Scream 5 fails to meet viewers’ expectations


Lili Jordan '23

After its release January 14, fans give Scream 5 mixed reviews.

The Scream franchise returned after 11 years with a fifth movie January 14.  While film critics appreciate the humor of the latest installment, they denounce the film because of its lack of originality and failure to live up to the franchise’s reputation for innovative storylines.  Renowned critics Mr. Tony Baker and Mr. James Barardinelli discussed the franchise’s loss of creativity.

Mr. Wes Craven directed all of the films in the franchise preceding the newest Scream.  After his death, Mr. Matt Bettinelli and Mr. Tyler Gillett stepped into the role of co-directors.  They hoped to pay homage to Mr. Craven with the newest Scream by following his vision for the movies and producing a film audiences would enjoy, according to

Directors of Scream 5, Mr. Matt Bettinelli and Mr. Tyler Gillett.  Courtesy of

“I would say throughout the making of the movie and within the finished product itself there are so many […] big nods to Wes,” said Mr. Bettinelli, according to  “At the end of the day, the entire thing is ultimately a love letter to Wes from us.  He is one of the greatest directors of his generation.”

The most recent Scream follows the story of two estranged sisters who are running away from the antagonist Ghostface.  Along their journey the audience watches them unite with characters from past films in an attempt to combat Ghostface and kill him once and for all.

The Scream movies are famous for combining horror with humor and irony, as well as playing into the clichés of the genre.  The latest movie continued with this tradition by poking fun at typical horror movie tropes without sacrificing the dramatic plot.

The film begins similarly to the original.  It starts with a phone call from Ghostface to one of the main characters, Tara.  Suspense builds as protagonist Tara Carpenter realizes that she is in a life or death situation, as she is Ghostface’s latest target.  Scream 5 offers a twist to the original movie because it is the only film in the franchise in which the protagonist does not die.

Although Scream 5 has some unexpected turns, the audience found the movie wearisome.  The previous film, Scream 4, also received negative reviews from critics who described it as unimaginative.  Film critic Mr. James Barardinelli remarked that the last Scream movies lacked creativity and were repetitive.

Ms. Jenna Ortega plays a new character, Tara, in Scream 5, who encounters Ghostface.  Courtesy of

“Scream’s brand of horror, which lampooned the slasher genre while simultaneously embracing it, was fun and breezy in 1996,” Mr. Barardinelli said, according to  “In 2011, it is about as fresh as the whiff of something stale and rank from a crypt.”

Since its release, Scream 5 has incited similar feedback.  Film critics believe that while the movie is entertaining, it does not carry the same timeless influence of the original Scream, one which designated the movie as a cult classic.  Critic Mr. Tony Baker commented that although he enjoyed the movie, he did not find it innovative.

“It was an entertaining night at the movies,” Mr. Baker said, according to  “Nothing to write home about, nothing revolutionary, nothing groundbreaking.” 

Featured Image by Lili Jordan ’23