Is Scream a Franchise on the brink of collapse?

Scream 5 was a box office success but, in my opinion not because of the story or the new casting choices but rather the excellent marketing campaign and desire of fans to relive the nostalgia of this beloved franchise.

The movie was without a doubt a love letter to Wes Craven and his fabulous achievements in horror and for that I can only commend everyone involved. The time and effort they committed to showing respect to arguably the greatest of all horror directors is fabulous, unfortunately the move was not. Lackluster story and predictable killers left us feeling cold, the addition of the hallucination Billy adding confusion and leaving us asking is this a nod to A Nightmare on Elm Street or, is the franchise going in a supernatural direction. The move was a mess of nostalgia and repetitive tropes done to death in previous installments. Some nice commentary on how horror fans are now woke and watching the Babadook instead of slashers but honestly these are overused and rammed down our throats.

As we all watch news reports and leaks of Scream 6 fill our social media in the run up to its release I can’t help but feel the franchise has run its course and is on the brink of collapse. I can almost hear you tutting and see your eyes rolling as you read this but ask that you stick with it and hear me out… Scream 6 boasts one of the biggest casts in the history of the franchise with some big names like Samara Weaving and Tony Revolori recently signing on. (They are not done yet either) We also have the departure of Neve Campbell to consider; I have said many times that Scream is the house that Neve built and with her absence there is honestly no reason for the killings to continue. (Seriously would any Ghostface be bothered to kill Gale?) To add to all these changes we are also seeing a departure for Woodsboro, while this has happened before we are seeing a full cross country move not just a few towns over.

With all this going on and the more I watch and read I find myself drawing comparisons with another collapsed franchise that followed all of these decisions before limping to a close.
That franchise is Friday the 13 th . In almost mirror fashion after Friday 5 (A new beginning) some bold choices were made moving forward that eventually doomed the franchise and left fans cold, confused and disinterested. Friday 6 (Jason Lives) saw a reduction in nudity which is a good thing but at the time was heavily criticized. Jennifer Cooke was signed on after gaining celebrity status in the hit show V and it was hoped that her star power would put more bums on seats.

We then slipped into the New blood adding some telekinetic super powers to Tina which was not loved by me, or anyone else as far as I am aware. It also wasn’t ever really explained in any depth, a bit like the return of Billy in Scream 5 we were just expected to say “oh cool”. Finally and what I think was one of the final nails in the coffin was Jason takes Manhattan. The location change and the boat trip while fun were very underwhelming. Obviously Friday the 13 th made changes gradually across three movies but the similarities are there! New cast, Bigger names and a location change. We all know the eventual fate of Friday the 13 th so I won’t go into it.

Now what Scream are doing is all of the above but in one movie not across a few. I cant help but feel a lot of the new casting is out of desperation to keep relevant and make people forget that they wouldn’t pay Neve what she deserved. The location change is ill conceived moving to one of the most heavily CCTV covered areas in the world would make Ghostface incredibly easy to catch in my opinion. I doubt they will address this though and like with Friday the 13 th did with superpowers just expect us to except it and not ask questions. The biggest flaw of Scream 6 though is not understanding what we as fans want from the franchise. We do not want another tribute to Wes Craven, We do not want a laundry list of big cast names and we do not want the same story rehashed, repackaged and fed back to us.

What we want is a new twist on the Franchise, a great motive and personally I would like to finally see a cut of Ghostface. Imagine the opening kill of the movie being Sidney (Had they actually paid her properly to return) opening the front door Ghostface. Running to the back door, another Ghostface. Then upstairs opening all the doors revealing another 4 or 5 Ghostface killers. They all swarm her on the landing. Bang Scream 6 title card we are all left stunned as the movie opens… Honestly Scream 6 could be so well done and a roaring success but after these recent announcements I hold out little hope for this movie being loved or even liked. Personally is see this as the beginning of the end and expect a few mor sequels as Scream limps into obscurity. I hope that I am wrong as I like you love this franchise but I can see no light at the end of this Ghostface shaped tunnel.

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