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It’s the fifth instalment in a horror franchise that started 25 years ago. If you judge it by that standard, it’s absolutely fine. For fans of the original Scream who want more of the same, just with an updated world around the same archetypal characters, it works well enough. You could argue it’s a reboot, a remake and a sequel all in one, which I suppose sets it apart from other late-stage franchise revivals. 

Scream has to have a sense of meta context to keep in the same lane as it started. When Scream 1 came out I was really young, but I was old enough to recognise that as something fresh and exciting when I first watched it a few years later. At this point, it’s a bit of a weird balance because it’s very self-referential, but it creates a movie within a movie to be able to refer to itself. Does that defeat the point of the meta context? I’m not sure. I thought it did some clever things with that, but it did also come across quite close to arrogant at points. There’s a couple of parts that I think were supposed to be empowering for the characters involved, but actually just came across as morally questionable. 

There’s a line where a character explains the situation they’re in with the context of the first movie in mind, and the response is, “so you’re telling me I’m in a fan-fucking-fiction?”, and the film itself does feel like that. The narrative could’ve easily been crowdsourced from Reddit and YouTube comments. That’s not entirely a bad thing in this particular case, it stops just shy of being an annoying greatest hits show and does just about enough to be an alright Scream movie.

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