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Scream Reviews Are Up, See What Critics Are Saying About Neve Campbell’s Latest Turn Against Ghostface

A bloody Neve Campbell entering a room with a gun in Scream.
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Over a decade since Scream 4 provided what looked like like the final chapter in Wes Craven’s meta-horror saga, it’s time to brush up on your horror movie knowledge yet again. Scream is here, as Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox return to face off against a new Ghostface, with some fresh faces along for the ride. Social media reactions to the new film have been pretty positive, but what do critics think of this fresh cinematic kill? Let’s take a look at what the professionals are saying about this latest twist of the knife.

We start off, as always, with our review from the home team, as Corey Chichizola provided CinemaBlend's official say on the fifth film in the series. Rating the final product with four and a half stars in his write-up, he noted how directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (also known as part of the Radio Silence film collective) have hit all of the hallmarks of Mr. Craven’s horror legend. Rounding off his remarks, Mr. Chichizola summed up the latest entry as follows: 

Overall, Scream is masterful horror full of intense, raw terror, laugh-out-loud comedy, and mind-blowing twists.

Sequels aren’t always universally acclaimed, especially in a series like Scream where that exact practice is poked fun at as much as its victims are poked with knives. This is where critics like Fred Topel of United Press International come in, as his reaction to this new chapter highlights that exact concept. Laying it out pretty plainly, this is how Mr. Topel felt about the film:

Each time the new Scream makes an observation about derivative sequels, it's already committed two of those sins itself.

Upon debuting in 1996, the late Wes Craven’s meta-horror brainchild blew the minds of horror fans left and right. Deconstructing the genre, while adhering to its structure masterfully, was a potential new formula for a film series to hang its hat on. So by time movie number five rolled around, you’d think there’s no gas left in the tank? That couldn’t be further from the truth, according to Amelia Emberwing from IGN Movies, who had this to say:

The 5th entry into the Scream franchise sets up a future for the franchise that some may not have thought possible with a tight story, great performances, and stellar new directions.

Breaking down tropes can only go so far with some audience members, as seen in Kevin Maher’s review of Scream in The Times (UK). In his opinion, there’s one singular element that the series has to offer, and even that seems to fail in this new picture. Maher’s more specific criticism reads thusly:

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.

Maybe, just maybe, you need to be either a horror genre die hard or a Scream fanatic to appreciate this latest trip to Woodsboro. It’s a possibility, as series such as this do tend to hit closer to home with the fans who made it what it is. Closing out our roundup is Heather Wixson of Daily Dead, who gives this movie the highest compliment it could possibly hope for in the horror community:

I think what directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have managed to create with this newest entry in the Scream franchise not only thrilled me as a fan, but I think it would have made Wes Craven extremely proud as well.

Staying true to the Craven vision was something that was a concern from day one, and depending on who you talk to, the level of success is very subjective. It’ll probably be a while until we know where this latest entry sits in the ranks of the rest of the Scream story, as these sort of things take time. For now, the time has come for you the audience to judge for yourselves.

If you’re looking to Scream once again at the movies, and feel comfortable enough to do so, this bloody entertainment will be showing at a theatre near you with early screenings this Thursday. However, those of you needing a remedial crash course in the history of Sidney Prescott and Ghostface can get started through a Peacock subscription, as the first two films in the franchise are streaming there at the time of this writing.

Mike Reyes

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.