Scream, the legacy sequel to the iconic horror franchise that was helmed by the legendary Wes Craven, hits physical media this week, courtesy of Paramount Pictures; including a gorgeous 4K version that brings the meta universe created by Craven and Kevin Williamson to sharp, and deadly clarity.
Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, and David Arquette all return to the roles that helped redefine, and revitalize the horror genre in the late 90s and early 00s, adding a wonderful layer of fun, to what could arguably have become a very tired subgenre of horror, the slasher film.
By infusing it with a self-awareness, and the knowledge of countless horror movies, the film, and its sequels, let its viewer in on the joke. The legacy sequel continues that tradition, making subtle as well as sly film references (Dewey’s theme is back) and pointed commentary that fans could take delight in.
It also continues with other things as well; whether it’s with character names, little nods to moments in previous instalments, of other films, this one plays the meta game just as well as its predecessors and brings in a whole new generation to play with Ghostface.
It’s fun, and entertaining, and while the young, fresh-faced cast aren’t as easily identifiable as the those in the first film, they definitely make the film their own, while showcasing Campbell, Cox and Arquette, and perhaps a few other familiar faces.
The new cast includes Melissa Barrera from In the Heights, Jack Quaid from Star Trek: Lower Decks, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s Mikey Madison, Jenny Ortega, Jasmin Savoy-Brown, Mason Gooding, Sohia Ammar, and Dylan Minnette, but the film truly shines when the original cast members show up in any scene. It’s something to see them returning to characters that they’ve played over the years, beginning some twenty-five years ago (which doesn’t seem right, because I remember the first and second films like they were yesterday).
The 4K comes loaded with some solid special features, including a filmmakers commentary that helps to illustrate their love of the Scream/Stab films, as well as the other entries in the genre. There’s a look at the new cast, some deleted scenes, a catch-up with returning cast members, a too too short featurette on Craven and Scream (honestly, they could have made a full length doc about Craven and the Scream franchise, and I would have happily embraced it).
Overall Scream is a very fun entry in the series, makes some very pointed remarks on not only the horror genre, but franchises, and fandom (toxic and otherwise) and it’s keen to lets the viewers enjoy the romp, no matter their awareness of the tropes of the genre, or its history, though genre fans will no doubt get a big kick out of the references that are made.
And finally, the film serves as a nice, meta way to say goodbye to Wes Craven and thank him for his impact on the genre, and the films he has made.
Scream is available now on DVD, blu-ray and 4K from Paramount Canada!