It is tricky to recommend the new Scream movie. Unless your movie ticket is $2, I would not bother watching it in theaters. Streaming it at home would be a better option, but this movie isn’t anything special. The meta-ness of this movie is a bit drawn out. I get that you should rush to see. The meta-ness is a bit much, and the story suffers for it. I get that the meta-jokes are part of the charm of the series, but they get abrasive and overstay their welcome. Sometimes they do work, but more often than not, it is unnecessary commentary about itself. Jay and Silent Bob Reboot does the same commentary better.
I will say that this is a better reboot than the newest Holloween. Scream doesn’t feel as drawn-out, nor is it a vanity project for the original cast. But this movie is drawn out, and a lot of this comes from its meta-ness. This movie will stop often to explain elements of horror movies or spoil itself when all I want to do is watch a scary movie. This movie has potential, and there are moments where the meta-ness works, but it never quite gets there.
The best scene in the whole movie is its opening. While it is clearly an homage to the original, it is excellently executed, and it sets a tone that the rest of the movie never lives up to. It builds some great tension, there is the perfect amount of meta-ness to story, and Jenna Ortega’s performance as the first victim is the high bar that the rest of the movie will continue to fail to achieve. This scene alone gave me the hope that now fuels my disappointment in this movie.
The main issue with this movie is its characters. The legacy characters are fine, but the new cast is forgettable. The main character is boring. Melissa Barrera isn’t a good choice for the lead. But to her credit, the lead is poorly written. If Sam isn’t dealing with her father being the original killer, she is spouting unwarranted one-liners that never fit her character. I think they were trying to redefine the role of the scream queen to be strong and independent, but there isn’t enough evidence in this movie to support that she is strong and independent. There is a scene in this movie where the killer tells Sam that she “You aren’t strong enough for this movie.” This is the best meta moment in this movie because it is true. Her performance isn’t up to par with the rest of the cast, and the rest of the cast barely does any better.
This movie is just alright. If you are a fan of the series, it is better than some of the sequels and you might appreciate it more than most. If you aren’t a fan, I think it is better to wait for streaming to be available. I have seen a lot worse, but it isn’t worth the ticket price.