‘Scream’ Earns Rave First Reactions: ‘Brutal,’ ‘Genius’ and the ‘Best Since the Original’

Courteney Cox, David Arquette, and Neve Campbell all return for a fifth face off against the Ghostface killer.

Paramount Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection

First reactions for Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s “Scream” have arrived online, and it appears the fifth time is the charm for the long-running horror franchise. Film journalists are calling the new entry “a fittingly loud, bloody good time at the movies” and the best “Scream” movie since Wes Craven’s 1996 original. Franchise veterans Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette all return in the new “Scream” opposite a cast of newcomers that includes “In the Heights” breakout Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, and “The Boys” favorite Jack Quaid.

The official “Scream” synopsis from Paramount Pictures reads: “25 years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a new killer has donned the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past.”

The new “Scream” is the first installment of the franchise made without the involvement of horror master Craven, who died in 2015. Filmmakers Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett, also known under the collective name Radio Silence, took over directing duties after earning legions of horror fans with their indie favorite “Ready or Not.”

“They actually wrote me a letter and they said they basically are directors because of [the ‘Scream’] films,” Campbell previously told Variety. “They are directors because of Wes Craven and they’re really so excited to be a part of these films and what an honor it is to do them, and that they really want to do justice to Wes and honor his legacy.”

“Scream” opens in theaters nationwide January 14. Check out a handful of first reactions for the horror sequel in the posts below.