Scream (2022)

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Scream (2022) Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Gory "re-quel" in meta-horror series is still wicked fun.
  • R
  • 2022
  • 114 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 11 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Somewhat unexpectedly, primary takeaway is that glorifying violence only brings about more violence. In earlier movies, Gale gained fame by publishing books about the murders; here she decides to keep the story to herself and "let it die" on its own, without inspiring any more copycats.

Positive Role Models

Sydney Prescott is a pretty decent role model for a horror hero: She's more than the traditional "final girl"; she's a true survivor, tough with sharp instincts. But she hasn't closed herself off, either; she still has room in her heart for her kids and friends. She does rely a little too heavily on firearms. Gale has overcome her earlier backstabbing ways to become an admirable, powerful person.

Diverse Representations

The two new main characters are played by actors with Latino backgrounds (Mexican and Puerto Rican), and main group of friends includes Black siblings. Secondary characters include a Chinese American police officer. Although the three "legacy" characters are White, two are women with agency and power.

Violence

Extreme, over-the-top horror violence and gore. Guns and shooting. Many, many stabbings. Spurting blood, blood sprays, bleeding wounds. Characters die, dead bodies shown. Character catches on fire. Characters fight, kick, and punch the killer. Broken leg. Fall from high place. Teen girl in pain, peril. Ghost appearances. Character threatens with switchblade.

Sex

Two scenes with kissing. A couple discuss "going upstairs" for sex. Sex-related dialogue. Shirtless male in shower.

Language

Frequent use of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," "goddamn," "dumbass," "douche nozzle."

Consumerism

Netflix mentioned several times. Pizza Hut box visible.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Brief sequence of teens drinking at a party (shots, beer). A character is said to be taking anti-psychotics. A character mentions "doing every drug I could get my hands on" when she was a teen. A variety of liquor bottles can be seen in an adult character's house; later, someone refers to him as having "crawled into a bottle." Teen girl on painkillers in hospital says "I'm so high right now!" Dialogue about teens smoking weed at a party.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the 2022 film Scream is the fifth movie in the Scream horror franchise and is a self-described "re-quel" (i.e., mix of "remake" and "sequel") intended to send the story in a new direction while still involving "legacy" characters like Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell). In the hands of new filmmakers, the meta-horror idea still has enough juice to produce a lightly flawed but wickedly entertaining shocker for mature fans. Violence is extremely strong and over the top, with lots of blood: spurts, sprays, and gurgles. Expect to see guns and shooting, characters dying, repeated stabbings, fighting, kicking, and punching, etc. Language is also quite strong, with many uses of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "bitch," and more. There are several instances of sex-related dialogue, and two scenes with kissing, plus a discussion about "going upstairs." Teen drinking is briefly seen at a party, and there's dialogue about teen drug use and alcohol dependency (many liquor bottles are shown).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHayna January 14, 2022

Definitely not for kids.

Great movie with some unexpected twists (at least for me). The goriest installment of all 5, but not too sexual. Language was pretty rough, but I enjoyed the di... Continue reading
Adult Written byelliot8808 January 13, 2022

Gory and very good.

There were a ton of deaths and almost all of them had close ups of knives being plunged into victims and a lot of other pretty messed up stuff that’s not for ki... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byLordGummie January 19, 2022

good

i would spoil but I’m not
Teen, 14 years old Written bySauceBroskie January 19, 2022

Phenomenal but VERY GORY

There is a lot of language and gore in this film. Far more than any other scream film. Think the violence of Halloween 2018 and there are over 100 F bombs. Stil... Continue reading

What's the story?

In SCREAM, 25 years after the Ghostface Killer first struck, teen Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) gets a call from a stranger asking her about her favorite scary movie. Not long after, she's attacked and stabbed. Her estranged older sister, Samantha (Melissa Barrera), and Sam's boyfriend, Richie (Jack Quaid), return to Woodsboro to be with her. When the killer attacks again, Sam and Richie seek out the retired Dewey Riley (David Arquette), who reluctantly agrees to help, describing the rules of survival to a group of Tara's friends -- and adding that the killer is likely one of them. Horror movie buff Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) explains her theory that this is all a "re-quel." Meanwhile, Sam makes the decision to reveal her dark secret, the likely reason for the new rash of killings. Before long, Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) arrive in town to hopefully put an end to the killings for good.

Is it any good?

In passing the torch to fresh blood, this fifth entry in the meta-horror series shows that there are still layers of meta-ness to uncover, fresh scares to experience, and wicked fun to be had. Co-directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (of the collective "Radio Silence") and co-writer Guy Busick previously gave us the similarly whip-smart, gory Ready or Not, and they tackle this Scream in that same fashion. They also seem to have been inspired by the late Wes Craven's singular style of filmmaking, with his masterful use of interior spaces as the source of nightmares. One sequence, in which a character putters around in a kitchen, is filled with squeal-inducing traps and false alarms, and when the punch finally comes, it's well-earned.

The movie has lots of fun with the theory of the "re-quel," a movie that relaunches a franchise with fresh characters as well as "legacy" characters in smaller roles (see: Halloween, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Jurassic World). This new Scream is also steeped in the fictional movie-within-a-movie Stab franchise, with one superb scene featuring film buff Mindy enjoying watching it (actually the original Scream) on television. But this movie also understands and references "high-minded" horrors like The Babadook and Hereditary. Campbell, Cox, and Arquette provide a measure of emotional connection, and new character Samantha is interesting enough to go out on her own. In the final act, the filmmakers fumble their juggling act in a few small ways, but for the most part, this Scream is worth shouting about.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Scream's violence. How did it make you feel? Was it exciting? Shocking? What did the movie show or not show to achieve this effect? Why is that important?

  • Is the movie scary? Does it concentrate more on fright, suspense/mystery, or clever references? What would make the movie scarier -- or less scary?

  • How does the movie depict teen drinking and drug use? Are there realistic consequences? Why does that matter?

  • What is a "meta movie"? Do the Scream movies benefit from being self-aware? What might be missing?

  • How has technology advanced since the fourth Scream movie (2011) or even the first (1996)? How is newer technology incorporated into the story?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love horror

Themes & Topics

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