Scream (2022 film)

Scream is a 2022 American slasher film directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett and written by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick. It is the fifth installment in the Scream film series. Though billed as a relaunch of the film series, the film is a direct sequel to Scream 4 (2011) and is the first film in the series to not be directed by Wes Craven, following his death in 2015. The film is dedicated to Craven at the beginning of the closing credits.[5] The film stars Melissa Barrera, Kyle Gallner, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Dylan Minnette, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Sonia Ammar, alongside Heather Matarazzo, Roger L. Jackson, Marley Shelton, Skeet Ulrich, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and Neve Campbell, who reprise their roles from previous installments. The film takes place twenty-five years after the original Woodsboro murders, when yet another Ghostface appears and begins targeting a group of teenagers who are each somehow linked to the original killings. Similar to previous entries, Scream combines the violence of the slasher genre with elements of black comedy and "whodunit" mystery to satirize the trend of reboots and legacy sequels. The film also provides commentary on the horror fandom culture, particularly the divide between "elevated horror" and classic slasher films.

Scream
Scream2022film.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Written by
Based onCharacters
by Kevin Williamson
Produced by
  • William Sherak
  • James Vanderbilt
  • Paul Neinstein
Starring
CinematographyBrett Jutkiewicz
Edited byMichel Aller
Music byBrian Tyler
Production
companies
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • January 14, 2022 (2022-01-14)
Running time
114 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$24 million[2]
Box office$140 million[3][4]

Although fifth and sixth Scream installments were discussed after the release of Scream 4 in 2011, Craven, writer Kevin Williamson, and executive producer Harvey Weinstein had doubts about proceeding with more films following the less-than-expected box office performance of the fourth film. After the 2017 sexual assault allegations against Weinstein and the closure of The Weinstein Company, the rights to the Scream franchise were obtained by Spyglass Media Group in November 2019, who confirmed a new film would later be made. The following year, Williamson, who was returning as an executive producer, confirmed the film would not be a reboot and that Betinelli-Olpin and Gillett of Radio Silence had been hired in March 2020 to direct the film. Campbell and Arquette were confirmed to be returning later that month, with Cox and the new cast members joining throughout the middle of the year. The film's production was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so filming took place between September and November 2020 in North Carolina. To avoid any plot leaks, numerous versions of the screenplay were produced and several additional scenes were filmed.

Scream was theatrically released in the United States on January 14, 2022, by Paramount Pictures, grossing $140 million worldwide. It was praised by critics for honoring Craven's legacy and offering thoughtful meta-commentary on horror films, with some calling it the best of the Scream sequels.[6] A sequel, Scream VI, was announced in February 2022, with a release date for March 10, 2023.

Plot

Twenty-five years after Billy Loomis and Stu Macher's killing spree in Woodsboro, high school student Tara Carpenter is home alone when she is attacked by Ghostface and left hospitalized.

In Modesto, Tara's estranged older sister Sam Carpenter is informed by Wes Hicks, one of Tara's friends, about the attack. Sam returns to Woodsboro with her boyfriend Richie Kirsch to visit Tara at the hospital, where Sam is reunited with Tara's friend group: Wes, Amber Freeman, twins Chad and Mindy Meeks-Martin, and Liv McKenzie. That night, Liv's ex-boyfriend Vince Schneider, who is Stu Macher's nephew, is killed by Ghostface. After an encounter with Ghostface at the hospital, Sam tells Tara that she has been dealing with hallucinations of Billy Loomis, who Sam learned as a teenager was her biological father. Sam's true parentage resulted in their parents' separation and this is why Sam became estranged from Tara.

Sam and Richie visit Dewey Riley, who is divorced from Gale Weathers. They ask for his help in stopping the killer, and he contacts Gale and Sidney Prescott, warning them about the return of Ghostface. Dewey joins them at Mindy and Chad's home and is reunited with the twins' mother Martha, Randy Meeks' sister. With the three attacks being on people related in some capacity to the original killers, Mindy deduces that the killer is following the rules of a "requel" – a continuation of a narrative that derives heavily from the plot of the original, while using Tara and her friends as the new generation and using Sam's connection to Billy Loomis as a way to weave the legacy characters. Ghostface then murders Wes and his mother, Sheriff Judy Hicks, at their home. There, Dewey reunites with Gale, who has arrived in town to cover the story. At the hospital, Tara and Richie are attacked by Ghostface, but are saved by an arriving Dewey and Sam. Sam, Tara and Richie escape, but Dewey is killed when he attempts to finish off Ghostface.

Sidney arrives in town after learning of Dewey's death and meets both Gale and Sam at the hospital. Sidney asks Sam to help stop the killer, but Sam declines, choosing to leave town with Richie and Tara. Sidney and Gale follow the trio to Amber's, which is revealed to be Stu's former home where the original Woodsboro massacre took place. While a party is in progress to honour Wes' memory, Chad and Mindy are both attacked by Ghostface. As the friend group convenes, Amber pulls out a gun and shoots Liv in the head, revealing herself as Ghostface. Sidney and Gale arrive, and Richie is revealed as Tara's attacker and Amber's accomplice. He stabs Sam, and he and Amber take Sam, Sidney, and Gale into the kitchen where Sidney had first faced off against Billy and Stu.

Richie and Amber reveal they are fans of the Stab film series who met online. Disappointed in the trajectory taken with the most-recent Stab 8, they decided to embark on a new killing spree, bringing back the "original cast" to provide new-and-improved "source material" for a future "requel" Stab film and intend to frame Sam as the killer. Sam attacks Richie and Tara attacks Amber but is incapacitated, Richie goes after Sam while Sidney and Gale fight Amber together, ending with Gale breaking free and shooting Amber, who lands on an turned-on stove and is set on fire. Richie pursues Sam, who sees another hallucination of Billy, which brings her attention to Amber's abandoned knife. Embracing her paternal heritage, she uses the knife to stab Richie repeatedly before shooting and killing him. A horribly burnt Amber attempts to attack the group again but is shot to death by Tara.

Tara and the Meeks twins are loaded into ambulances to be taken to the hospital, and Sam thanks Sidney and Gale for their help. Gale refuses to write about the new murders and give the killers notoriety, opting to write a tribute to Dewey instead. Sam joins Tara in the ambulance and the night's events are covered in a news report.

Cast

 
Melissa Barrera was introduced as Sam Carpenter, daughter of Billy Loomis, one of the original killers of Scream.

Previous Scream actors Matthew Lillard (Stu), Drew Barrymore (Casey), Jamie Kennedy (Randy), Hayden Panettiere (Kirby), Henry Winkler (Himbry), and Adam Brody (Hoss) provide voice overs for partygoers who participate in a toast for Wes, which doubled as a tribute for Wes Craven.[8][9] Additional voice overs in the toast are provided by directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, Craven's widow Iya Labunka, previous Scream screenwriter Kevin Williamson, previous composer Marco Beltrami, previous editor Patrick Lussier, previous co-producer Julie Plec, and filmmaker Rian Johnson.[8][9] Lillard also voices Ghostface in Stab 8 and Barrymore voices a school principal.[8][9] An image of Panettiere as her Scream 4 character Kirby Reed is briefly shown.[10]

James A. Janisse and Chelsea Rebecca of the YouTube channel Dead Meat appear as the hosts of the fictional YouTube channel Film Fails.[11][12]

Production

Development

In 2011, Wes Craven confirmed he was contracted to work on a fifth and sixth installment of the Scream franchise, to be made if the fourth film achieved a successful release and reception.[13] Following difficulties with script rewrites on Scream 2, Scream 3, and Scream 4, often with pages only being ready on the day of filming, and the related stress of the situation, Craven stated that he would need to see a finalized version of a script for Scream 5 before committing to the production.[14] Kevin Williamson also confirmed he had contractual obligations for scripts for Scream 4 and Scream 5, having submitted concepts for three films leading up to Scream 6, though his contract for the sixth film had not yet been finalized. Williamson indicated that if a Scream 5 were to be made, it would be a continuation of the story of the characters who lived through Scream 4 but that Scream 4 would not include any cliffhangers that led into the potential sequel.[15]

Before the release of Scream 4, actor David Arquette also supported a potential future of the franchise, stating "[the ending] definitely leaves it open," before adding that he would welcome the opportunity to play the character of Dewey in future installments.[16] In May 2011, executive producer Harvey Weinstein confirmed that a sequel was possible, saying that despite Scream 4 performing below The Weinstein Company's financial expectations, he was still happy with its box office gross.[17] In February 2012, when asked about the potential for making Scream 5, Williamson stated at the time that he did not know if it would be made, saying "I'm not doing it."[18]

On September 30, 2013, Harvey Weinstein expressed his interest in a fifth installment, stating "I'm begging [Bob Weinstein] to do the movie and just end it. We've milked that cow."[19] In July 2014, Williamson expressed doubt on a fifth film happening, saying "I guess Scream 4 never took off in a way they hoped". He also elaborated on his departure from the series as Craven and his team were "done with him".[20] Williamson later detailed his plans where a proposed Scream 5 would follow Jill being stalked on a college campus, while Scream 6 would feature Gale in the lead and focus on her relationship with Dewey.[21] On June 25, 2015, the Wall Street Journal conducted an interview with Bob Weinstein. When asked about the possibility of a film continuation after Scream 4, Weinstein firmly denied the possibility of a fifth installment or any further continuation of the film franchise, citing the MTV television series as the right place for the franchise to find new life. "It's like putting an art-house movie in an art-house theater," Weinstein said. "Where the teens reside is MTV."[22]

Following the closure of The Weinstein Company in the wake of numerous sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein, the fate of the Scream franchise was in limbo. In early 2019, reports began to circulate that Blumhouse Productions, which specializes in horror-themed films, was interested in reviving the series, and that studio head Jason Blum was working on making such Scream installments happen.[23] These reports were confirmed to be false.[24] In November 2019, Spyglass Media Group acquired the rights to make a new Scream film. It was unknown at the time if it would be a sequel, reboot, or remake. It was also unknown if Williamson would return.[25][26][27][28] The next month, it was announced that the film would feature a new cast but could possibly feature appearances from previous main cast members.[29] On November 18, 2020, Kevin Williamson revealed that the film's official title is Scream.[30] The title Scream Forever was first considered and used on the initial draft of the script.[31]

Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett and casting

 
David Arquette was the first "legacy actor" who was set to star in the film, once again reprising his long-running role of Dewey Riley.

In March 2020, it was announced that Radio Silence's Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett would direct the fifth installment, with Kevin Williamson serving as an executive producer, and that the film had already entered official development, with filming planned to begin in May 2020.[32][33] The filmmakers were in the midst of developing Cocaine Bear when the producers approached them to direct the film.[34][35] In May 2020, it was announced that Neve Campbell was in talks to reprise her role as Sidney Prescott in the film.[36] That same month, it was announced David Arquette would be reprising his role of Dewey Riley; James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick were announced as screenwriters. It was also confirmed that the film would begin production later in the year in Wilmington, North Carolina, when safety protocols to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic were in place.[37] When writer/producer James Vanderbilt first presented the script to Williamson and asked him to be a part of the film, he turned the offer down, claiming he didn't want to be involved in a Scream project without Wes Craven. Williamson eventually contacted Vanderbilt later on, agreeing to join the film under the condition that the film be dedicated to Craven.[35]

In June 2020, Variety reported that the film was set to be distributed by Paramount Pictures and was initially aiming for a 2021 release, which would be 25 years since the first movie was released in 1996. Variety also noted that it was still not known if Courteney Cox or Campbell, or any other legacy actors other than Arquette, would reprise their roles.[38] On July 31, 2020, Cox posted a video to her official Instagram account, confirming her return to the franchise for the fifth installment. The news was then confirmed by various other outlets.[39][40]

In August 2020, Paramount Pictures announced that the film was scheduled to be released on January 14, 2022, having been delayed from its original 2021 tentative release due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[41] In August 2020, Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega were cast in undisclosed roles.[42][43] In an interview with Nightmare on Film Street on September 11, 2020, Ortega was confirmed as playing a lead role by The Babysitter: Killer Queen director McG.[44] Also in September 2020, Jack Quaid joined the cast in an undisclosed role.[45] In the same month, it was confirmed that Neve Campbell, Marley Shelton, and Roger L. Jackson would return to reprise their roles, with Dylan Minnette, Mason Gooding, Kyle Gallner, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mikey Madison, and Sonia Ben Ammar joining the cast.[46] Skeet Ulrich reprised his role as Billy Loomis for the first time since Scream (1996).[8] Ulrich shot his scenes in one day with Barrera in front of a green screen.[47] Rian Johnson was meant to make a cameo appearance as himself, but his commitments to Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery prevented him from doing so.[48] Instead, Johnson is mentioned in passing as the director of the fictional film Stab 8.[49]

Filming

Principal photography was originally scheduled to begin in Wilmington, North Carolina, in May 2020, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[32] Filming instead began on September 23, 2020, under the working title Parkside.[50][51] Filming took place across several avenues in Wilmington, including exterior shots of Williston Middle School and interior shots of Cardinal Lanes Shipyard and 10th Street (between Ann and Castle streets).[52] The film was awarded $7 million in rebates by the North Carolina Film Office.[53] In the midst of production, the studio got cold feet on killing off the character of Dewey and requested that the directors film an alternate scene showing his survival.[54] Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett shot a brief scene with Campbell and Cox, with "no intention of ever fucking using it".[55][56] Filming was completed on November 17, 2020.[57] The existence of not only multiple versions of the film's screenplay but also multiple filmed scenes, to avoid details of the actual storyline being leaked before the film's release, was confirmed in April 2021.[58] During the post-production stage, Michel Aller served as the primary editor for the film.[59] Editor Patrick Lussier had provided feedback on an early cut of the film.[60] Post-production on the film was completed by July 7, 2021.[61]

Music

Scream (Music From The Motion Picture)
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedJanuary 7, 2022
Recorded2021
GenreFilm score
Length70:19
LabelVarèse Sarabande
Scream soundtrack chronology
Scream:
Original Television Soundtrack

(2016)
Scream (Music From The Motion Picture)
(2022)
Brian Tyler Soundtrack albums chronology
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
(2021)
Scream (Music From The Motion Picture)
(2022)
Redeeming Love (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
(2022)

On May 12, 2021, it was confirmed that Brian Tyler would score the soundtrack for the film. Tyler had previously worked with Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett on Ready or Not, and would be replacing Marco Beltrami, who composed the score for the previous four films.[62] The soundtrack album was released on January 7, 2022, by Varèse Sarabande.[63]

Track listing:

No.TitleLength
1."New Horizons"3:50
2."Rules to Survive"3:13
3."Ring Ring"2:41
4."Would You Like to Play a Game"6:20
5."Apparitions"4:11
6."Amends"3:05
7."History Repeats"2:28
8."Suspects, Rules and Requels"4:53
9."Cold Refreshments"1:55
10."In Hot Water"4:17
11."Pain in the Neck"2:20
12."Diversions"2:01
13."Lights Out"3:12
14."Hospital Visitor"4:59
15."Sacrifice"5:01
16."Not My Story"2:10
17."I Started All This"1:56
18."Chromeface"2:23
19."The Expert"1:17
20."Welcome to Act Three"3:08
21."Where It All Began"2:21
22."True Fans"4:11
23."Passing the Torch"3:58
24."Ghostface"3:41

Soundtrack

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."True Love" (performed by Durand Jones & The Indications)
  • Aaron Frazer, Durand Jones & Blake Rhein
 3:42
2."Just Us" (performed by DJ Khaled & SZA)
  • Blu June, André 3000, Brittany Coney, DJ Khaled, Big Boi, SZA & David Sheats
 3:41
3."The American Scream" (performed by The Alkaline Trio)
  • Dan Andriano, Derek Grant & Matt Skiba
 3:00
4."Turn to Hate" (performed by Orville Peck)Daniel Pitout & Duncan Hay Jennings 4:56
5."Red Right Hand" (performed by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds)
  • Nick Cave, Mick Harvey & Thomas Wydler
 4:21
6."Pressure" (performed by Kamaiyah)
  • Kamaiyah, Randy Holmes & Leslie Wakefield
 2:25
7."Guilty Conscience" (performed by 070 Shake)
  • 070 Shake, Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber, Ahn Mitchell, Myles Moraites, William Moraites, Randolph Newman & Mike Stoller
 3:33
8."Aww Shit!" (performed by Tha Alkaholiks)
  • E-Swift, William Curtis, J-Ro & Tash
 3:53
9."Fall In Love" (performed by Caroline Kingsbury)
  • Caroline Kingsbury, Math Bishop & The Gifted
 3:46
10."Take Me Where Your Heart Is" (performed by Q)
  • Q Marsden & Steven Marsden
 3:13
11."High Priestess" (performed by Santigold)
  • Santigold, Ray Brady, Boys Noize, Simon Christensen & Ryan Olson
 3:14
12."Fall Out of Love" (performed by Salem & Carlie Hanson)
  • William Gould & Matthew Reynolds
Peter Miles & Neil Kennedy3:21
13."I Don't Want to Talk" (performed by Wallows)
  • Dylan Minnette, Braeden Lemasters, Cole Preston, Cole M.G.N. & Ariel Rechtshaid
 3:08
Total length:48:29

Release

Theatrical

The film was released on January 14, 2022, by Paramount Pictures.[41][64] The film's red carpet premiere was scheduled for January 11, 2022, but was canceled due to the extended COVID-19 pandemic and rise of the Omicron variant.[65]

Home media

In the United States, Scream was released digitally on March 1, 2022.[66] It was released on April 5, 2022, on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD by Paramount Home Entertainment.[67][68] The film was digitally released in the UK on March 30, 2022, with the DVD released April 11, 2022.

Reception

Box office

Scream grossed $81.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $58.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $140 million.[3][4]

In the U.S. and Canada, Scream was originally projected to gross at least $20 million from 3,661 theaters over its four-day opening weekend, which included the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.[69] Some estimates were higher; Variety and Comscore both predicted a $25–30 million opening.[2][70] Boxoffice Pro projected a $28–39 million four-day opening, factoring in positive word-of-mouth, young viewers being part of the target audience, theatrical exclusivity, ticket pre-sales and social media buzz, and the film serving as a revival to a well-known franchise.[71] The film earned $13.3 million on its first day, including $3.5 million from Thursday night previews.[72] It went on to debut to $30 million (and $33.8 million over the four days), becoming the first film to dethrone Spider-Man: No Way Home at the box office.[73][74] Men made up 53% of the audience during its opening, with those in the age range of 18–34 comprising 67% of ticket sales and those above 25 comprising 58%. The ethnic breakdown of the audience showed that 46% were Caucasian, 33% Hispanic or Latino, 11% African American, and 5% Asian or other ethnicities.[72] The film fell 58.7% in its sophomore weekend to $12.2 million, finishing second behind No Way Home.[75] The film earned $7.2 million in its third weekend,[76] $4.8 million in its fourth,[77] $3 million in its fifth,[78] and $2 million in its sixth,[79] $1.3 million in its seventh,[80] $575,787 in its eighth,[81] and $469,394 in its ninth.[82] The film dropped out of the box office top ten in its tenth weekend, finishing thirteenth with $237,315.[83]

Outside the U.S. and Canada, the film earned $17.9 million in its opening weekend from 50 markets.[84] The film made $10.2 million from 54 markets in its second weekend,[85] $6.5 million from 55 markets in its third,[86] and $4.3 million from 59 markets in its fourth.[87]

Critical response

 
The performances of the cast, especially Neve Campbell's (pictured), were praised by critics.

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 76% of 294 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 6.7/10. The website's consensus reads, "The fifth Scream finds the franchise working harder than ever to maintain its meta edge – and succeeding surprisingly often."[88] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 60 out of 100, based on 49 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[89] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it a 79% positive score, with 61% saying they would definitely recommend it.[72]

Aedan Juvet of Screen Rant called the entry an excellent modern slasher and wrote, "Though the franchise has always been a distinguished property with pure perfection, the recent return to Scream raises the bar for aspiring slashers, once again setting a standard for modern horror – just as it did 25 years ago."[90] Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune wrote: "If we were to make a franchise-reboot comparison: Scream lands about halfway between the pretty-good 2018 Halloween and the turgid follow-up Halloween Kills."[91] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, writing "But it's still capable of delivering some piercing high-pitched decibels."[92] Wenlei Ma of News.com.au rated the film 3 out of 5 and felt that "Scream 5 lacks the spark Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett brought to their previous endeavour. Scream 5 is certainly funny and irreverent, but where it falls over is that it's rarely scary."[93] Writing for The New York Times, Jeannette Catsoulis gave the film a negative review, criticizing the fan service. She stated, "Wearyingly repetitive and entirely fright-free, Scream teaches us mainly that planting Easter eggs is no substitute for seeding ideas."[94]

The performances of the cast were particularly praised.[94][95][96] Campbell was acclaimed for her performance,[97][98] and was noted for her "fresh" take on the role of Prescott. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that "it's a pleasure to see Campbell again in fine form as Sidney, striding back into Woodsboro to take care of unfinished business".[99] Elle magazine named Campbell the "Reigning Queen of Scream" and stated that "Sidney might not have that impact on people were it not for Campbell's portrayal, rife with vulnerability, intelligence, and a palatable dose of humor."[97]

Accolades

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2022 Hollywood Critics Association Midseason Film Awards Best Horror Scream Nominated [100]
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Movie Scream Nominated [101]
Most Frightened Performance Jenna Ortega Won
People's Choice Awards The Drama Movie of 2022 Scream Nominated [102]
The Queerties Studio Movie Scream Nominated [103]
Saturn Awards Best Horror Film Scream Nominated [104]
Best Writing James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick Nominated
2023 Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Supporting Performance Jenna Ortega Pending [105]

Sequel

In January 2022, Neve Campbell and the film's directors expressed interest in making future films in the series.[106] A sixth film was officially green-lit on February 3, 2022, with the same creative team returning.[107] Courteney Cox confirmed her involvement that March, while also stating she had received the script and production would begin in Canada in June 2022.[108] Also in March, the sixth film's release date was set for March 31, 2023.[109]

In May 2022, it was announced that Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, and Jenna Ortega would also return for the sixth film.[110] The following day, it was also announced that Hayden Panettiere would reprise her role of Kirby Reed from the fourth film.[111] Dermot Mulroney was announced as part of the cast on June 3, 2022.[112]

On June 6, Neve Campbell announced she would not be reprising her role as Sidney for the sixth film, saying "I felt the offer that was presented to me did not equate to the value I have brought to the franchise", but added, "To all my Scream fans, I love you. You've always been so incredibly supportive to me. I'm forever grateful to you and to what this franchise has given me over the past 25 years."[113]

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