Set 25 years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, Scream is the fifth movie in the popular franchise and sees a new killer donning the Ghostface mask and targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past.
Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (pictured above) are bringing their unique style and humour (check out their previous movie, Ready Or Not, for more of that) to the Scream franchise and we spoke to the pair about carrying on Wes Craven’s legacy and why we’re still obsessed with Ghostface over 20 years on…
What is it about the Scream franchise that pulled you into wanting to do a new addition?
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin: Well, we were offered the job which was awesome! It was a very serendipitous situation where a friend of ours, who’s also one of the writers and one of the producers, got the opportunity with his producing partners to make the new Scream and he said ‘this is the group we want to make it with’ and we were a part of that group!
For us, honestly, it’s just been a dream come true. It’s one of our favourite movies. It’s one of our favourite franchises. It’s everything we love about movies and so to be offered the opportunity to step into Wes Craven’s shoes and carry on his legacy and this franchise has just been unbelievable.
I think our biggest concerns were ‘we can’t mess this up’. Let’s not mess it up. Let’s make sure we do it justice and that’s something we talked about throughout the process. I guess we’re still talking about it a little bit [haha!] but it’s been incredible.
Tyler Gillett: I mean, up until the moment they said, ‘hey, you should come read this script’, I don’t think any of us would have ever said that we would make a Scream movie just because of how dear they are to us! How much they mean to us and the level of risk involved in jumping into that and maybe screwing up. Then we read the script and we were so excited by what they had written that we couldn’t not be involved!
What is it about the Scream movies that keep us wanting to come back for more?
Tyler Gillett: I think it’s so many things. The tone is a huge thing. It’s one of the things that’s been so influential on us in the way that we approach the kind of stories we want to tell. They’re big, fun, entertaining movies, and they do a bit of everything and they do it all so well!
They’re terrifying, they’re violent, they’re funny, the characters are super interesting and the dynamic between them is so watchable and rewatchable. For us, that’s the experience that we always want to have when we go to a movie theatre and these movies, every single one of them, achieves that at such a high level.
Then outside of that, they’re also just such a fun reflection of the time when they were made. I think part of what’s so unique to a Scream movie is that they’re all really interested in tackling something topical and specific. So they feel like time capsules.
We’ve had this conversation about Scream 4 a bunch. It’s been sort of reappraised because it was so ahead of its time when it first came out. Now we’re living in the reality that that movie was just starting to scratch when it came out. That’s an incredible thing for a movie to be able to do and I think it’s part of what’s so fun about these movies.
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin: Also, just by the nature of what they are, they have to accept your expectations and then subvert your expectations so that each movie is an evolution of the previous movies. Not just in the story, but in the way that it interacts with the audience, which is something that a lot of franchises don’t have to do.
This one has to be like ‘we know what you’re thinking, we’re going to do it slightly differently… Ahh, we got you!’ and then do it in a totally different way.
The other big thing is the characters. They’re characters that we love. Sidney Prescott is one of the all-time great characters. You always kind of want to see where they are in life and how that’s progressing and follow them…
What do you want for audiences to take away from the movie?
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin: We’ve had a lot of people tell us that the end credits made them cry which was I think about the best, highest compliment you can get. If the movie can make you that emotional… especially a movie that’s wildly just fun and kind of bananas for a large part of it!
I think the conversation that this movie is having, with the motive behind the killings, is very topical for us. It’s very interesting, and it’s a conversation that we as movie fans are kind of having. I think it’s fun to throw this out there and then talk about it. Let’s see where it goes and what’s the evolution of that and what’s it going to be about next.
The fun of it for us was that it’s a topic that we get to live on both sides of because of who we are. If you haven’t seen the movie, this will all make sense later, but it was really fun for us, in a very, very meta way…
Tyler Gillett: I also think part of what we hope the movie does is whether you absolutely love it or don’t love it, that you can have that opinion of it and not take yourself or the movie so seriously.
There are a lot of really interesting, a lot of really poignant, deep things happening in it. But at the end of the day, we hope that it’s just fun and entertaining and is a good time. Maybe that’s enough…
Scream is available to Download & Keep from March 30 and on 4K UHD™, Blu-ray™ & DVD from April 11. Read our review here.