Scream Review Round-Up: What Critics Are Saying About The Return of Ghostface

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The wait for the latest entry in the Scream franchise is nearly over, ending an 11-year gap since Scream 4 was released back in 2011. The fifth film, which is titled simply Scream rather than Scream 5, arrives in theaters on January 14.

Scream is written by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick, and directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. The film’s cast teams legacy cast members Neve Campbell (Sidney Prescott), Courteney Cox (Gale Weathers) with newcomers Jack Quaid (The Boys), Melissa Barrera (Vida, In the Heights), and Jenna Ortega (Insidious: Chapter 2, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous). The previous four movies were all directed by Wes Craven, who died in 2015. However, Kevin Williamson, who wrote all the other films, remains on board as executive producer of the new film.

As of this writing, the movie has 61 critics on Rotten Tomatoes giving an aggregate score of 80% fresh. On Metacritic, the film is currently has an aggregate score of 65 with 24 critics weighing in. These scores will likely shift after the film is out and as other outlets publish their takes, but based on the reviews we have now, it looks like if you’re already inclined to watch the movie you will be in for a good time.

Below, you’ll see a selection of the many reviews of Scream that have already been published. This includes GameSpot’s own review.

Scream

  • Directed by: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett
  • Written by: James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick
  • Starring: Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, Jack Quaid, Marley Shelton, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and Neve Campbell.
  • Release Date: January 14

GameSpot – 9/10

“With the new Scream, you have a film examining what it means to revisit an iconic franchise decades after it debuted for a ‘requel’ of its own… The kills remain brutal, and sometimes more so than the previous movies, the humor remains self-referential and sarcastic, and the tension never eases up from the opening minutes through the violent climax. This is a Scream movie, through and through. ” – Chris Hayner – [Full review]

The Wrap – 93

“This new Scream is a killer. Smartly scary and scary smart, consistent with the history of this series but unafraid to piss off fans if it’s for the good of the story. This satire of requels may very well be the first requel done right. It’s a scream, baby.” – William Bibbiani – [Full review]

The Independent – 80

“It’s a little metatextual analysis served up with a generous side of guts and gore, stabbing its cake and eating it with gleeful abandon.” – Clarisse Loughrey – [Full review]

CNN – 75

“Always meta in its nods to the genre’s quirks, the latest “Scream” is so self-referential as to risk swallowing its own tail. Yet this quarter-century-later “requel” (a term specifically explained in the movie) turns out to be a great deal of fun, cleverly wedding familiar faces with new stars in what isn’t exactly a remake or reboot but rather plays like a refresh.” – Brian Lowry – [Full review]

Variety – 70

“The new Scream is about as good as “Scream 2” was — it keeps the thrill of the original “Scream” bouncing in the air like a blood-drenched balloon — but the film is basically a set of variations on a very old sleight-of-hand fear blueprint. Except that it’s now old enough to seem new again.” – Owen Gleiberman – [Full review]

Vanity Fair – 35

“The film looks pallid and cheap, with pretty much zero nod to the style and panache of Wes Craven’s original. The jokes are heavily telegraphed as Clever Jokes, the references to cinema culture and film structure landing as obligation rather than organic bursts of analytical wit.” – Richard Lawson – [Full review]

Times – 2/5

“It’s impossible not to appreciate the “guess the killer” game that remains the franchise’s central (and now only?) draw. But it’s crushingly over-familiar and sadly fright free.” – Kevin Maher – [Full review]

Us Weekly – 2.5/4

“When you go to the same funhouse five times, you begin to see the cracks in the hall of mirrors.” – Mara Reinstein – [Full review]

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