Twenty-five years after the original series of murders in Woodsboro, a new Ghostface emerges, and Sidney Prescott, Dewey Riley, and Gale Weathers must return to uncover the truth of what’s going on.
THE GOOD STUFF
THE O.G.’s – I guess it wasn’t until this entry in franchise where I had to come to appreciate the presence of Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette more than I have before. In other Scream films, the supporting actors that were beneath them on the moniker were bonafide names like Emma Roberts, Alison Brie, Hayden Panettiere, and Sarah Michelle Gellar. There were also reliable vets like Liev Schreiber, Anthony Anderson, Laurie Metcalf, and Lance Hendrickson etc, etc, etc. I never had to come to appreciate what Campbell, Cox, and Arquette were doing because they were surrounded by so much talent.
I’m not going to go off the deep end and say that these new faces are bad actors surrounding the O.G.’s in this film, but there are a LOT of supporting performances in this film that are flat out consistently terrible. And whenever the O.G.’s are on screen it just seems to make these scenes more watchable.
JENNA ORTEGA – Perhaps the only supporting performance that did not get one eye roll from me was the role of Tara Carpenter played by former Jane the Virgin co-star Jenna Ortega. Her performance in the opening scene is a lot comedic than what the trailers are promising you, (in a good way) her dramatic scenes do not seem of the soap opera variety, and when she does do badass things on screen she does so subtly. This script sets her character up in a bunch of ridiculously stupid, predictable, and melodramatic situations, and yet she’s the only supporting cast member in this film who comes out unscathed in my humble opinion.
THE BAD STUFF
MELISSA BARRERA – I don’t know why, or how, but for some reason this performance is incredibly wooden, and lackluster. Melissa Barrera was in a movie called IN THE HEIGHTS in the summer of 2021, and in that movie she is ABSOLUTELY GREAT.
But here in this film, her facial expressions are at a bare minimum no matter what situation the character is in. Whether her character is sad, scared, enraged, or laughing even, her face tends to stay the exact same throughout, and it’s impossible not to notice. By the time of the climactic showdown in this movie it’s a flat-out distraction. Oh yeah…and she’s the MAIN CHARACTER IN THE DAMN MOVIE!
JASMIN SAVOY BROWN – Is this a terrible performance? I don’t believe I think so, but then again, this is not really a character. What Jasmin Savoy Brown plays in this film is the voice of the metanarrative. This character serves no purpose than to explain the “movie rules” ad nauseam. This is a movie that copies so much from the first entry of this franchise that I understand that she is what the Matthew Lillard character was to the first entry of this franchise. I mean, Matthew Lillard essentially played the same role in the first scream right?… Or at least that’s what one could think.
It’s almost as if these filmmakers didn’t understand that though Lillard was the metanarrative directly to the audience, he did have actual conversations in that first movie that had NOTHING to do with the rules of the horror genre. He was an actual part of the story… unlike Brown.
By the second act of this movie the gimmick of Brown’s character becomes flat-out cringe-worthy and excessive. And that is through no fault of her own.
THE UGLY STUFF
CGI SKEET ULRICH – I do not feel it spoiling anything to tell you that yes, there is a “CGI rendition” of one of the villains of the first movie Billy Loomis.
I cannot explain why this happens, but what I can tell you is this.. it is a laughably bad CGI mannequin zombie version of Skeet Ulrich’s face and likeness. This…computer deformity appears in the film on quite a few occasions, and every single time it did, the rather packed theater I saw this in would ERUPT WITH LAUGHTER at how incredibly awful the rendition looked.
THE GHOSTFACE SUPERPOWERS – I will of course not reveal who is behind the ghost face mask in this film. But, if one is to see this film in its entirety, I simply will ask you to consider the somewhat superhuman feats that the Ghostface slasher tends to do in this movie the second the Scooby-Doo-ish bad guy reveal happens.
Just stop…close your eyes…and think of the way that some of the characters die, and you too will reallize that some of the things required for the slasher to do in this movie to the victims would require levels of strength that NOBODY in the cast even seems physically capable of accomplishing.
When the big reveal happened as to who was behind the ghostface mask, I was so appalled by who it was, that I flat out expected a montage of that character sitting next to bruce banner being injected with gamma rays into their system to explain some of the physical feats of strength required for these kills in this film.
I found myself in a bizarre situation upon seeing this film. For some reason, when going in to see the film, I didn’t have my headphones on as loud as I thought I did, and I heard people exiting the theater talking about the FLAT OUT IMPASSIBILITY of that final sequence, and spoiling who the slasher was. I went in knowing that, and it was a unique experience. And I got to say, though this is a very bad movie, it might have gotten somewhat of a pass if the Ghostface slasher reveal was at all plausible. But it completely is not, and it makes a bad film into a very bad film.
2022 so far is off to a horrendous start.
SCREAM is in theaters now.