Scream has officially slashed its way into cinemas and brings with it a killer opening as Ghostface returns, serving up a self-deprecating meta buffet of a slasher sequel that relaunches with terrific terror and nostalgic scares which are bloody brutal. Scream has some big shoes to fill, the directors have to fill the shoes of horror icon Wes Craven, which they honourably do, and the screenwriters also have to honour the brilliance of Kevin Williamson and what he brought to this genre and his script for 1996’s Scream.
The fifth entry in the franchise is filled with references to the franchise’s past, movies of the past, present, sequels, remakes, and now Requel, which in itself is part reboot and part sequel. Scream also discusses topics, specifically horror films released throughout the 2000s to now as it’s very self-referential by using Halloween (2018) and Ghostbusters Afterlife, for example, showcasing that these franchises are making requels by setting the film in the same world, at a different time but adding new characters that are in ways related to the “Legacy” characters from the original. Scream knows that it’s a horror movie, and most importantly, it knows this fifth entry is no doubt a “legacy sequel”.
Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a new killer has donned the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past. Neve Campbell (“Sidney Prescott”), Courteney Cox (“Gale Weathers”) and David Arquette (“Dewey Riley”) return to their iconic roles in Scream alongside Melissa Barrera, Kyle Gallner, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Dylan Minnette, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Sonia Ammar.
Years after the Ghostface killer first struck, teen Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) gets an ominous phone call, whilst home alone, from a stranger asking what her favourite scary movie is. Scream opening sequences are so iconic to the franchise and this new modern take doesn’t disappoint as Tara is attacked and stabbed multiple times by someone wearing the Ghostface outfit from the in-universe “Stab” franchise, based on the Westboro murders committed by Billy Loomis and Stu Macher. The opening is shockingly suspenseful and wholly entertaining.
The focus here is on a group of young people who certainly have seen enough “Stab” movies to know that the killer could be one of their own including Tara’s estranged sister, Samantha (Melissa Barrera) along with her boyfriend Richie (Jack Quaid), who returns to Woodsboro to be with her.
In any sequel, you hope that the new cast doesn’t fall flat and ultimately works well with the returning cast. Take 2018’s Halloween for example with Jamie Lee Curtis returning brings a new generation of Strode women specifically Laurie’s daughter and granddaughter, showing the audience how well the newcomers mix with the legacy characters. Scream successfully achieves this as all characters are handled well, though the body count, unfortunately, rises as Ghostface has some new tricks up its sleeve.
In passing the torch to fresh blood, this fifth entry showcases that there are layers of meta to uncover, fresh scars, and wicked fun to be had. The highlights were Jenna Ortega, Melissa Barrera, Jack Quaid. All work to drive the narrative along with the help of Sidney (Neve Campbell), Dewey (David Arquette), and Gale (Courteney Cox). The legacy characters truly provide the nostalgia and emotional connection, the filmmakers treat these iconic characters with the utmost respect.
Scream lives up to its slasher roots as Ghostface goes to town with the hapless victims like a butcher skewing his meat. Characters are sliced, stabbed, and ultimately gutted with glee. They’re brutal when happening but gory and glorious for some. However, some kills have impacts attached as many are heartbreaking and some you want Ghostface to go to town on. I was on the edge of my seat, as directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett who both previously directed Ready or Not, know how to build tension especially with Brian Tyler’s haunting and eerie score that truly intensifies the film.
Scream is about deconstructing the genre and pop culture of the day and aims at filmmaking with killing commentary that’ll make you scream with laughter, whilst still containing the known tropes of a slasher movie. Its squeal-inducing traps and false alarms are so well-earned.
Overall, I believe Wes Craven would be proud of this movie and what it does for fans of the slasher genre. It strikes a visual cord with its toxic fandom commentary and provides a phenomenal entry to the 21st century of modern horror. It’s entertaining with laughter and brutal deaths as Scream continues to reinvent itself and still manages to remain a consistent franchise 25 years later since it started it all.
Easy To Survive Five Nights At Freddy’s
Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Lail, Kat Conner Sterling, Piper Rubio, Mary Stuart Masterson and Matthew Lillard
Directed by: Emma Tammi
Written by: Scott Cawthon, Emma Tammi and Seth Cuddeback
Based on the video game series by: Scott Cawthon
Produced by: Jason Blum and Scott Cawthon
Executive Producers: Bea Sequeira, Russell Binder, Marc Mostman and Christopher H. Warner
Chica and Mr Cupcake from Five Nights at Freddy’s (Universal Pictures)
Recently fired and desperate for work so that he can keep custody of Abby, Mike agrees to take a position as a night security guard at an abandoned theme restaurant: Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria. But Mike soon discovers that nothing at Freddy’s is what it seems. With the aid of Vanessa, a local police officer, Mike’s nights at Freddy’s will lead him into unexplainable encounters with the supernatural and drag him into the black heart of an unspeakable nightmare.
Movie Review (No Spoilers)
The movie takes its inspiration from the Five Nights At Freddy’s videogame series and the franchise of the same name. The franchise currently consists of a total of 20 video games (10 main games, 6 spin-offs, and 4 troll games), a total of 48 books (3 novel books, 21 anthology books, 8 graphic novels, 5 guidebooks, 3 coloring books, and 8 other books), as well as a horror attraction, Snapchat lenses, this movie, and an ongoing batch of merchandise.
We see Josh Hutcherson and Elizabeth Lail’s play the part of Mike Schmidt and Officer Vanessa Shelly respectively. They played their parts well and their performance definitely contributes to the dramatic effects within the movie. The story was nicely adapted from the narrative in the video games. Being familiar with the video games I expected Five Nights at Freddy’s to be filled to the brim with jump scares. Sadly, the jump scares were quite infrequent and there is definitely a lack of gory scenes, leaving you with the feeling that the animatronics might not be that scary at all. The animatronics were well designed.
The movie successfully delivers a plot twist at the end. The story ends in such a way that you can expect a sequel and I hope that if we get to experience another night at Freddy’s that we get to experience an even greater scare.
I rate this movie a 3 out of 5 based on expectations. As a fan of the game series you will definitely enjoy this because this movie takes a lot of the Five Nights At Freddy’s lore into account with a few variations.
I personally feel the trailer delivers a bit of a scare, however it reveals a little bit too much information about the story. There is a mid-credits scene and a potential secret audio message at the end of the credits. Feel free to stick around.
The Exorcist: Believer Review
The Exorcist Films
The Exorcist (1973)
Regan, a young girl, displays bizarre behaviour after playing with an Ouija board. Chris, her mother and an actress, consults two priests who conclude that Regan is possessed by a demonic entity.
Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)
A priest is tasked with probing the death of another priest who died while exorcising a girl four years ago. However, the latter does not remember the incident and is under the care of a psychiatrist.
The Exorcist III (1990)
Lieutenant Kinderman sets out to investigate a series of brutal murders with the trademark of a serial killer, The Gemini. However, he uncovers disturbing facts which leave him troubled.
Exorcist: The Beginning (2004)
While doing missionary work in Africa, Father Lankester Merrin comes across a boy who is behaving strangely. Further investigation reveals that he is possessed by an ancient demon.
Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)
Father Lankester Merrin has his first encounter with a demon when a church is excavated from beneath the sand. Soon, he discovers several signs of devil worship inside the church.
The Exorcist: Believer
When his daughter, Angela, and her friend Katherine, show signs of demonic possession, it unleashes a chain of events that forces single father Victor Fielding to confront the nadir of evil. Terrified and desperate, he seeks out Chris MacNeil, the only person alive who’s witnessed anything like it before.
Movie Review (No Spoilers)
The movie doesn’t rush too quickly into the dramatic aspects of the film. It really provides a different feel to that of the predecessors. Olivia O’Neil and Lidya Jewett really brought their A-game and I really appreciated their performance. As always, the possessed voices are always done excellently. There is a treat for longstanding fans of the Exorcist movies with the return of Ellen Burstyn who returns as Chris MacNeil, which was teased in the movie trailer as well. The soundtrack along with the use of strategically placed jump scares contributed to the overall scare, however, most of the massive scares are closer to the end of the movie. I recommend watching the other Exorcist-related movies to really have the background. A lot of effort was done in the make-up, special effects and with the religious elements that have been factored into the movie.
Just a word of caution though, this movie is not for the faint-hearted and sensitive viewers.
There is no post-credits scene at the end, so no need to wait till the end. The official trailer I feel gives away a lot of the movie in terms of some of the plots, so watch perhaps the movie before watching the trailer. I rate this movie a 3.5 out of 5. Really looking forward to future projects in the Exorcist film series but I really hope they can deliver a scary surprise in a future sequel.
Catch it at a cinema near you!
Night Swim | Official Trailer — In Theaters January 5th, 2024
Release Date: 5 January 2024
Director: Bryce McGuire
Writer: Bryce McGuire
Based on: Night Swim, short film by Rod Blackhurst and Bryce McGuire
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Production Companies: Atomic Monster and Blumhouse Productions
Cast: Wyatt Russell, Kerry Condon, Amélie Hoeferle & Gavin Warren
Night Swim Movie Poster (Universal Pictures)
No running. No diving. No lifeguard on duty. No swimming after dark.
Ray Waller, a former major league baseball player forced into early retirement by a degenerative illness, moves into a new home with his concerned wife Eve, teenage daughter Izzy and young son Elliot. Secretly hoping, against the odds, to return to pro ball, Ray persuades Eve that the new home’s shimmering backyard swimming pool will be fun for the kids and provide physical therapy for him. But a dark secret in the home’s past will unleash a malevolent force that will drag the family under, into the depths of inescapable terror.
Catch the trailer online now!
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