When Scream first arrived in 1996, it became one of the most popular horror movies of the decade, offering a complete revitalization of the genre. Much of that was to do with its self-aware nature and tongue in cheek comedy, which helped it appeal to an audience outside of hardcore horror fans. Due to its success, the franchise doubled down on the meta humor in the next three sequels, but don’t expect that to continue in 2022’s reboot.
During a virtual reunion that took place last weekend, original screenwriter Kevin Williamson, who’s very much involved with the project as an executive producer, revealed what will mark the new movie apart from its predecessors. He explained that it will have “no deconstruction” and “no self-awareness,” saying that this decision was made as he believes that fad has “run its course.”
“[The new rules are] no deconstruction. No self-awareness. Just do the opposite of what we did. I do worry that the franchise kind of wears itself out with all the meta and the deconstruction and there’s only so many times you can [do this]. So many people have since then done horror films like it, or in the vein of. So you kind of worry that it’s run its course.”
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This is a major change of direction for the series, as the Scream films have always been heavy on horror commentary, with the original poking fun at the genre’s tropes and Scream 2 parodying horror sequels, Scream 3 spoofing trilogy-closers and Scream 4 deconstructing horror reboots. I guess there’s not much material to work with when it comes to second reboots, so the filmmakers have just decided to do away with that whole angle instead.
It’s hard to imagine Scream without its signature meta comedy, but many fans have argued over the years that the franchise got too caught up in its self-awareness at the expense of the scares, so maybe directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin are onto something here. After all, Williamson has said that the Radio Silence duo have made a movie that Wes Craven would be proud of.
Scream – yep, it’s not called Scream 5 anymore – is due to hit theaters on January 14th, 2022.