The 2022 version of “Scream” is a film for viewers raised on the 1996 version of “Scream” and its three sequels. Whereas the first script by Kevin Williamson turned the kind of conversations that fans had about John Carpenter and Wes Craven in school cafeterias and coffee houses into something daring and riveting, the new script by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick exists in a world where those conversations happen on a much larger scale in Discord chats, Reddit threads, and fan conventions. It's a horror film for a world in which everyone has an opinion on horror films. Luckily, it smartly balances references to the original movies in a way that (mostly) avoids the self-aware smugness that has killed many a “re-quel,” delivering a product that feels consistent with the first four movies but distinct enough to have its own voice. Some of Craven’s craftsmanship and skill with performers is lacking here, but by the time the film is rising to the rafters in its bonkers final act, I don't think any of the true horror fans in the audience will care.
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