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Scream’s Directors Explain Why The New Movie Includes So Much Music From Wes Craven’s Original

Neve Campbell as Sidney in Scream
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

While January is typically a slow month at the movies, the new Scream movie ended up being an exception. In fact, fans of horror movies went out in droves to theaters to see Ghostface’s latest attack through Woodsboro. And the directors have explained why the new movie has so much music from Wes Craven’s original.

The new Scream movie was directed by Ready or Not filmmakers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, marking the first installment of the franchise since Wes Craven’s death. I had the privilege of speaking with the pair about the acclaimed new slasher, and the various ways it honored Craven’s legacy. This includes the music, which features beloved musical themes as well as a song from the original soundtrack. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin explained the emphasis on Scream’s music, saying:

For us the music, the score, the needle drop all of that is such an integral part of Scream, right? And one of the things we really wanted to do across the board in this movie was have one foot in the original four, and one foot in the future of the franchise. And that had to include music. So when Brian Tyler was doing the score one of the things we really wanted him to include was those themes from the original that we all know and love. Because, for us, we don’t know what the sonic landscape of Scream is if we don’t have ‘Sidney's Lament’ and ‘Dewey’s Theme.’ Those are just part of the identity of Scream. And of course ‘Red Right Hand.’

He’s definitely got a point there. While the Scream franchise is known for its smart dialogue and brutal kills, the franchise also has a certain musical language. And so when tackling the latest movie, the filmmakers behind the camera were sure to play by the musical rules of the property.

While the new Scream movie was made to be accessible for newcomers, it’s also filled with easter eggs for the hardcore fandom. And it was definitely fun to hear characters introduced with their signature music. Ghostface’s second kill featured Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ song “Red Right Hand,” while both Sidney and Dewey’s musical themes were heard throughout the slasher. You can listen to that iconic track as a refresher below,

Later in our conversation, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin went on to further explain why the music of Scream was something handled with specificity. As he told me,

The music was a big deal and we took it really seriously, and we spent a lot of time on it. And we spent a lot of time on the needle drops too, and made sure they had a narrative to them. And they told the story and added to every scene they were in.

While Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett had some big shoes to fill, but they definitely took special care with every aspect of the new Scream movie. And those efforts definitely seemed to have paid off. The movie got great reviews, and has continued to make money at the box office. We’ll just have to see if another sequel is ordered. This fan’s fingers are crossed.

Scream is still in theaters now. Be sure to check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.