“Scream”: The Future of Wes Craven’s Legacy

Hannah Hall

Editor, Arts & Entertainment

This last year has been huge for horror remakes and reboots. Just in the past few months we have seen the release of additions to the Halloween (“Halloween Kills”), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Netflix’s “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”), Resident Evil (“Resident Evil: Welcome to Racoon City”), and now the Scream (“Scream”) franchises. Like many remakes and reboots, additions to these franchises have elicted mixed responses. Some viewers are excited to see their favorite slashers such as Ghostface, Michael Meyers, and Leatherface return. Others find the new films unnecessary and disrespectful to their legacies, especially in the case of Wes Craven and the “Scream” franchise.

PC: Paramount Pictures

The fifth installment of the “Scream” franchise, creatively titled “Scream,” was released in theaters on January 14, 2022, beginning what is set to be a year chock-full of interesting and highly anticipated horror releases. The film is the first in the franchise not to be directed by famous horror director Wes Craven, who passed away in 2015, and the film includes a dedication to him as a part of the end credits.

“Scream” (2022) takes place in the town of Woodsboro, the home of the original events of the first “Scream” (1996), 25 years after the first Ghostface killings occurred. In the film we follow Tara and Sam Carpenter, two estranged sisters, as they are viciously attacked and stalked by the new Ghostface. While the film introduces a whole new cast consisting of some well known names and faces such as Dylan Minnette, Jenna Ortega, and Melissa Barrera, there is also the return of the original Ghostface fighting team we all know and love: Neve Campbell (Sidney), Courtney Cox (Gale), and David Arquette (Dewey). The film covers a plethora of classic horror motifs such as secrets and hidden identities and the mystery, betrayal, and horror parody that has made the “Scream” franchise what it is today.

This new addition to the franchise, arriving 11 years after the last installment in 2011, raises a lot of questions. For one, what does this mean for “Scream” and its future? Many things hint at a continuation or reboot of the franchise, including the selection of the title being just “Scream” rather than “Scream 5,” Craven’s death, and the introduction of Sam Carpenter as the newest Final Girl in the horror world. Are we heading towards a new chapter in the “Scream” world with a new team replacing the original, pioneering one? Is that something fans would even tolerate? And most importantly, what is “Scream” without its iconic heroine Sydney Prescott to save the day and Wes Craven as its backbone?

While fans were skeptical of the new addition to the “Scream” franchise and are asking plenty of questions, that doesn’t take away from the positive aspects of the film such as the introduction of a new leading lady: Neve Campbell (Sydney) hands over her torch to Melissa Barren (Sam) who takes on the role as the resident badass, Ghostface fighting heroine with ease. And, spoiler alert, Sam kills this film’s Ghostface and lands herself a place amongst the iconic Final Girls of horror, in good company with the likes of Laurie Strode and Sally Hardesty.

While “Scream” (2022) raised a lot of eyebrows and turned up a lot of questions, it still does the franchise justice and should be added to your watch list if you’re a horror movie fan. The film, like all of the films in the franchise, beautifully meshes horror tropes and horror parody to create a two hour commentary on sequels and reboots in the horror industry while still being thrilling, creepy, and keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. Dare I say, I hope this is just the beginning for Sam Carpenter and her team.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment, featured, What to Watch

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