I've never been a fan of horror movies. And I grew up in the 80's. For whatever reason, slasher flicks just never did much for me.
But when Scream (the original) came out in the 1990's, I gave it a shot and was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it had a typical horror movie's plot line (you've got a killer; you've got a bunch of teenaged potential victims; they run and, well, scream, and most of them get stabbed in various inventive ways). But the movie had a solid cast. It poked at the genre a little bit (all in fun), which gave it just the right amount of comedy. And it served up a neat twist in the end. I liked it. Apparently, lots of other folks did, too.
So, of course, Hollywood monetized the bejeezus out of it. And that is all the new Scream (2022) is--the last squeeze on the husk of a profitable franchise.
The premise is basically the same as the original. A group of teenagers who are, we are told, friends (you'd never know it from the acting) find themselves in the sights of Ghost Face, the masked killer who once plagued another group of teenaged friends in their small town. The story of the first group of friends became the subject of a film-within-the-film franchise called Stab. That movie (Stab) became serialized to the point of weariness, which kind of plays into the actual movie's plot, eventually ... assuming you care.
The new kids immediately suspect the killer is one of their number--because they're all friends, and that's what friends do. Indeed, Gen Z of this little town is pretty darned sanguine about getting murdered. They sit on couches and chairs and type on their phones and riff off horror movie tropes and get killed. Eventually, the original crew of kids who were stalked by the first Ghost Face (Cox, Arquette, and Campbell), all grown up and a little grayer, get roped in to help deal with this new(ish) threat. Maybe you'll care about what happens to everyone. Maybe you'll be surprised that there's another "twist" ending machinated like a pretzel weave into the stumbling plot line of this movie.
But you probably won't. Because the acting is almost as bad as the script. With the lone exception of Jenna Ortega (as Tara Carpenter), everyone in this film is just going through the motions. Who knows? Maybe that was purposeful. Because if there's one thing Scream (2022) assaults you with, relentlessly and agonizingly, is how consciously "meta" it is. It's so very aware of itself, and its genre, and the conceit of highbrow art within its genre, and telling its audience about its awareness of itself, that no one involved in its making bothered to put together an actual story.
Which makes this "requel" of Scream both tired and tedious.