It's been nearly a decade since Scream 4 came out, so fans may wonder whether the Scream they know and love is still alive in the most recent addition to the franchise that dropped on Jan. 14, especially considering its legendary original director, Wes Craven, passed away in 2015. Its new directors, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, the duo behind production company Radio Silence who made Ready or Not in 2019, have openly expressed their love and loyalty to the Scream franchise. So, while Scream does explore new aspects of the horror genre to fit the 21st century, you can be sure it still has plenty of connections to the original films that fans will recognize almost immediately.
Is the New Scream a Sequel or a Reboot?
Some might be confused whether Scream is a "true" sequel because it doesn't take place immediately after the last movie, Scream 4, which came out in 2011, nor is it called Scream 5 (some theorize they dropped the number because it would discourage new audiences from seeing the movie if they haven't seen the first four).
A reboot discards continuity and re-creates characters, storylines, and plot to emulate a franchise, while a sequel continues the same storyline and plot of the original movies. This means 2022's Scream is definitely a sequel. It's more appropriate to classify Scream as a legacy sequel, however. Legacy sequels are a continuation of a franchise typically made a decade or more later that keep the "legacy" of the original characters but bring new characters into the story and pay tribute to key elements by providing new perspectives for younger audiences.
Other recently released legacy sequels are Halloween Kills, Jurassic World, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. This proves Scream is just one of many new movies created specifically to keep iconic franchises around for future generations.
So, with a legacy sequel comes its legacy characters. Scream actors Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox all reprise their roles as Sidney Prescott, Dewey Riley, and Gale Weathers in their return to Woodsboro. Fans knew this for months before the movie's release. Even Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), one of the original Ghostface killers from the first 1996 Scream, shows his ghostly face on screen in the new movie. Just having these original characters come back alongside a new Ghostface is enough to show fans the franchise is still true to form.
How Do Scream's New Characters Connect to the Original Characters?
The new roles in Scream (2022) carry large reputations. Rumors about characters Chad and Mindy Meeks-Martin (Mason Gooding and Jasmin Savoy Brown) spread quickly after a Tiktok from @toobrashsarah confirmed they were the nephew and niece of Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy), one of Sidney's original friends who dies in Scream 2 (and one of the first characters to describe all of the "rules" for surviving a horror movie). Other character connections, like how Wes Hicks (Dylan Minnette) is the son of Deputy Judy Hicks, who worked alongside Dewey during his police days in the old movies, show the Scream Cinematic Universe has continued off screen and give fans who know the entire timeline something new to look forward to.
What Is Stab's Role in the New Scream?
A Scream movie wouldn't be truly Scream-worthy without its devotion to the meta-verse. In Scream 3, the plot revolves around the creation of Stab, a movie franchise within the franchise about the Woodsboro murders, Sidney, and Ghostface's origin story. By the end of Scream 4, Stab already has seven sequels, and it's only natural that the new Scream pays homage to its Stab counterpart by adding references to all the meta movies and the "newest" Stab 8.
Is the Scream Party House in the New Scream?
The iconic Scream party house where Sidney comes face to face (and fights to the death) with her Ghostface tormentors for the first time is also a big connection to prior films that appears in the latest movie. Without spoiling the new movie, the trailer teases that some scenes will take place in the house to bring the franchise full circle. And after word got out that the fifth installment was coming, the real Scream party house where they shot the 1996 movie was even available on Airbnb in honor of the film's 25th anniversary last year. For fans who love Scream, it's comforting to know its newest installment quite literally goes back to the place where it all started.
With all of these connections (and an ending that truly mirrors the classic in many ways), it's safe to say Scream is a true tribute to its original films while still giving new audiences a solid introduction to the horror genre. We can't wait to see what future installments might look like, especially if it means more thrills, chills, and Ghostface kills for future Scream movies!