Scream has been branded a ‘gloriously gory basement party’ by critics, with many lauding the franchise’s return to form after several lacklustre entries.
Ahead of its release on Friday, many critics praised the slasher for its ‘witty’ and ‘vicious’ commentary on ‘requels’ and reboots, and lauded the ‘effortless’ returns of stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette.
Scream marks a new era for the slasher series which began back in 1996, as a new killer dons the iconic Ghostface mask to begin terrorising the residents of Woodsboro.
Grand return: Scream has been branded a ‘gloriously gory basement party’ by critics, with many lauding the franchise’s return to form (Courteney Cox pictured)
Leading those offering their thoughts was Empire’s Ben Travis, who gave the film four stars, and lauded the latest entry for maintaining creator Wes Craven’s vision, following his death in 2015.
He said: ‘Even though the series has already been referencing and remixing itself for 25 years now, there are still fun new twists to mine — even if some clichés (Did you really just leave that lift? Don’t forget your inhaler!) are required to keep things moving.
‘For the most part, this is a ”re-quel”as fast, funny and ferocious as a Scream movie should be. In an era of elevated horror, it’s a gloriously gory basement party.’
Tense: Ahead of its release on Friday, many critics praised the slasher for its ‘witty’ and ‘vicious’ commentary on ‘requels’ and reboots (Jenna Ortega is pictured in the film)
Digital Spy’s Ian Sandwell also awarded the film four stars and lauded the ‘shocking, bloody and clever’ return for the series following an 11-year hiatus.
He said: ‘Alongside the expected gags and references about horror trends such as the rise of so-called elevated horror, Scream isn’t afraid to mock its very existence – right down to the use of the same title.
Praising the ‘effortless’ returns of the show’s original trio, he added: ‘Scream was arguably never really going to live up to its namesake, yet the new movie recaptures the spirit of Wes Craven’s classic and its winning blend of horror and humour’.
The Wrap’s William Bibbiani offered his own positive thoughts on the film, writing: ‘Smartly scary and scary smart, consistent with the history of this series but unafraid to p**s off fans if it’s for the good of the story. This satire of requels may very well be the first requel done right. It’s a scream, baby.’
Grand return: Several critics lauded the ‘effortless’ returns of stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette (pictured far right)
IGN’s Amelia Emberwing praised the fifth entry for its ‘pitch-perfect’ performances, including the new generation of teens being terrorised by Ghostface.
She said: ‘The latest addition to the Scream franchise expertly blends reverence for the source material while creating something that feels almost completely new.
‘All of the performances are pitch-perfect as the new generation of Woodsboro teens step into their futures, the kills are gnarly, and no version of toxic fandom is left unmocked.’
Variety’s Owen Gleiberman admitted that this new Scream isn’t as good as the iconic 90s original, but still praised the film for keeping fans guessing when it comes to the identity of the killer.
He wrote: ‘The new Scream is about as good as Scream 2 was — it keeps the thrill of the original ”Scream” bouncing in the air like a blood-drenched balloon — but the film is basically a set of variations on a very old sleight-of-hand fear blueprint.
Mixed: However, not all critics were full of compliments for the film, with some questioning whether the franchise has begun to show its age in its 25th year
‘Except that it’s now old enough to seem new again. (That’s part of the requel formula.) Scream doesn’t rewrite the rules of the Scream playbook.
‘In a funny way, it makes them fresh by ardently recycling them and condescending to them at the same time.’
However, not all critics were full of compliments for the film, with some questioning whether the franchise has begun to show its age in its 25th year.
The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw awarded three stars, writing: ‘Perhaps there is less zap in Scream nowadays and archly invoking the newer generation of indie horror – Jordan Peele is mentioned, with absolute respect – only serves in the long run to remind you how elderly Scream is. But it’s still capable of delivering some piercing high-pitched decibels.’
Tim Robey for The Telegraph awarded this entry just two stars while comparing to the recent The Matrix: Ressurrections, stating this new entry was ‘dead on arrival.’
He wrote: ‘The film could have spun off in plenty of nutty directions, but it coagulates around a single, remorseless running gag, about the insatiability of horror fans and their fuming critiques of lazy tropes.
New cast members as well: Jack Quaid of The Boys fame, In the Heights star Melissa Barrera and many others have joined the cast of the film
‘This stuff usually tickles the right crowd, but the laughs sounded hollow and scattered on this occasion, as if not all the audience was convinced the joke was worth being in on.
‘Scream knowingly foregrounds the idea that it’s a brand being juiced for its final drops of novelty. The trouble is, by now, it’s less bloody pulp than a husk.’
Kevin Maher from The Times also awarded the film two stars, admitting he was unimpressed by Scream’s attempts to poke fun at recent horror entries such as The Witch and Hereditary.
He said: ‘At best it’s mildly diverting, just as it’s impossible not to appreciate the ‘guess the killer’ game that remains the franchise’s central (and now only?) draw.
‘But it’s crushingly over-familiar and sadly fright free.’
This latest addition to the Scream franchise takes place in Woodsboro, the town where the murders from the 1996 film happened. With a new killer wreaking havoc in the city, Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell, tries to figure out who that person is.
Grand return: Scream marks a new era for the slasher series which began back in 1996, as a new killer dons the iconic Ghostface mask to begin terrorising the residents of Woodsboro
The new movie will feature returning cast members, such as Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, alongside new faces like Jack Quaid of The Boys fame, In the Heights star Melissa Barrera and many others.
Campbell recently opened up about returning to the franchise and why she was a bit nervous to do so until she received a letter from the directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett.
‘They actually wrote me a letter and they said they basically are directors because of [the ‘Scream’] films,’ she said in an interview with Variety. ‘They are directors because of Wes Craven and they’re really so excited to be a part of these films and what an honor it is to do them, and that they really want to do justice to Wes and honor his legacy.’
Scream is released in both the US and UK on Friday January 14.
It’s nearly time! Scream is released in both the US and UK on Friday January 14
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