Scream parents guide

Scream Parent Guide

A kitschy, self-obsessed pile of nonsense, this film is the latest gasp of a worn out and pointless series.

Overall D

Theaters. Twenty-five years after the infamous murder spree in Woodsboro, someone new has donned the Ghostface mask. Reluctantly, Sidney Prescott returns to town to unmask the killer and uncover old secrets.

Release date January 14, 2022

Violence D
Sexual Content B
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is Scream rated R? The MPAA rated Scream R Rated R for strong bloody violence, language throughout and some sexual references.

Run Time: 114 minutes

Parent Movie Review

As per always, the not-so-sleepy town of Woodsboro has a problem: A masked maniac with a knife has taken to stabbing the townsfolk. Starting with 15-year-old Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega), the killer is slicing up the locals at an alarming rate, and it’s clear that while no one is safe, he has a particular interest in Tara and her sister, Sam (Melissa Barrera). Although Tara survives her brush with the murderer, her fate hangs in the balance as Sam and some old friends in Woodsboro race to unmask the mysterious slasher before he can finish what he started.

This is a movie obsessed with the sound of its own infuriating voice, constantly dipping into meta-narration about the state of the horror genre in film and the history of the Scream franchise. If, like me, you’ve never been a huge fan of this series, then this is likely to make you wish that you were being stabbed, rather than any of the characters on screen. And it’s not just one or two scenes, but constant references throughout the entirety of the film – a period of time best described in geological ages rather than in minutes.

This situation is not helped by the fact that the majority of the acting and dialogue feel as if they were rejected with prejudice by soap opera producers. The melodramatic dialogue is bad enough on its own (even when it isn’t being self-referential), and the characters make no effort whatsoever to make it sound anything but dreadful. In fairness, I’m not sure how you could write a film this worn-out and pointless without making it sound awful, but maybe the filmmakers should have taken that as a hint not to make it in the first place.

I’m sure I’ve already roused franchise fans into a fine rage, all of whom are declaiming that this kitschy, self-obsessed parade of nonsense is, in fact, the appeal of the franchise. Maybe you’re right. But this appeals to me slightly less than the idea of feeding myself feet first into a woodchipper full of vinegar – which, incidentally, would only be slightly less gruesome than the violence on screen.

Saturated with the typical teen drinking and gory violence which typifies these films, Scream is a monument to staggering incompetence in nearly every aspect of filmmaking. I’m sure I could find a less enjoyable way to spend two hours, but why bother! I’ve already sat through the entirety of this stale-to-the-point-of-desiccated death march through a franchise which should have died shortly after it started in the 1990s. Now, all there is for me to do is set to work forgetting it as quickly as my poor bruised brain will allow.

Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett. Starring Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette. Running time: 114 minutes. Theatrical release January 14, 2022. Updated

Rating & Content Info

Why is Scream rated R? Scream is rated R by the MPAA Rated R for strong bloody violence, language throughout and some sexual references.

Violence: Individuals are repeatedly beaten, stabbed, slashed, shot, and bludgeoned. A character is shot and then set alight. Another has their ankle stomped on and broken. Individuals are injured falling off a staircase.
Sexual Content: There are several crude sexual references. Teenagers are shown making out.
Profanity: There are 101 uses of sexual expletives, 23 scatological curses, and frequent use of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult and teen characters are shown drinking alcohol. There are references to teenage marijuana use.

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The most recent debacle in the franchise is Scream 4. Other classic slasher flicks include Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street. Recent horror remakes include Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills, Child’s Play, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Fear Street 1994, Fear Street 1978, and Fear Street 1666 all pay homage to classic slasher horror. This film mentions “elevated” horror, including examples like The Babadook, The Witch, Hereditary, and Get Out.