Thursday, January 13, 2022

'Scream': A quarter century later, it remains Craven's same ol' stabalot

"For Wes."

Those two simple words appear in the end credits of the latest "Scream" as unobtrusively as the man they salute often did. That would be the one and only Wes Craven, director of the first four films in this newly resumed, 25-year-old series and a late, great Cleveland product who became one of the famously tough Collinwood neighborhood's favorite sons.

Maybe not so ironically, horror-maven Craven took screenwriter Kevin Williamson's dumb-ass suburban kids in the original "Scream" and orchestrated them into murderers, comics and even stars, with countless who-dunnit twists of a sharp dagger, some uncomfortable laughs and an assortment of nifty cast turns during the franchise's first two decades, all while standing behind his bloodthirsty camera. 

And, if that sounds a lot like what you might be hearing about this latest "requel" -- a combination of reboot and sequel discussed along with all things slasher in this extended Episode No 5 -- then so be it. I mean, besides its new "killer" technology, the same dim gallows humor from fresh party-hardy teens remains to mingle with the gravitas (HA!) of Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers and Dewey Riley, enticed back to figure out who's really slaying it this time around.

Surely you might know the latter trio more easily as Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette, the most iconic players from all of the previous Screamers. FYI: Campbell and Cox even reached out on screen before this week's showing for critics to ask us not to reveal any spoilers. Certainly we never do that here. Just know Craven is probably somewhere enjoying it all again.

(2022's "Scream" is playing right now at movie theaters everywhere.)

Rated "R" by MPAA: strong blood violence, language throughout and some sexual references; 1:53; $ $ $ out of $5

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