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‘SCREAM’: A Spoiler-Free Guide to Everything You Need to Know About the Return of the Iconic Slasher Franchise

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‘SCREAM’: A Spoiler-Free Guide to Everything You Need to Know About the Return of the Iconic Slasher Franchise

After more than ten years, the Scream franchise is back. The slasher that mixed self-aware jabs at the horror genre with genuinely terrifying thrills has captured the hearts of both horror aficionados and casual viewers alike. The new entry, despite some significant changes behind the scenes, is just as much a love letter to the genre as the rest of the franchise.

If you’re wanting to catch yourself up on everything known about SCREAM (yep, it’s written exactly like that), we’ve compiled all the information you ought to have before you watch the film. Here’s everything you need to know about the secretive but promising sequel (without spoilers!).

RELATED: ‘SCREAM’ Featurette Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Original Wes Craven Slasher

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SCREAM Trailer

An official teaser for the film was released in October, giving fans a taste of Ghostface’s mysterious return. Whether you’re like me and have been obsessively rewatching the trailer, or haven’t seen it yet, check it out below.

If you’re hoping for more footage, we have good news! A new teaser that asks what makes a good horror villain was also released ahead of the movie’s premiere. Check it out below. Maybe you’ll start thinking about why certain slashers stick to your head long after you watch their films.

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What Is SCREAM About?

The Scream franchise has always embraced horror trends of the day, and this fifth entry is no exception. This time, it’s a riff on horror reboots that serve as legacy sequels to classic films. It also seems like so-called prestige horror could be an influence from the dark and eerie footage audiences have already seen. Without giving away too much of the plot, we can say that it centers around the 25th anniversary of the Woodsboro Massacre, with a new killer donning the Ghostface mask.

Related:’SCREAM’ Review: The Times (and Rules) Have Changed, but the Franchise Feels Sharp As Ever

What Is SCREAM Rated?

If you thought that the franchise would change its rating to appease a wider audience, think again. SCREAM was officially rated R in early December for “strong bloody violence, language throughout and some sexual references.”

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Which Characters Are Returning in SCREAM?

You can’t have a Scream movie without the franchise’s core three protagonists. Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), and Dewey Riley (David Arquette) are all back in Woodsboro once again for another round of murders. They are joined by Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton), Dewey’s police partner introduced in Scream 4. Roger L. Jackson also reprises his franchise role as the sinister and modulated voice of Ghostface.

Who Are the New Additions to SCREAM?

Along with the legacy characters, a bevy of new characters are also introduced in SCREAM. As revealed before the movie’s release, sisters Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) play critical roles in the resurgence of Ghostface. The first trailer shows Tara being terrorized by the serial killer, but that opening scene might not be the last you see of her.

Some new characters also have interesting connections to characters franchise fans have already met. Judy has been revealed to have a teenage son appropriately named Wes (Dylan Minnette), while siblings Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) bear the combined surname Meeks-Martin. We might not know who Martin is, but it’s clear that they are the children of Martha (Heather Matarazzo) and the nephew and niece of the still-dead Randy (Jamie Kennedy).

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The other new characters are quite interesting in their own right. Sam and Tara have partners that also get tangled up in the new murders: Richie Kitsch (Jack Quaid) and Amber Freeman (Mikey Madison), who may or may not want to kill for love. Mechanic Vince Schneider (Kyle Gallner) could be a red herring or the perfect killer, while Chad’s girlfriend Liv McKenzie (Sonia Ben Ammar) might have ulterior motives.

Obviously, we’re not going to reveal the intentions or motivations behind this new Ghostface. That would be cheating. And in any case, with a cast like this, the ultimate reveals are sure to be killer.

Related:’Scream’: Dylan Minnette and Marley Shelton Explain Wes and Judy’s “Mama’s Boy”/”Overbearing Mother” Relationship

How Does SCREAM Plan to Honor Wes Craven?

Without Wes Craven, there wouldn’t have ever been a Scream franchise. The iconic horror director had previously directed all of the franchise’s entries until this new one. He, unfortunately, passed away in 2015 at the age of 76.

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SCREAM directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, who previously co-directed Ready or Not, haven’t talked about how the movie honors Craven’s legacy. However, the seeds are already there for a tribute unlike any other. Perhaps the most obvious nod is Minnett’s aforementioned character being named Wes, although there are other ways they’re making sure the trailblazer’s spirit is kept alive in their film. In an interview last year with Collider’s Perri Nemiroff, Gillett said that this has “been top of mind” since the beginning of the project.

“It’s a tightrope to walk, right? To be respectful and find ways to tie a new story into an old lineage,” said Gillett. Despite this obstacle, the duo knew they had achieved what they considered to be the perfect balance when they read the script by Jamie Vanderbilt and Guy Busick.

“All I can say is that we would have had a tremendous amount of anxiety stepping into this franchise because Wes, the level of respect we have for his work, it’s really impossible to fully express what that is,” he said. “But when we read the story that Guy and Jamie put on the page, there was something so undeniably new and also something so undeniably Scream about it, and we just knew that we had to be a part of it and that it was walking the tightrope in precisely the right way.”


Why Does SCREAM Have a New Distributor?

It is kind of a miracle that a new film in the Scream franchise is even happening. SCREAM is the first film in the franchise to be distributed by Paramount Pictures. Dimension Films, a subsidiary of Miramax, were the original distributors of the franchise. Spyglass Media Group purchased the rights to the Scream franchise in November 2019, setting the franchise’s theatrical return in full motion.

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Unfortunately, you cannot talk about Miramax without talking about The Weinstein Company. After the latter being shuttered due to a staggering amount of sexual assault allegations made against co-founder Harvey, Miramax and Dimension Films were purchased by ViacomCBS, the deal reaching completion in April 2020. Two months later, Spyglass and ViacomCBS-owned Paramount Pictures struck a deal to officially bring us SCREAM.

Related:#MeToo Movie ‘She Said,’ About NYT Investigation Into Harvey Weinstein, Gets 2022 Release Date

Where Can I Watch the Other Films in the Franchise?

If you’re looking to hold a Scream marathon, you thankfully won’t have to go scrambling to find the other films in the franchise. You can stream the first three films on Paramount+, Pluto TV, and The Roku Channel. Scream 2 is also available on Youtube, while you can also watch Scream 3 on Amazon Prime. Finally, you can only stream Scream 4 on Tubu. The franchise is also available for purchase anywhere you can buy digital movies, such as iTunes and Vudu.

Will SCREAM Be Slashing Its Way to Theaters or Streaming?

Don’t expect SCREAM to be streaming on Paramount+ any time soon. The film had its premiere on January 14, 2022, and has been released exclusively in theaters. Despite similar blockbuster horror A Quiet Place Part II hitting Paramount+ 45 days after its theatrical release, there are seemingly no plans to enact a similar streaming debut in the works.

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

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Review: SAMARITAN, A Sly Stallone Superhero Stumble

Hitting the three-quarter-century mark usually means a retirement home, a nursing facility, or if you’re lucky to be blessed with relatively good health and savings to match, living in a gated community in Arizona or Florida.

For Sylvester Stallone, however, it means something else entirely: starring in the first superhero-centered film of his decades-long career in the much-delayed Samaritan. Unfortunately for Stallone and the audience on the other side of the screen, the derivative, turgid, forgettable results won’t get mentioned in a career retrospective, let alone among the ever-expanding list of must-see entries in a genre already well past its peak.

For Stallone, however, it’s better late than never when it involves the superhero genre. Maybe in getting a taste of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with his walk-on role in the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel several years ago, Stallone thought anything Marvel can do, I can do even better (or just as good in the nebulous definition of the word).

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The property Stallone and his team found for him, Samaritan, a little-known graphic novel released by a small, almost negligible, publisher, certainly takes advantage of Stallone’s brute-force physicality and his often underrated talent for near-monosyllabic brooding (e.g., the Rambo series), but too often gives him to little do or say as the lone super-powered survivor, the so-called “Samaritan” of the title, of a lifelong rivalry with his brother, “Nemesis.” Two brothers entered a fire-ravaged building and while both were presumed dead, one brother did survive (Stallone’s Joe Smith, a garbageman by day, an appliance repairman by night).

In the Granite City of screenwriter Bragi F. Schut (Escape Room, Season of the Witch), the United States, and presumably the rest of the world, teeters on economic and political collapse, with a recession spiraling into a depression, steady gigs difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, and the city’s neighborhoods rocked by crime and violence. No one’s safe, not even 13-year-old Sam (Javon Walker), Joe’s neighbor.

When he’s not dodging bullies connected to a gang, he’s falling under the undue influence of Cyrus (Pilou Asbæk), a low-rent gang leader with an outsized ego and the conviction that he and only he can take on Nemesis’s mantle and along with that mantle, a hammer “forged in hate,” to orchestrate a Bane-like plan to plunge the city into chaos and become a wealthy power-broker in the process.

Schut’s woefully underwritten script takes a clumsy, haphazard approach to world-building, relying on a two-minute animated sequence to open Samaritan while a naive, worshipful Sam narrates Samaritan and Nemesis’s supposedly tragic, Cain and Abel-inspired backstory. Schut and director Julius Avery (Overlord) clumsily attempt to contrast Sam’s childish belief in messiah-like, superheroic saviors stepping in to save humanity from itself and its own worst excesses, but following that path leads to authoritarianism and fascism (ideas better, more thoroughly explored in Watchmen and The Boys).

While Sam continues to think otherwise, Stallone’s superhero, 25 years past his last, fatal encounter with his presumably deceased brother, obviously believes superheroes are the problem and not the solution (a somewhat reasonable position), but as Samaritan tracks Joe and Sam’s friendship, Sam giving Joe the son he never had, Joe giving Sam the father he lost to street violence well before the film’s opening scene, it gets closer and closer to embracing, if not outright endorsing Sam’s power fantasies, right through a literally and figuratively explosive ending. Might, as always, wins regardless of how righteous or justified the underlying action.

It’s what superhero audiences want, apparently, and what Samaritan uncritically delivers via a woefully under-rendered finale involving not just unconvincing CGI fire effects, but a videogame cut-scene quality Stallone in a late-film flashback sequence that’s meant to be subversively revelatory, but will instead lead to unintentional laughter for anyone who’s managed to sit the entirety of Samaritan’s one-hour and 40-minute running time.

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Samaritan is now streaming worldwide on Prime Video.

Samaritan

Cast
  • Sylvester Stallone
  • Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton
  • Pilou Asbæk

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Matt Shakman Is In Talks To Direct ‘Fantastic Four’

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According to a new report, Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct the upcoming MCU project, Fantastic Four. Marvel Studios has been very hush-hush regarding Fantastic Four to the point where no official announcements have been made other than the film’s release date. No casting news or literally anything other than rumors has been released regarding the project. We know that Fantastic Four is slated for release on November 8th, 2024, and will be a part of Marvel’s Phase 6. There are also rumors that the cast of the new Fantastic Four will be announced at the D23 Expo on September 9th.

Fantastic Four is still over two years from release, and we assume we will hear more news about the project in the coming months. However, the idea of the Fantastic Four has already been introduced into the MCU. John Krasinski played Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The cameo was a huge deal for fans who have been waiting a long time for the Fantastic Four to enter the MCU. When Disney acquired Twenty Century Fox in 2019 we assumed that the Fox Marvel characters would eventually make their way into the MCU. It’s been 3 years and we already have had an X-Men and Fantastic Four cameo – even if they were from another universe.

Deadline is reporting that Wandavision’s Matt Shakman is in talks to direct Fantastic Four. Shakman served as the director for Wandavision and has had an extensive career. He directed two episodes of Game of Thrones and an episode of The Boys, and he had a long stint on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. There is nothing official yet, but Deadline’s sources say that Shakman is currently in talks for the job and things are headed in the right direction.

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To be honest, I was a bit more excited when Jon Watts was set to direct. I’m sure Shakman is a good director, but Watts proved he could handle a tentpole superhero film with Spider-Man: Homecoming. Wandavision was good, but Watts’ style would have been perfect for Fantastic Four. The film is probably one of the most anticipated films in Marvel’s upcoming slate films and they need to find the best person they can to direct. Is that Matt Shakman? It could be, but whoever takes the job must realize that Marvel has a lot riding on this movie. The other Fantastic Four films were awful and fans deserve better. Hopefully, Marvel knocks it out of the park as they usually do. You can see for yourself when Fantastic Four hits theaters on November 8th, 2024.

Film Synopsis: One of Marvel’s most iconic families makes it to the big screen: the Fantastic Four.

Source: Deadline

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Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase Star in ‘Zombie Town’ Mystery Teen Romancer (Exclusive)

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Dan Aykroyd and Chevy Chase have entered Zombie Town, a mystery teen romancer based on author R.L. Stine’s book of the same name.

The indie, now shooting in Ontario, also stars Henry Czerny and co-teen leads Marlon Kazadi and Madi Monroe. The ensemble cast includes Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch of the Canadian comedy show Kids in the Hall.

Canadian animator Peter Lepeniotis will direct Zombie Town. Stine’s kid’s book sees a quiet town upended when 12-year-old Mike and his friend, Karen, see a horror movie called Zombie Town and unexpectedly see the title characters leap off the screen and chase them through the theater.

Zombie Town will premiere in U.S. theaters before streaming on Hulu and then ABC Australia in 2023.

“We are delighted to bring the pages of R.L. Stine’s Zombie Town to the screen and equally thrilled to be working with such an exceptional cast and crew on this production. A three-time Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award winner with book sales of over $500 million, R.L. Stine has a phenomenal track record of crafting stories that engage and entertain audiences,” John Gillespie, Trimuse Entertainment founder and executive producer, said in a statement.

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Executive producers are Trimuse Entertainment, Toonz Media Group, Lookout Entertainment, Viva Pictures and Sons of Anarchy actor Kim Coates.  

Paco Alvarez and Mark Holdom of Trimuse negotiated the deal to acquire the rights to Stine’s Zombie Town book.

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