“Scream” returns for a satirical celebration of the horror film

(AFP) – 25 years ago, “Scream” and its stars, Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox, gave a new youth to horror film with a clever mix of suspense and self-mockery that the genre desperately needed rebuffed and stereotyped.

A film bearing the same title, with the same two actresses headlining, is coming out this week in France and the United States to give a new lease of life to the horror film with a clever mix of … In short, you have understood the process.

“Thank goodness we are working in a franchise and a universe where a film can afford to allude outrageously to itself,” one of the two directors of “Scream”, Tyler Gillett, told AFP.

As in the 1996 original, the characters in the new version spend a good deal of the plot arguing aloud over clichés in horror films in an attempt to guess who the masked serial killer’s next victim will be: the girl? the black character? the virgin?

As they do so, they realize that the murders in their brutal little California town target people linked to the killers in the original version of “Scream.”

One of the characters even explains, very appropriately, why the public is now so fond of “requels”, those films which revisit a successful work by extending its story with younger characters linked to the original protagonists.

“There are certain rules to follow if you want to survive, you can believe me”, quips David Arquette, also back, addressing the young people around him.

“Scream” also returns to the scene of the crime and the intrigues of the first episode.

The opening scene is a nod to that of the original which, even before the credits roll, orchestrated the bloody death of a Drew Barrymore who had the bad idea of ​​responding to the killer who called him on his landline. .

But in the new version, the teenager is so amazed to find that her parents’ old landline is working that she almost misses the call. “Placed at the beginning of the film, it sends the viewer the message that we are making this allusion deliberately, that we will move forward with it knowingly”, notes the other director, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin.

“One of the things that + Scream + does so well is never to underestimate the audience,” he says.

– “Age d’or” –

The filmmakers wanted with this new opus to pay tribute to Wes Craven, director of the first four episodes of “Scream” died in 2015, but the film could not be based only on “pure nostalgia”, notes Tyler Gillett.

Unlike the first of the name, released in the midst of the horror film’s decline, the new “Scream” comes in the wake of many successes, more artistic and detailed, such as the social and fantasy-tinged thrillers of Jordan Peele.

“Get Out” and “Us” are moreover explicitly mentioned by the characters of “Scream” in the process of pontificating on “the improved horror” (“elevated horror” in English).

“We’re in the golden age of the genre. And we hope this film will serve as an introduction for people to other films that they are not familiar with,” says Matt Bettinelli-Olpin.

“Obviously, we play with this idea of ​​’improved horror’ and we don’t care,” says Tyler Gillett. “It doesn’t matter what you name it for watching a horror movie. As long as people like these stories, that’s all that matters to us.”

The new “Scream” hasn’t changed the winning recipe of hiding the identity of the killer behind the famous grimacing ghost mask to the end.

The filmmakers wanted to this point to keep the suspense on the twists and turns of the plot that they only revealed the first two acts of the film during the auditions phase.

“And even when we had the actors, we never gave them the pages that went beyond the disappearance of their character,” insists producer Chad Villella. “They really played the secret game.”