Advocating A Sixth Scream Film (Spoilers)

Warning: This post contains Scream (2022) spoilers.

Allow me to preface this post by stating that I am a Scream fan through and through, literally a die-hard since 1996. Scream changed the way I watched movies. It introduced me to the slasher sub-genre in a way that I hadn't experienced before. Scream changed things.

This post is advocacy for Scream 6 (or whatever it will end up being titled). A sixth entry in the little slasher franchise that could. I love what the Radio Silence team did with Scream (2022), I stand by every creative decision in that movie. And here's why...

In December of 1997, we got Scream 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the previous December's original. Scream was a smash hit so a sequel was inevitable. We, fortunately, got one less than a year later. And at the end of the day, Scream 2 was everything it was hyped up to be and more. Hollywood's brightest young stars were literally dying to be a part of this young franchise. 

Stab audience, Scream 2 (1997)

Scream 2
 made the then INSANE decision to kill off one of the original's shining stars: fan-favorite Randy Meeks played by Jamie Kennedy. This decision tore the hearts out of Scream fans (mine included). But you know what? The movie had to do it. To advance the story further a likable character had to die. This could have been anyone between Sidney, Dewey, Gale, and Randy. And Randy got the ax. This left the audience on edge and worried anything could happen. Thus giving birth to our Holy Trio of Sidney, Dewey, and Gale.

Scream 2 took a chance. And it ultimately paid off. 

February 2000 saw the release of the “long”-awaited Scream 3. Despite the pre-production woes, the film delivered on its promise of a satisfactory conclusion to the trilogy. And despite some campiness, and some aspects that weren’t totally Scream-like, the movie worked. It didn’t take any dangerous chances, but we never truly felt like Sidney, Dewey, and Gale were totally safe, either. So Scream 3 worked. The Scream Trilogy had an ending.

Fast forward 11 years. April 2011. Scream 4 is released. 

A little backstory: Scream 4, initially, was the promised start of a second trilogy. As you now know, that’s not what happened. And here’s why:

Jill and Ghostface, Scream 4 (2011)

Scream 4
 played it safe. It didn’t take any chances or dare any risks. It ultimately ends to being a bonus chapter to the trilogy that doesn’t affect things in any way whatsoever. The trio of Sidney, Dewey, and Gale all make it out alive and well. At no point did we truly feel like any of them were in any real danger. Even the end, where, for all we know, Sidney is dead, killed by the hands of her cousin Jill, we never really believed she was dead. And out suspicions are confirmed just moments later by Dewey. 

Scream 4, in its original incarnation, was that installment that would change things and shake up the series, ushering in a brand new trilogy with a breath of fresh air. But again, the Weinsteins decided to play it safe. No climactic open-ending, and really, no where to go with Scream 5 and 6

So for another 11 years, the series sat stagnant. Nothing. A couple failed TV attempts, a few appearances by Ghostface in video games. But nothing on the movie front. 

January 2022. 

Scream (2022) is released. A true continuation of the series. 

With the late Wes Craven no longer around to direct our beloved franchise, newcomers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett took the helm from a screenplay by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick. Scream creator Kevin Williamson came on board as an Executive Producer alongside fellow alum Marianne Maddalena  

And you know what? They shook things up. 

Ghostface and Vince, Scream (2022)

And they shook them up in a major way. Gone are the feelings of security that our “Holy Trio” was safe. Gone was the cliche of a sinister Ghostface right off the bat. The movie truly was a love-letter to the franchise and a step in a righteous direction. They introduced us to some new characters that can take this series for a few more miles down the road, and gave us not one, but potentially two new leading final girls in Sam and Tara Carpenter.

Sam and Tara, Scream (2022)

They killed our heroic Dwight “Dewey” Riley. “How dare they?” you ask? It’s simple: they had to. Someone important had to die. Arguably the heart and soul of the franchise. But for the first time in a very long time, we have that feeling back. That fear that no one is safe. And that’s what I was craving.

The movie played on toxic fandom and what those toxic fans expect in their favorite franchise’s sequels. They. Hit. The. Nail. On. The. Head. 

Does the movie honor the legacy of Wes Craven? It absolutely does and I have no doubt that Wes would absolutely love this movie. He was a humble man who took great pride in works that honored him.

February 2022. 

Scream 6 is officially given the green light after the monstrous financial success of Scream (2022)’s box office numbers. 

Remind you of anything? How about how Scream 2 was immediately rushed into production after Scream became an instant hit. Although it wasn’t initially planned, Scream 6 could very well be the middle chapter of a rare second trilogy. 

And what does almost every middle entry in a trilogy share? It’s the opportunity for the writers and directors to truly shine and make their own movie. The second movie always shakes things up. And if you think Scream (2022) rattled our cages then we haven’t seen anything yet. 

And you know what? I’m here for it. All of it. 

Scream’s foundation was built on recognizing and subverting the expectations of the horror genre and slasher movies in particular. 

Our beloved franchise is in good hands. And if you’re an original trilogy purist, that’s okay. Your initial three movies still exist. They’re still there to be viewed. 

Hollywood is a business. No sacred movie or franchise is ever safe from capitalism. The trick is to embrace change. Because you can’t stop it. You can only roll with it. And that’s exactly what I’m doing. 

Scream (2022) was a giant gasp of fresh air. It’s what the series needed if it was to continue successfully. I love Scream 4, but we didn’t need another safe entry that doesn’t push the series forward. Our 2022 movie does just that. 

If Scream 6 truly is the second chapter in a new trilogy, then I believe we’re all in for a wild, fun ride. A new foundation has been built. New characters have been established with plenty of organic room for our “Holy Duo” of Sidney and Gale to appear. 

Respect the past while moving forward. That’s a basic rule of human civilization. And it applies perfectly to the Scream saga as well.

So here’s a toast to the future of Scream. May the sixth entry give us more of what we’ve yet to see.

To be fair, I love all the movies for different and varying reasons. And if you’re curious as to my series ranking: 12543.

Because, if I can paraphrase Randy for a moment, “Never, ever assume your franchise is dead.” Because, “THIS is the moment when our supposedly dead franchise comes back to life for one last scare.”

Thanks for reading, Scream fans, and please direct all hate mail to @nickmeece

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