Scream scared the hell out of me as a teen. Specifically, that cold open with Drew Barrymore terrified me. It’s just such a visceral slasher scene, and the idea of home invasion had never really occurred to child-me until that moment, but worse was Casey (Barrymore) dying within sight of her parents. That REALLY rattled me. The rest of the movie was fine, and the sequels a clear case of diminishing returns—though Scream 2 has Timothy Olyphant—but that very first scene. Whew. That basically relaunched teen slashers after a glut of cheap 1980s titles killed the sub-genre for a while. With Scream undergoing the soft reboot/sequel treatment next year, the standard for the new movie is “is anything in this as scary as Casey being attacked at home?”
Based on the new trailer…maybe. They’re clearly recreating the home invasion for the digital age, with a hacked home security system and an incongruous landline. Who still has those? Even my parents got rid of their landline. (Lainey: me! I have one! I’ll never let it go!) But at least they acknowledge the reluctance people have to pick up for unknown numbers. I was wondering how they would address this, because who answers an unknown number? I’m not sure it completely works, at least as presented in the trailer, but they’re at least accounting for how technology has changed the basic premise of Scream. Will it work to revive this franchise for a new era? Will Kids Today find Scream as unsettling as we did back in the 1990s? Or is it going to go even harder on the in-jokes and meta references? If it does that, can it keep from becoming a self-parody?
Other than the cell phone/digital angle, this very much looks like Scream. There are teens being murdered by someone in a Ghostface mask, there’s Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott, Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers—minus the trauma bangs—and David Arquette as Deputy Dewey. If they kill sweet Deputy Dewey this time! I will be mad! I never watched the Scream TV show that ran from 2015-2019, but I wonder if this new movie will tie into it at all? It looks more like a direct sequel to the original movies, bringing back some iteration of Sidney Prescott’s tormentor. Poor Sidney, the unluckiest girl in the world. The world may have changed around her, but Sidney is just as cursed now as she ever was.