Scream comes in with a fifth installment to the franchise that acts as both a reboot and a sequel, bringing back the original three stars and a slew of new teenage bait for the iconic Ghostface Killer. Keeping with its meta themes, this film takes it a step further and tackles the toxic fandom element of horror movies. It's a lot of fun, despite its issues. The disc comes with a great lossless DTS-HD 7.1 audio mix and a great-looking 4K image with Dolby Vision HDR. There are some decent EPK like extras along with an amazing commentary track that is worth listening to. Highly Recommended!
In the mid-'90s, horror maestro Wes Craven completely reinvented the horror slasher genre with Scream. The Nightmare On Elm Street director found a fantastic mix of meta-humor and terror within his own creation that pitted a sadistic killer upon teenagers who all loved horror movies. Those elements created a $600 million box office and spawned three more sequels. After Scream 4, the writers and directors of Ready Or Not came aboard to make the fifth film that reboots the franchise along with keeping it a true sequel in modern times titled Scream - again. With its name-dropping horror movie references, brutal death scenes, and whodunit scenario, this new Scream movie feels fresh despite its many mistakes and cheese.
Those Radio Silence guys who are responsible for the all-out fun in Ready Or Not sure had their hands full coming into the Scream franchise since there is so much "cinema-lore" to keep alive while introducing new people inside this universe. One of the big elements of Scream is the characters who are very aware of horror movies and how to survive one if they were ever put into a real-life scenario. Stating the horror movie rules for survival in each Scream movie still didn't lessen the body count and this film is no different. Bringing back this franchise after more than a decade of lying dormant is a tricky one, but the Radio Silence filmmakers managed to tell the same story as the original movie while keeping the story fresh with a new twist that is steeped in horror movie fandom, which of course, can be super toxic at times.
This Scream follows the same flow as the original movie, even starting with a teenage girl at home alone and receiving a phone call that might be her last. It seems that the Ghostface Killer is obsessed with the movie Stab, the faux film that was featured in the Scream movies that was based on the teen killings by Billy Loomis and Stu Macher. A group of teens is targeted back in Woodsboro, where Dewey Riley (David Arquette) is still living. As he realizes there's another Ghostface Killer again on the loose, he phones his former wife Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox), and Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) to inform them to stay safe. As more bodies pile up, the veteran heroes and the new teenage bait all try and figure out who the killer is while stating the obvious new rules from recent horror movies.
A great and somewhat humourous aspect of the Scream franchise is that Ghostface isn't immune to getting hit or hurt. In fact in each film, it's pretty easy to take down the masked serial killer with a simple punch or push. It's quite comical and that element rings true in this new film. The thing that's different this time around is the sheer brutality in the kills. As horror movies have gotten more realistic in their practical gore, the stabbing and kill scenes in this new Scream film are excellent and brutal. There are plenty of instances that garner an audible gasp and yell when someone takes a steel blade to any part of their body resulting in bathtubs of blood.
Additionally, the new rules that are stated throughout the movie are quite fun and mix valid points of severe fandom that crosses into toxic territory. Mentioning the likes of The Babadook, It Follows, and The Witch is simply fantastic to hear in a Scream movie. The new fans of horror are not just for slashers but are more interested in the psychological terror, and that element plays out through this new Scream movie. On the flip side of this meta coin is that all these references and mentions of horror movie rules outstay their welcome. In the original films, these pieces of dialogue only crept up a couple of times, but in this reboot, it is peppered throughout the entire film to an annoying degree. It gets old real fast. Luckily there are some tender sequences of reunions with certain characters that feel authentic and sentimental to keep that meta-comedy at bay.
The performances are good within the new cast, but the spotlight and real heft come with the three original cast members showing up. David Arquette gives new life to a regretful and heroic Dewey whose emotions come full force when Gale comes into his life again. And Neve Campbell gives Sidney Prescott something of the Sarah Connor treatment in a certain way that she knows exactly what to do and is not afraid to step up to the plate of violence to protect her friends and herself. It was indeed a breath of fresh air. This new Scream movie is still a bit of fun that pays homage to the previous films and creates a new generation of horror fans with its iconic Ghostface Killer. It can be silly, cheesy, and redundant at times, but for the most part, this Scream film succeeds.
Vital Disc Stats: The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray
Scream stabs its way to 4K via Paramount with a 4K UHD Disc + Digital Code. They did not package a 1080p Blu-ray with this one, although one is available separately. The sole disc is housed inside a hard, black plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The artwork features Ghostface looming over the entire main cast of the film. There is an insert for the digital code.
Scream comes with an impressive 2160p UHD 4K image with Dolby Vision enhancement that looks amazing. The image as a whole is a little darker than its Blu-ray 1080p counterpart, but the black levels on the 4K image look much better in the darker sequences.
The color palette is excellent and paints a natural picturesque image of the fictional town of Woodsboro. Exterior shots reveal blue skies, many shades of green in the trees, and the lawns that back up nicely to the assorted housing. The primary colors of clothing and the interiors of the kid's houses look wonderful. There are some amber filters that are applied throughout that look great as well. The sequence inside the dark hospital hallway looks amazing with some fantastic black levels that never bleed that are mixed with greenish-white hospital lighting. The Dolby Visions upgrades these darker sequences so more detail is visible in the wardrobe and faces. The blood pops right off-screen each time it's sprayed across the set in various shades of red.
The detail is sharp and vivid as well, revealing great closeups of the actor's faces, showing makeup effects, wrinkles, facial pores, individual hairs, and stubble, along with good textures in clothing. The rubbery texture of the iconic mask looks wonderful as well. This is not a flat-looking image at all, and rather gives a lot of depth to the small town and easter egg props in the background. There are no instances of any aliasing, banding, or video noise.
Unfortunately, there is no Dolby Atmos audio track. However, there is a great lossless DTS-HD MA 7.1 audio mix that captures all the audible elements in this horror universe. The sound effects are robust and loud when they need to be. The film makes sure the audio crescendos make an impact and they certainly do each time there is a jump scare or when someone pops up from behind.
Knife stabs, punches, kicks, and vehicle engines all sound great. Door slams and creepy house noises also come into play perfectly. The surround and rear speakers give way to ambient noises inside the school, house parties, and more. The score and song cues take over each time with some fantastic suspense. Dialogue is clean, clear, and easy to follow. There are no audio issues to speak of.
In addition to a terrific audio commentary, there are about 30 minutes worth of extras here, mostly being EPK type of material that features the cast and crew talking about making this new movie and reminiscing about the previous films.
This new Scream movie is a bit of fun. While keeping with its meta-theme, sometimes to a fault, the film and its characters both old and new are all entertaining. Plus, it's great to see the original franchise trio come back and take care of business once again - despite some cheesy elements. The 4K image with Dolby Vision along with the DTS-HD 7.1 audio mix is fantastic. The half-hour worth of extras are for fans of the film and the commentary track is definitely worth listening to. Highly Recommended!