The fifth 'Scream' confirms that there are no limits to the recycling of metaterror

The fifth 'Scream' confirms that there are no limits to the recycling of metaterror

"I don't need friends, I need fans." Yes scream 4 turned out to be the most ambitious sequel to the saga was because of phrases like this, in relation to the character played by Emma Roberts and all that this implied for a supposed generational change. With great clarity and more than ten years after the previous installment, Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson addressed a brand whose transformation into a huge cultural phenomenon could have destabilized its essential features. The commitment of scream foundational for analyzing the state of terror had not stopped constraining itself, to the point of making it seem that the saga could only talk about itself.

It didn't have to make him feel bad. In fact, the appearance from scream 2 from a fictional franchise who profited from the Woodsboro murders —stabs, Stab in Spanish— came to support these self-reflective sessions, which for the fourth film led to a comment about how the new generations (the new Ghostface) could relate to her. It was no longer the movies that caused people to kill, but the thirst for likes in social networks. It was no longer an obsessive monitoring of changes in contemporary terror, but the continuous regurgitation of a specific brand.

The relief of Roberts was, then, poisoned. He had no weight on his own, he did not know how to repay his debt to the past, and he pushed scream to a continuous thought about his identity that became suffocating. It is inevitable to remember how problematic this relief is in the new scream —which, as happened with Halloween or Candyman before her, dispenses with the number—, noticing the presence of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett behind the cameras. Succeeding the historic Wes Craven, who died a few years after scream 4.

This couple of filmmakers triumphed in 2019, with Wedding night. thriller with outbursts of gore and a pronounced comic tone, it was what made them top the list of candidates to direct scream. They did not arrive at the best moment of the franchise, to tell the truth. The metoo had dismantled the fabric of Miramax, in charge of the header, and the producers could not count on Craven, director of all the films to date. Fortunately, the tradition that had been established it was solid enough to build on.

The expressions of metaterror - that terror that reflects on its own forms and affiliations - dated back to before Craven became its main promoter. Peter Bogdanovich, recently deceased, I was already looking into it with The hero is on the loose, where he contrasted the classic figure of Boris Karloff —the interpreter of Frankenstein— with the "modern monsters" capable of channeling themselves in the figure of an anonymous urbanite. This was in 1968 and four years later, with The last house on the leftCraven was beginning to cultivate a primitive ironic detachment from the brutalities on display.

It was in the 1990s, however, that the genre began to flirt fiercely with its essayistic side. Stephen King adaptations Misery Y the dark half they were exploring the creative process of horror fiction, with no one prepared for Craven's big bang on the table. The director had parted ways with Nightmare in Elm street from the first installment, but agreed to return to Freddy Krueger if he did so on personal and disruptive terms. In 1994 he would premiere Wes Craven's New Nightmare. A test prior to scream, whose speech reached much further than her.

Before new nightmare Six films and a series had been released, championing a tireless exploitation of the brand that Craven would not hesitate to taunt upon his return as director. new nightmare It was set in our world, in the sense that Heather Langenkamp (Nancy) and Robert Englund (Freddy) played themselves, and the story began when Craven himself summoned them to shoot a new installment of Nightmare in Elm street. Reality and fiction were confused when Freddy escaped from the cinematographic environment, and tormented a heroine who was already married and had a child.

With simple yet captivatingly poetic wicks, Craven linked cinema and dreams as scenarios between which Freddy could jump indistinctly, establishing the real world as another border that was absolutely unassailable for the psychopath. The meta comment became an existential reflection according to which horror films had always acted as a protective shell for the true horrors of the world. Y new nightmare was, moreover, massacred by critics, something that would not happen with scream.

Williamson's ingenuity led the concerns of new nightmare to a more accessible place, perhaps more conjunctural, where meta was inseparable from pop culture and cinephile memory. That "what is your favorite horror movie?", or everything that the character of Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy) entailed, turned scream at the spearhead of a clearly postmodern terror that used to fix the inertia of the slasher —subgenre of Michael Myers, Jason Voorhess and Kruger himself where a psychopath murders teenagers— as the butt of jokes.

Thanks to its commercial success, scream spawned all kinds of imitations—some as outlandish as Scary Movie, which sought to parody what was already a parody—, and served as fuel for later artifacts that were based on demystification and mocking expectations. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Rubber, The Cabin in the Woods, The Last Survivors… they would all swell a neurotic fever whose impact on the genre seemed too complex for the late scream 4 could, in 2011, do them justice.

Emphasizing the new logic of social networks and the engulfing nature of the legacy Scream/Stab, Craven and Williamson's latest collaboration fared relatively well. The next scream, that of 2022, has not been so lucky.

The critical approach to a phenomenon such as scream it can seem complicated, due to the irrelevance that notions such as staging or writing contain in it. Assess scream It must suppose, then, an exercise of extrapolation towards what surrounds him and the pertinence of his reflections. All the films in the saga have been more or less witty in that sense, either because of the help of the presence of stabs or the caustic vision of the Hollywood machinery and the hypermediatization of the world. Scream (2022) it is too.

The script that brings together Williamson with Guy Busick and James Vanderbilt once again takes refuge in a careful look —or, at least, with a desire to party— of the latest audiovisual developments, in addition to continuing to delve into what is proposed by scream 4 about the new subjectivities that social networks bring. If Craven's last film posited inflated ego and personality dissociation as consequences, Scream (2022) has the good sense to advance to communicate them closely with cultural consumption. That is, with the humors of the fandom to which Hollywood has been bowing in recent years.

Maybe it's the best idea in the movie. Due to the continuity that it tends with scream 4, and because of how easily it fits into our day-to-day life, where the fan phenomenon has reached the extreme of prosumo —the industry anxiously adjusting to everything it has, be it redesign sonic or develop a movie Ghostbusters to taste—and of a toxicity that provides some of the best jokes in the film. An expansive and agglutinating vision, in fact, that occasionally runs into other ramifications without much luck.

not infrequently, Scream (2022) appears to have been written with recurring Twitter debates in mind. jokes about him elevated horror, so attached to criticism and stagnant cinephilia, are a good example. Although this label - presumably attached to titles such as Babadook, Hereditary or The witch— appears day in and day out in horror fan circles, its extreme conceptual liquidity endows its references in the film with a childish halo, due to how it is limited to quotations and inconsequential winks. Since in essence the elevated horror It only exemplifies the anxiety of the hard core of these circles due to mutations of the genre that arouses rejection.

That these mutations refer indistinctly to the obsession with aesthetics or attention to issues of social importance is symptomatic of the flimsy of the label, Y Scream (2022) You would do well to bring it up… if you were aware that this is just another consequence of the fan belligerence that seems to interest you so much. The fan obsessed with keeping everything the way it was. The fan uncomfortable with his present. The new one scream it succeeds in setting itself in a present marked by the shadow of the past, but it lacks substance or panoramic vision when it comes to diagnosing the consequences of said shadow.

In fact, through the homage it pays to the original film —replicating the prologue with Drew Barrymore and many others in a clonic way set pieces—, scream (2022) he reveals himself equally incapable of turning against her. No matter how many jokes it makes about "recalls", it is a film that is as comfortable in past glories as all the works it laughs at, be they starwars or Jurassic Park, and in the end it seems to have no greater claim than to honor Craven's legacy. confirming that scream she was always trapped in the limits of her present, but now she is more than ever.


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