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How Many Times Can You Scream?


Just like a classic slasher villain, The Scream franchise refuses to die. Wes Craven's meta serial killer horror mystery thriller set the ghostface killer in motion in 1996 and now 25 years later, we're staring down a reboot in 2022. Slashers typically have some good replay value and whether you kill the masked villain off or not, it seems inconsequential as long as one can rise up in their place.

The original film starred Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox and let's not forget Drew Barrymore and Matthew Lillard. The headline trio of Campbell, Arquette and Cox have returned for the reboot also named Scream. You'd think that 'Ghostface' would be a good title for the franchise resurrection but the producers are looking to capture the brand's audience rather than trying to create something shiny and new.

At least Scream 4 tried something by reworking the title into SCRE4M a decade ago, delivering a fairly lacklustre return in spite of reassembling the original team. Featuring the same actors as this reboot, which actually hinges on the original's lore, it's almost as if the fourth installment never happened.

Neve Campbell is a mascot for the Scream series, who's inextricable link to playing Sidney Prescott has probably been as much of a help as a hinderance over the years. Luckily for Campbell, the constant attempts at reviving the series and character keep her in business. However, one wonders just how long this revival stunt will keep happening. Will she be in her 80s still dodging a masked killer at a retirement home?

Hello Sidney - Scream

Based on the Scream 4's box office profitability, it seems as though no end is in sight. Whether they find a new Sidney... or Tara if you've watched the trailer, it seems as though like Titanic the heart of Scream will go on. Brandishing a modest budget of $40 million, the fourth installment managed to rake in almost $100 million in takings after a $173 million, $161 million and $172 million streak for its trilogy. This fifth Scream film and "reboot" will be the decider. Based on the sluggish post-pandemic return to cinemas numbers... it's make or break. Just like the Fast and Furious managed to overcome Tokyo Drift and an iffy non-Diesel sequel, it's rare but at least possible for a series to reach new loftier heights. Brandishing the meta angle, this series manages to stay fresh by virtue of its self-reference and comedic undertones. Right now, this kind of ironic edge is most welcome... so Scream has everything to lose.

Based on the trailer, it seems as though the new Scream (or Scream 5) is just going for a rinse and repeat trying to capitalise on the 25 year anniversary as a story and marketing concept. Updating the story to latch onto our over-reliance on technology and social media, it could bring something fresh to the butcher's block. Roping in a next generation of fresh meat, the slasher is going for a precarious handover of sorts with enough old "furniture" to revive the nostalgia and spirit of the original. Sprouting lines like "I'm Sidney Prescott, of course I've got a gun.", perhaps this will be Campbell or Prescott's final Scream? Right now, it's becoming a will they or won't they on discontinuing the core character who's becoming more and more likely to don the ghostface mask and come full circle to play the slasher. Let's just hope the Ghostface Killer mask is more a scream than a yawn.