Ceris' 31 Days of Horror Challenge: Scream
So, to me Scream is one of the best horror franchises and slashers. It’s jumpy but not too jumpy, its gory but not too gory AND it has a realistic storyline, that makes it believable and even creepier.
25 years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, Calif., a new killer dons the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town's deadly past.
This film is set 25 years after Billy and Stu first went on their killing spree in Woodsboro, and although they ended up dead, Ghostface is back and has attacked high school student Tara Carpenter, who just happened to be home alone – when will people learn! Sam, Tara’s older sister learns about Tara being attacked and heads back to Woodsboro to visit her in the hospital, where she is reunited with Tara’s friends.
Turns out that small town families don’t move away from small towns much as Chad’s (one of Tara’s friends) girlfriends, ex-boyfriend Vince, just so happens to be Stu’s (remember Stu) nephew, and he is killed later that night by Ghostface. And it doesn’t end particularly well for Sam either, who is attacked by Ghostface at the hospital – now I’m sure you’re wondering why she has been selected – it’s because bad boy Billy is in fact her biological dad – who knew! This threw me massively as I didn’t see it coming, was a decent twist! Sam tells Tara this is the reason her parents split up and why they are estranged.
Sam and her boyfriend Richie, visit Dewey, who is now divorced from Gale – I wonder why. They ask him for his help now Ghostface is back, so he contacts his ex-wife and Sidney Prescott as a warning. And of course, he begs Sidney not to come back for obvious reasons. Dewey goes to Chad & Mindy’s (the twins) house, which turn out to be niece and nephew to everyone’s favourite horror geek from the first film- Randy Meeks. It’s a nice little nod to the character and his lasting legacy as well as bringing Martha back for a quick but brief cameo. Ad is still gutted he didn’t make it past the second film.
They quickly realise that the three people who have recently been attacked are all linked in some way to the original killers – I got that first! – and Mindy tells them the killer is creating a requel – a continuation of a narrative that derives heavily from the plot of the original, however this time using Tara and her friends as the new generation of victims, with Sam, being Billy’s daughter, to create the link back to the original. Ghostface, it seems, has no intention of waiting for the group to work out his plan, and kills Wes and Sheriff Judy (nice to see her get a promotion after her heroics at the end of Scream 4) in broad daylight. It’s two pretty brutal kills with some pretty great effects for Wes’ death.
Naturally that’s where they all head next where we get introduced to another legacy character- Gale Weathers. I did enjoy seeing Dewey and Gale on screen together again even if it was briefly. Back at the hospital it all goes a bit mad when Tara and Richie are attacked by Ghostface who shows no signs of slowing down his killing spree – fair play, the killer has got stamina – but they are saved by Dewey and Sam. Now folks… what follows isn’t great. Easily the saddest moment of the film; actually the entire franchise.
It was horrible as I could see it coming the second he went back to make sure he shot them in the head. Ad said it’s like watching Han Solo’s death in The Force Awakens all over again! Makes things worse is not only did he die, he didn’t even stop the killer – what a waste of effort. I suppose after the amount of close calls he had it was eventually going to happen… still sucks. Kudos to the film makers for having the guts to do this, I can’t imagine many Scream fans were happy with this.
Dewey’s death unfortunately brings back the last legacy character for the remainder of the film, Sidney Prescott. She meets with Gale and Sam at the hospital, where she asks Sam to help them stop the killer, but Sam says no cos she isn’t stupid, and says she has decided to leave town with Richie and Tara- don’t see enough of this in slasher films! But of course, they’re never going to get out of Woodsboro. Sidney and Gale follow them in a last-ditch effort to put an end to this and not let Dewey’s death be in vain. Low and behold they end up at Amber’s (Tara’s best friend) house, which – are you ready for another link – is Stu’s old house and where the original massacre took place! Quite a setting for a finale!
There is a party ongoing in Wes’ memory – bit silly to be holding it in that house if you ask me – when Chad & Mindy are attacked by Ghostface. The friends regroup, and Amber shoots Liv in the head, revealing herself to be Ghostface- that came out of nowhere! Sidney and Gale get there a bit late, but it’s okay because Richie decides now is the time to reveal himself as the other killer as he attacks Sam stabbing her in the stomach. Poor Sam! They then take Sam, Sidney and Gale into the kitchen – the same kitchen Sidney faced off with Billy and Stu all those years ago.
Amber and Richie tell the group they are fans of the film series ‘Stab’ – based on the original series of events from 25 years ago - but because they didn’t like the most recent film plot, they decided to make their own – guys serious question, should I be getting worried if Adam starts saying he doesn’t like the direction a film has taken? The murderous duo decided they wanted to bring back the ‘original cast’ but with a new and improved storyline for a future requel of ‘Stab’ where they frame Sam as the killer. I mean it’s a pretty good formula for a new film!
Tara manages to fight back giving the others a chance to get free and try to turn the tables. Gale and Sidney manage to get free and after a tussel with Amber, manage to kill her off. Glad Gale got her back for what she did to Dewey, and the smashing a bottle of hand sanitiser over her and lighting her on fire was poetic justice after all the covid shit of the last few years. Doesn’t look like Amber enjoyed that torch!
After a great fight with Richie, Sam manages to get free and urged on by another hallucination of Billy goes full Billy Loomis and brutally kills repeatedly stabbing him before slitting his throat and finally shooting him in the head (just to be sure). A crispy Amber isn’t quite done and tries to attack the group again – remember the party is still going – but Tara has had enough of her shit and shoots her dead.
Ambulances arrive to take those injured to hospital, and Sam thanks Sidney and Gale for their help in defeating Ghostface again. Gale decides she doesn’t want to write about the new murders, instead she wants to write about Dewey and how he tried to save everyone – it’s okay though because the local news are covering it enough for her.
I very much enjoyed this film and was great seeing an especially brutal version of Ghostface. I liked how it linked very closely back to the original but put its own spin on it. I’m intrigued to see what they do with the next one after this storyline and the new characters, especially with Neve Campbell no longer being in it. And of course, who didn’t love seeing the ‘For Wes’ dedication at the end.