Scream 5 Director Explains How Wes Craven Influenced The Sequel’s Violence

Ghostface in Scream

A variety of horror franchises have returned to theaters over the past few years, as a result of the ongoing horror renaissance and nostalgia trend. This trend will continue with the upcoming fifth Scream movie which has officially been named... Scream. Principal photography recently wrapped on the highly anticipated slasher, and which will be helmed by Ready or Not directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin. The latter filmmaker recently told me how Wes Craven's legacy will affect the violence of the next sequel.

The new Scream marks the first time an installment of the franchise has been directed by someone other than horror icon Wes Craven. But Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin's vision won over original writer Kevin Williamson as well as returning cast members like Neve Campbell. I had the privilege of speaking with the filmmakers while before they wrapped production on set, here Bettinelli-Olpin explained how they're approaching the violence of the upcoming sequel. As he put it,

Before this on Ready or Not we had this conversation a lot which is like ‘How do we deal with violence?’ The violence in this, one of the big things we got from Wes Craven is the idea that you can never treat violence like it’s happening to someone [else.] It has to always happen to a human being, who has a family, who has loved ones. Who you should care about. And so when you’re in the violence it’s not for jokes, it’s not for humor. Everything around it can be fun, but violence is violence and it should be treated as such.

Well, this is certainly intriguing. Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin have been open about how influential Wes Craven's Scream movies were to them as filmmakers. And now that they've got a chance to put their spin on the beloved franchise, they're being methodical when it comes to violence. And it seems the movie's murders will be appropriately chilling.

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin's comments to myself and fellow journalists while on the set of Scream 5 sounds like it might make possible naysayers change their minds about the recently wrapped horror flick. The directors of Scream obviously have some huge shoes to fill, as Craven utilized a unique mixture of comedy and horror in the first four installments. But it sounds like they're continually influenced by Craven' previous work.

The comments about Wes Craven's feelings about violence in the Scream movies really highlights just how methodical the late director/writer was about the iconic horror franchise. Because while there were plenty of meta laughs to be had throughout each movie's runtime, the deaths are brutal and tragic. And it's this balance that is key to Scream's success over the decades.

During the above conversation, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin name drops the name of last year's successful slasher movie Ready or Not. That slasher was one moviegoers instantly responded to, and featured comedic beats to buoy the film through horror and family conflict. This no doubt prepared them for their work on Scream, while also showing off what they're capable of within the genre.

Scream is currently set to arrive in theaters on January 14th, 2022. In the meantime, check out our 2021 release list to plan your trips to the movies next year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

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 CinemaBlend. 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 favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.