Written by: The Bat
Scream was my first ever horror movie. I was 11 and my dad snuck it into the stack of movies he got for my sleepover, with orders to watch it only after my mom went to bed. I still remember how excited I was with my illicit experience, the blood, the violence, and the introduction to a new movie world! It took years for me to see all of the rest, I eventually became the horror fanatic you trust to tell you what to watch today.
So of course, when the new Scream came out, I knew I had to go the opening weekend and I had to tell you all about it. Then a friend told me about 4DX movies, and I figured I should see the exciting new version in an exciting new way!
Dragon: I dunno about exciting new way… heck you presented it to me like I was gonna waste popcorn…
For those of you that, like me, until recently, say “4 D What now?” I will explain. Have you ever been on one of those motion simulation rides, where the seats move to make you feel like you are on a roller coaster or a speeding car or a flying spaceship? Imagine combining that with a movie, with the motion placed into key scenes in order to make you feel like you are in the movie. Add in water effects (optional, you can turn them off) that will make you feel like blood is dripping in your hair or something is squirting you in the face. It definitely makes the movie more up close and personal, I will tell you that.
So, my Readers, this review will be about both Scream (2022) and about the 4DX experience. For those who haven’t seen the preview, Ghostface killer is back, terrorizing people with connections to the original group. The three remaining survivors, Gale, Dewey, and Sidney, must come back to Woodsboro to finish out this bloody chapter. Notice this chapter is named after the original, with no number added, so do not call it a sequel. You will find out what to call it during the movie.
First, Scream itself. There is a lot of good to talk about here, as I really like this movie. First of all, there is the mystery. As several of the other movies have pointed out, the Scream franchise is a set of slasher whodunits. This one definitely did well with both parts. The slash was definitely present in this slasher movie. Of course, the first movie was blood on it’s own, both with real and fake blood.
But this one had depth and detail to each of the killings appropriate for the ability of 2022 movie-making technology. Instead of plain mid-body stabbings with a few creative deaths thrown in, almost every one of the stabbings showed the knife entering the body, the results, the blood spray, and even more. It was amazing!
The whodunit was there too. I revised my list of suspects and my killer guesses several times throughout the movie, not even being entirely sure until the masks came off in the epic scene 3 reveal.
Dragon: I even got it sorta right with my first guess!
A few other good touches peppered this well-written film as well. The characters, while still slasher film shallow in some cases, all had an individualized touch that made you care whether they lived or died. Some of the touches were subtle and possibly assumed (I kinda wished that letter jacket-wearing jock might have gotten the jacket for debate instead, but it was still an implied reference). But either way, you feel for each of the characters in the main group, as well as the mains and the throwbacks. And speaking of throwbacks, there were several scenes that were definitely remakes of the first movie. Now I want to go watch them back to back, and see how close they got it!
The 4DX definitely made the jump scares jumpier. They were jarring where they needed to be jarring and contributed to the creepy music that leads up to the jump moments as well. Also, the drips were appropriately timed and made me shudder, although I don’t know if it was from cold or the intended effect.
I don’t have much to say in this category. As I said, I really liked the movie! Every time they make a sequel, remake, or companion film to one of my favorites, I get nervous that they will ruin it. Poltergeist remake, anyone? Terrible!
But as I was saying, this is definitely not that. There were a few weak points in the ending reveal, some connections I feel could have been made better. But it did not make the movie bad by any stretch of the imagination. And while some people may complain about the repetition of themes or scenes or tropes, I just find them fun!
The couple of downsides I found to the 4DX theater-style had to do with distraction. Every time a new effect hit, I stopped watching the movie to marvel at the addition. Of course, it was my first time seeing a movie in this type of theater, so I can imagine that would go away with a few more experiences. The only other distraction was the placement of the stabbings. Of course, anyone who has seen a horror movie knows that the victims are stabbed in almost every part of their bodies. Knives enter shoulders, stomachs, the front, the back, etc. However, the seat in the 4DX theater can only interact with your back. So you are a bit distracted when you notice that you are getting “stabbed” in the back when the victim is not. Obviously not much they can do to fix it, but still, bit distracting.
Scream is a must-see to any fan of the franchise, old and new. I would recommend binging the others before you go to the theater if you have not seen them yet. There are jokes and references that are so much better if you know where they are coming from. However, I suppose you could do it in the reverse order if need be. Just see them all!
4DX is definitely an experience worth having at least once in your life. While I am not sure I would label it as truly immersive, it is definitely fun! And it does insist on making you give the film your full attention! It is even hard to hold your snacks while it is on, not to mention texting or zoning out or sleeping or anything that would normally distract you from the escape on screen. I hardly ever tell you, my Readers, to try something and decide for yourself, but I think that is what I will say for 4DX. If it is available in a theater near you, give it a try. It is something to say you’ve done at least once!
PS……Yes, a Requel is a thing! See Urban Dictionary