary escapism. For the sake of not spoiling anything, I won't give further details, but this was an enjoyable and creative tidbit that made the movie-watching experience more fun, if only because Scream didn't try to be more than it was: a classic slasher.

To my knowledge, these movies aren't meant to be deep. And Scream (2022) accomplished just that: a scary but not-so-serious film about a sinister killer.

The movie stayed short, careful not to push over a two-hour runtime, meaning it doesn't get too long or draggy. Its plot is paced well throughout, starting out with the classic action of the original movie, and interspersing more intense scenes throughout.

Overall, Scream (2022) is worth a watch for horror fans looking for a fun way to pass their time.

It is, of course, essential that viewers first watch the original Scream, but none of the other sequels are necessary. Just make sure you have some kind of grasp on the original story first, and this should be a fun ride for anyone who enjoys the basis for the classic slasher.

As a final note, allow me to give you a few pointers:

  1. The violence is, well, violence, but it's not Halloween-type gore. It's certainly not as gross. Much easier to stomach. If you want to eat during this, you're safe. Your snack won't make a reappearance.
  2. The film is actually creepy, at least in my opinion. It isn't one of those horror movies that is actually blasé and unthreatening.
  3. If you're like me, you will, unfortunately, find yourself a bit upset, but only for a couple minutes, as the plot moves so quickly there isn't much room to sit around feeling bad. And it is mostly made up for by how purely fun the rest of the film is.

So go grab some popcorn (or candy if you're not a popcorn person) and hit up Paramount Plus for this one.

Happy movie night!

© 2022 Brooke Nelson

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