I watched this movie last year, when it first came out at the cinema. And this week, I watched it a second time, in a double bill showing of Scream 5 and Scream 6.
Scream 5 begins in a really similar way to the original Scream, complete with the very first victim answering horror movie trivia in an attempt to save the life of a friend. And then there’s the inevitable initial attack from the killer, which leaves the very first victim dead.
And that’s where Scream 5’s opening scene differs from the original. Because despite being horribly wounded and the opening title coming from what seems to be the final, fatal slash, Tara isn’t actually dead. And the attack on her brings her older sister, Sam, back to Woodsboro, where everything started.
Scream 5 is very formulaic in how it follows on from the other movies in the franchise. It becomes clear after the third attack that Tara’s core group of friends all have connections to those involved in the original massacre. The exception is Wes, who’s the son of Judy Hicks, the Deputy Sheriff from Scream 4. In Mindy’s words, this should make him the safest of all, but as this is a requel, that means no one is truly safe.
Mindy is a much more interesting character than her twin, Chad, who comes across as a fairly stereotypical jock. Mindy fills the role that Randy, her uncle, had in the previous movies. She’s the horror movie buff, who tells everyone the rules of surviving the ‘fan fiction movie’ they’ve now found themselves in. Which, weirdly enough, everyone seems to accept, even when the killer is attacking in broad daylight.
Sam’s connection to Billy Loomis, one of the original murderers, is quite an intereesting aspect to not only the storyline as a whole, but also her character. It added more fraught tension to her interactions with the others and, in particular, her sister.
One of the strongest things about this movie was definitely the bond between Sam and Tara. And also, despite her injuries, Tara was one of the strongest characters in her own right…perhaps the strongest. I would have liked it if her romantic connection to Amber had been kept in from the original script. There aren’t many lesbian characters in mainstream movies and although the inclusion of Mindy was a nice touch, it would have been good to see a movie actually take the progressive step of having a gay main character.
It was, of course, good to see the legacy characters from the previous movies, such as Dewey, Grace and, of course, Sidney. I’m not so sure the hints of something paranormal or supernatural going on really worked when it came to Billy Loomis’ appearances, though. Those might not have been intentionally paranormal, but that was definitely the impression I was getting by the end of the movie.
All in all, I did really enjoy the movie. It was predictable, but still entertaining in its own way. And Sam and Tara were great, engaging characters who I really cared about. And as I’ve already indicated in having seen this movie a second time, it’s a movie I wouldn’t mind watching again.