My Thoughts on Scream 5 So Far



I'm a huge fan of the Scream series and was really excited to be asked by Scream Thrillogy to contribute to their awesome website! Many reading this may know me from the Scream & Ghostface Collectors group on Facebook where I post my Ghostface mask collection and Scream series prop replicas. What better way to start than the exclusive news that Discussing Films posted this morning on the development of Scream 5:
Discussing Film has learned that ‘Scream 5’ is in development and is targeting to begin filming in May.

‘Ready or Not’ directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett will be helming the film. Chad Villella and original ‘Scream’ writer Kevin Williamson will executive produce. William Sherak, James Vanderbilt, and Paul Neinstein will produce the film.

Plot details are scarce but sources say it will follow a woman returning to her home town to try to find out who has been committing a series of vicious crimes. It is unknown if it will follow the story of the past four ‘Scream’ films or pave a new direction for the franchise.

According to Bloody Disgusting, the studio Spyglass will be developing the film, and production companies Radio Silence, Outerbank Entertainment, and Project X Entertainment will be behind the film.
More details to come…
'Ready or Not' was a well-received Horror Comedy from 2019. Rotten Tomato's critical consensus called it "Smart, subversive, and darkly funny, Ready or Not is a crowd-pleasing horror film with giddily entertaining bite."Peter Debruge's review in Variety I think shows why the directors maybe were considered a good choice, he wrote that "This deliciously diabolical sophomore feature, which hails from the resourceful low-budget trio known as Radio Silence, represents a departure for indie distributor Fox Searchlight, which has a real winner on its hands — that rare Get Out-like horror movie capable of delivering superficial diversion alongside deep cultural critique." The Scream films at their best are Horror films first, with effective suspense and scenes meant to shock and scare, but they also have a clever dark sense of humour and deep cultural commentary. So I don't think the fact Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett's 'Ready or Not' was a Horror Comedy means that Scream 5 will be more Comedy than Horror. It may just be an attempt to recapture and preserve the delicate tonal balance of the earlier Scream films.

The team of producers was also revealed, most notably Kevin Williamson, who wrote 'Scream' (1996) and co-wrote the sequels, joining the team as an executive producer. This news may be a disappointment to some of the hardcore fans who hoped he'd be returning as the writer of the film. After writing 'Scream' (1996) and the film being a surprise hit for Dimension Films, the Weinstein's rushed the sequels out and did a lot of meddling with the productions, forcing other writers to be used and only getting treatments and ideas from Kevin Williamson, who was super busy with other projects after the success of 'Scream'. But it is at least nice to know they are including him in any way and I don't think it's impossible to make Scream 5 a great film without him personally writing the screenplay. Who knows, maybe he will provide some story ideas he's thought up over the years.

What does slightly worry me is the apparent exclusion of producer, Marianne Maddalena. She produced the previous films and was Wes Craven's closest creative partner for years. She also was the one who discovered the now iconic Ghostface mask while location scouting for 'Scream'. She worked very close with Craven on many, many films and I feel was a very important element of the Scream series.  What a valuable asset to not use...

It's unknown at this point what the story will be and if any of the original cast members will return. The fact it's being referred to as 'Scream 5' makes me somewhat hopeful that it will be a continuation and at the very least take place in the same world as the previous films, but it's too early to know for sure. Discussing Films did mention some vague notion about "a woman returning to her home town to try to find out who has been committing a series of vicious crimes" from some mysterious "sources", so it sounds like the story and screenplay have at least begun development with some sort of direction in mind.

I think the most important thing to me to have the film be successful and well received by fans and audiences is that those involved aren't cynical about the project and understand what people loved about the previous films. We will be closely following the production here at Scream Thrillogy and look forward to hearing your thoughts!

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