A lot has happened to the horror genre since the last installment in the “Scream” franchise, 2011’s “Scream 4,” hit theaters. For one, slashers, as well as meta-commentary about them, aren’t as popular as they once were. Instead, series like “Paranormal Activity” and “The Conjuring” are more common nowadays. In addition, auteurist horror fare from Jordan Peele, Robert Eggers, and Ari Aster is having a moment, too; heady horror, if you will.
That’s all but relegated the teen slasher, once ubiquitous to the genre, to the annals of serial television. Recent examples include MTV’s “Scream” (inspired but unrelated to the film series), “Scream Queens,” and certain seasons of “American Horror Story.” Is this the best climate to relaunch the most meta slasher franchise of them all? We’ll soon find out, as “Scream,” the fifth film in the franchise, hits theaters in early 2021.
As the title suggests, the new film serves as both a relaunch of Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson’s series, but it’s also a direct sequel to “Scream 4.” So, expect to see some familiar faces back in Woodsboro. Neve Campbell returns as star survivor Sidney Prescott and David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Marley Shelton. Roger L. Jackson is also back to voice Ghostface.
It wouldn’t be a “Scream” film without a new crop of teen stars set up for the slaughter, though. Melissa Barrera, star of “In The Heights,” headlines the newcomers in “Scream 5.” She’s joined by Jenna Ortega from “You,” Jack Quaid from Amazon’s “The Boys,” and Dylan Minnette from “Thirteen Reasons Why.” Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mikey Madison, Sonia Ben Ammar, and Kyle Gallner round out the new faces.
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the team behind 2019’s horror-comedy “Ready Or Not,” direct “Scream,” taking over for the late Wes Craven. The script comes from Guy Busick, who co-wrote “Ready Or Not,” and writer/producer James Vanderbilt, best known for his work on 2007’s “Zodiac” and Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” films. Another “Ready Or Not” alum, Brian Tyler, scores the movie, taking over for Marco Beltrami, who did the last four “Scream” films.
What’s the plot for “Scream?” Well, violent crimes are happening again in Woodsboro, so Sydney returns home to find out who’s behind it all. The more the horror genre changes, the more it stays the same. “Scream” hits theaters on January 14, 2022, from Paramount Pictures. EW revealed the first look this week, and you can check out the trailer below.