Ghostface is back in town

“Scream 5” a sequel in the horror movie franchise seems to be almost identical to the original

Zianya Salgado, Staff Reporter

Warning: Slight spoilers

Released on Jan. 14, an odd date for a scary movie, “Scream 5” hit theaters, earning itself 51.3 million dollars in box office sales. Continuing the movie franchise with a sequel lowers many fans’ expectations since sequels never seem to be as good as the originals. In this case, “Scream 5”  seems to have beaten all the other sequels (Scream 2, 3 and 4) but is not quite as good as the original. A disclaimer for those planning on watching: it’s for a mature audience and displays a lot of gore.

The movie starts off with the opening scene almost identical to that of the original. We see Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) home alone when she answers the phone and hears the low pitched voice of Ghostface that asks her to answer questions to save her best friend Amber Freeman (Mikey Madson) from being attacked. The questions are about a movie franchise named “Stab” which is identical to Scream movies but in their world. Based on the events that happened to Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and other victims, they wrote books asking for their experiences to be made into films. Tara struggles to think about the answers to the questions when she runs out of time and all the doors in her house unlock from a technological error. I feel that this separates the film from previous ones because it shows how technology advances and modern twists relate to the generations watching it.

Tara calls the police, but it is too late; the first jumpscare of the two hour movie pops up and we see Ghostface back on screen. Tara of course fights back and tries to crawl away which we’ve seen many times in horror films. I think that it was a little too identical to the original because the audience knew what would happen next, but to my surprise Tara did survive. The police get to her house on time but are too late to catch Ghostface.

We then get introduced to Tara’s older sister Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), her sister’s boyfriend Krisch (Jack Quaid) and her friend group. Within the friend group they start to point fingers which gives the viewers a chance to pick their prime suspect. Before they dive deeper, Sam reveals a big secret to Tara that lead to her life choices like running away from home: her dad is Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), the original killer behind the Ghostface mask. This makes the connections to the past much more intimate and I want to see more of her life and how she deals with this truth but we don’t really see that much. Sam has visions of Billy encouraging her to go after the killer throughout the film and even acted on the instincts similar to her dad later on in the movie which makes it much more interesting.  

Sam and Krisch pay a visit to an old character, Dwight Dewey (David Arquette), to ask for help since he has gone through these same events before. He refuses to be tangled in the mess again, later on giving the group a set of rules, one of the most serious ones being to never trust the love interest (hinting at horror movie satire). The first victims in the small friend group were Wes Hicks (Dylan Minnette) and his mother, Sheriff Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton). They were my favorite and I thought they would be one of the characters to survive. They were constantly paranoid but in broad daylight they were attacked. This is new to see in horror films because the antagonists usually attack at night and it was interesting to see something different, but I questioned how nobody saw anything. 

Once it started to get more serious, two of the more popular original characters, Sidney Prescott and Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox), seem to not be afraid and automatically jump to help Tara and Sam once she got attacked again and Dewey got killed off. I wanted more from his character and I feel that the way he left was almost insulting to his time being in the franchise. I also wish they dived deeper into the other characters and reintroduced the old ones. Sam decides to do the one thing no one ever does in a horror movie: leave town. Sidney discourages Sam telling her what she’s gone through but doesn’t really try to convince her. I wish I could have seen them have an actual conversation together and talk about Sam’s relations to Billy. It would have been really interesting to see them interact more since Sidney was in a relationship with him in “Scream 1”. She decided not to listen and left with Tara and Kritch, not knowing that Sidney was tracking her. But it’s a horror movie and of course there’s some obstacle in their way of leaving. To my surprise, Amber’s house was the same as the one in the original and they were having a party which is almost basic horror movie standard. The four people left from the friend group including Amber were there which seems to be all planned. 

After the party ended, the attacks started and the killers were shockingly revealed amongst the people left. Yes, there were two people behind the mask which I felt was obvious based on who I assumed the killers were from the beginning. One thing that did make a turn was their motives. The reason why they wanted to terrorize people connected to the first attacks was so that the public would make another sequel to “Stab” based on real life events. This shows how fans could get out of hand but in a more erratic way.

Overall the movie was entertaining and made me jump out of my seat. There were references like the iconic line “What’s your favorite scary movie?” and towards the end when Mindy meeks-martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown), part of the friend group, sits on the couch after the party watching the original Scream on TV while Ghostface is right behind her. I do feel that the gore slightly overshadows the plotline, and they don’t give us enough shock or make the audience question who they trust. It is a horror film so at some point, you question not only the characters’ decisions but the director’s decisions. It was almost a predictable storyline, and it earns a spot next to “Scream 1” only because of how identical it is. I feel that it deserves a 4/5.