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Scream 5
Photograph courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment

‘Scream’: Everything you need to know about the horror reboot

Ghostface kills again in the newly-resurrected franchise

Written by
Andy Kryza

It’s been a long ten years since we last journeyed to the blood-stained suburb of Woodsboro, California (unless you’ve managed to score a night at the Prescott murder house on Airbnb). Now, a decade since the last film answered the question ‘What’s your favorite scary movie?’ with ‘Probably not Scream 4,’ the notorious Ghostface is back to wreak havoc on the survivors of Wes Craven’s original franchise.

The return of Craven’s ultra-meta horror-comedy universe has fans on the edge of their seat for yet another gory whodunnit. Here’s everything we know so far about the fifth entry in the Scream saga, confusingly titled Scream

When will Scream be released?

Scream is officially slated for release in theaters January 14, 2022. There is no word yet on when the film will be available on its studio’s new streaming platform, Paramount+. 

Is there a Scream trailer?

The first trailer for the film just dropped, and it's looking like a much grimmer affair than the previous entries so far.

The trailer is light on jokes and big on potential spoilers, which we'll discuss a bit below. But from the looks of things, this could be a much more straight-faced affair than previous entries, with grimier camerawork and an increased bloodlust. Still, Scream is still a Scream movie, so we’re guessing that the jokes are being kept under wraps for now. 

What is Scream about?

The original Scream is the most iconic horror franchise of the ‘90s, thanks to its metatextual approach to the slasher genre: In the Scream universe, the teens fleeing the slaughter are well aware of the tropes of the slasher genre, going as far as quoting iconic films like Halloween and Craven’s own A Nightmare on Elm Street. Series protagonist Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) has thus-far survived the wrath of her boyfriend in Scream, his mother in Scream 2 , her own half-brother in Scream 3 and a deranged cousin in 4. This is a series that would truly shake even Vin Diesel’s soppy-eyed notion of family to the core.

During the course of the series, Sidney has been victimised by deranged killers and the media in equal measure. Initially pursued by true-crime journalist Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), Sidney became famous as the daughter of a murdered mother whose sordid affair became a tabloid feeding frenzy. Subsequently, her life story – and the murder spree that dogged her in the events of Scream – became a hugely successful  slasher-film franchise unto itself (cheekily titled ‘Stab’), leading to Scream 3’s satirisation of the Hollywood studio system. 

The plot of Scream seems similar to Scream 4. According to ScreenRant, the film will follow ‘a young woman who returns to her old hometown, only to encounter horrific murder cases connected to a notorious masked serial killer.’ That could be a misdirect, mind you – the series is as steeped in red herrings as it is red bodily fluids – but given Campbell is back in the fray, it stands to reason she’s making a homecoming visit to the scenes of various crimes.

In the new trailer, we witness a callback to the original’s Psycho-indebted opening as Ghostface entices newcomer Jenna Ortega to play one of his murderous games, this time utilising an app-activated security system against the world’s last teenager with a landline. After that potentially spoiler-filled clip, we meet the new crop of teenage knife-fodder. That includes In the Heights actress Melissa Barrera as Samantha, who appears to be the new Sidney and the masked killer’s prime target. Sidney, meanwhile, has entered the Sarah Connor phase of her grief and is poised to train the new kid to take on any comers courtesy of a trunkload of firearms.

Along with several scenes of impending carnage, the trailer reveals the new Ghostface is targeting family members of previous killers in the series... and wouldn’t you know it, that includes Sidney herself.

Scream 5
Photograph: Brownie Harris, courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Spyglass EntertainmentBROWNIE HARRIS

Who is returning to the Scream cast?

Along with Campbell’s ultimate final girl, the film will see the return of Cox’s Weathers, who has transitioned from antagonist to ally. She’ll be joined by David Arquette’s Dewey, the series’s aw-shucks good cop who married Cox’s character in Scream 3 (the two were also married in real life, though the relationship has since ended). The film will also see the return of Marley Shelton as Deputy Judy Hicks – essentially the female version of Arquette’s bumbling Dewey. 

Fans have speculated, perhaps wishfully, that the film could resurrect the first Scream’s Matthew Lillard as Stu, a rumour that the actor has neither confirmed nor denied. Stu was last seen wearing a gigantic, smoldering ’90s TV as a hat and was presumed dead after being revealed as one of the two men behind the iconic Ghostface mask. (The other was Sidney’s boyfriend, whose dad’s affair with the Prescott matriarch kickstarted the whole bloody affair… and the movie’s dense family tree). 

Who is new to the Scream cast?

In addition to Barrera and Ortega (of the upcoming Addams Family series Wednesday), new faces include Jack ‘Son of Meg Ryan and Dennis’ Quaid, 13 Reasons Why’s Dylan Minnette, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Sonia Ammar and Mikey Madison, all playing potential killers or victims. 

Who is directing Scream?

Scream will be the first film in the series not directed by Wes Craven. The horror auteur died in 2015, with 2011’s Scream 4 his final film. 

Instead, the new film will be helmed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett of the Radio Silence film collective. The pair previously collaborated on anthology film V/H/S and the surprisingly fun Ready or Not, two films that share Scream’s tendencies toward loving homage, winking humour and plentiful blood and guts. 

The film was written by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) and Guy Busick (Ready or Not) in conjunction with series architect Kevin Williamson.

Will this be part of a new Scream trilogy?

According to gossip site We Got This Covered, Scream 6 has already been greenlit, and while that should be taken with a grain of salt, this is a series that, like so many slashers before it, refuses to die. Unless this is a colossal flop, expect to see the survivors of this bloodbath resurface for another stab at the franchise in the near future. 

Is this film related to the MTV Scream series?

God, we hope not. But never doubt the power of an extended universe in a post-Marvel world

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