Horror franchises never die, and if they do they can always come back from the dead. Take the Scream empire. A TV version has been on the air for three seasons now, but it’s been years — eight of them, in fact — since we’ve gotten a Scream movie. According to Bloody Disgusting, in a claim confirmed by Deadline, a fifth installment in the meta series is in the very early stages of development.
How early? The only news is that it will be a fifth Scream movie. There’s no word of who, if anyone, is coming back, among them perpetual “final girl” Neve Campbell, weirdly capable doofus deputy David Arquette, and egomaniacal but lovable gossip queen Courteney Cox. Or maybe they’ll clean house and start from scratch, then make a ton of references about reboots. Anything could happen!
Despite only birthing four films so far, plus that TV series, the Scream franchise has now been around as long as any of the horror classics they were endlessly referencing. The first Scream, made all the way back in 1996, introduced post-modernism to mainstream American horror, with characters raised on slashers yet for the most part unable to avoid being slashed. The series seemed to peter out by 2000’s Scream 3, only to return eleven years later for the hilariously grouchy Scream 4 — an autumnal get-off-my-lawn work that would also prove the swan song of the series’ creator, horror legend Wes Craven, who passed in 2015. Hopefully he’s not currently turning over in his grave.
Are you ready to head back to Woodsboro? Scream, the horror trivia-obsessed franchise from the late Wes Craven, is getting ready to live again. A new Scream movie is reportedly in the works at Spyglass Entertainment, but beyond that, details are sketchy. Will this be a reboot? Or will it be the canonical fifth entry in the film franchise? And who is going to direct now that Wes Craven has departed us?
Bloody Disgusting has the scoop that a new Scream movie is in the works at Spyglass Entertainment. Spyglass is part of Lantern Entertainment, and Lantern Entertainment snapped up the rights to all of Dimension Films’ titles after the company went bankrupt in the wake of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein. And since Scream was a Dimension title, here we are. Spyglass is also in the midst of rebooting another Dimension-owned horror property: Hellraiser.
The big question now is what type of film this will be. Is it going to reboot the series entirely? Or will it continue the franchise and bring back the original cast members? Scream 4 did a great job serving as both a sequel and a reboot – mixing a new set of young characters in with original stars David Arquette, Neve Campbell, and Courteney Cox. With that in mind, it might be weird to have this new movie cover that same ground.
It’ll also be weird to see a Scream movie from someone other than Wes Craven. Craven directed all the entries in the film franchise, but the horror director died in 2015. After Scream 4, there was a Scream TV show on MTV. Some people seemed to like the show, but I’ll confess that when I tried to watch it I came away unimpressed. There were two seasons of the original Scream series in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Over the summer, a third reboot season arrived, and even people who liked the previous two seasons were left disappointed.
The first Scream arrived in 1996. Featuring a clever and winking script from Kevin Williamson, the funny, scary slasher film helped give the floundering horror genre a much-needed shot in the arm. The result was a wave of copycat slashers featuring hot young stars making terrible in-jokes, none of which held a candle to the first Scream.
There’s definitely room for a new story in this franchise, provided the people working on it actually give a damn and try to make something clever and respectful of the original film’s legacy. We’ll hopefully learn more about this new Scream movie soon.
T he Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, meet the man who chose to create and live in a replica of Michael Myers‘ childhood home from the original Halloween. Plus, run through over five dozen horror references you’ll find in the first movie in the Scream franchise, and get some last minute Halloween costume ideas from classic Saturday Night Live Weekend Update segments with Adam Sandler.
First up, Great Big Story profiles Kenny Caperton, a Halloween fan who decided that he wanted to build and live in a replica of the house that Michael Myers killed his sister in. He built the replica in Hillsborough, North Carolina, and inside the house is also an extensive collection of horror memorabilia, including plenty of items from Halloween and the many sequels that followed.
If you’ve seen Scream, then you know that the post-modern slasher from director Wes Craven is full of endless references to horror movies, bringing a meta lens to the subgenre. But there are plenty of other references within the movie some intentional, some probably not that are peppered throughout the movie. Get a load of them all right here in this video by Vanity Fair.
Finally, get a load of some classic last minute Halloween costumes created by Adam Sandler himself during his tenure on Saturday Night Live. As a recurring bit on Weekend Update, the comedian came up with some simple, terrible, but truly creative Halloween costumes for all of you lazy people out there who haven’t yet learned to plan your costume ahead of time.
In 1985, Mark Patton was a 25-year-old aspiring young actor about to enjoy his big break. He had been cast as the leading man in “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge,” the sequel to 1984’s blockbuster slasher hit written and directed by Wes Craven. For Patton, it was a dream come true. Little did he know, his career would be over just as quickly as it began. As he puts it: “I wake up in the middle of the first movie that I’m the lead actor in, and realize that there’s a gay subtext in it.” Patton’s wild ride provides the backbone of “Scream, Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street,” a fascinating and entertaining documentary that explores Patton’s rise to fame, subsequent disappearance from the public eye, and eventual reclamation of his queer cult figure legacy.
“Scream, Queen!” takes its double-meaning title from the classic horror trope of the scream queen or final girl, a term used to describe the last woman to survive long enough to confront the killer in a slasher film. As the first male scream queen, or “final boy,” Patton’s character Jesse was quite a radical presence onscreen at the time. Unfortunately, he paid the price for such progress. His story is a vital piece of queer film history and a necessary reminder of how far we’ve come in the fight for gay liberation.
Directed by Tyler Jensen and Roman Chimienti and narrated Cecil Baldwin “Welcome to Night Vale”, “Scream, Queen!” reaches into the fabulous recesses of queer horror fans, filmmakers, and academics to offer a well-rounded and humorous accounting of the queer cult classic. The film features commentary from San Francisco filmmaker and drag queen Peaches Christ, UC Colorado Film Studies professor Andrew Scahill, Freddy Krueger actor Robert Englund, as well as “Nightmare 2” director Jack Sholder and writer David Chaskin. They provide an robust and engaging balance of film theory, cultural analysis, Hollywood gossip, and gay history.
But by far the most moving interviews in the film are with Patton himself, whose eclectic life has taken him from starring opposite Cher on Broadway under the direction of Robert Altman; to a painting studio in Puerto Vallarta; to endless horror conventions the world over. In his emotionally candid interviews, he shares life advice from Cher, sharp witticisms befitting a Hollywood queen, details of Hollywood’s pervasive homophobia and AIDS phobia, and a raw accounting of surviving the epidemic.
Mark Patton in “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge”
In the mid-1980s, Patton contracted HIV from his then-boyfriend, “Dallas” star Timothy Patrick Murphy, who passed away shortly thereafter. Patton almost didn’t make it, but he held on long enough for the introduction of “the AIDS cocktail,” otherwise known as combination antiretroviral therapy. The fallout from “Nightmare 2” combined with the horrors of AIDS and his own diagnosis led his mental health to deteriorate. He abandoned Hollywood altogether and hightailed it to Mexico, earning him the title “the Greta Garbo of horror.” It wasn’t until years later, with the dawn of the internet, that he realized he had become retroactively famous to horror fans the world over.
“Nightmare 2” has since become a cult classic, often called the gayest horror film ever made. Horror has always used genre tropes to explore societal ills, repressed identities, and otherness. As explained in the documentary, the narrative in “Nightmare 2” can be read as “the homosexual as monster within,” symbolized by Jesse’s need to “repress his own desires in order to survive.” As Scahill puts it, the queer themes in “Nightmare 2” are so blatant from a contemporary lens that “the subtext is now text.” But Patton couldn’t see it at the time, even if some of his fellow actors did.
As “Scream, Queen!” makes clear, Patton has held a lifelong grudge against screenwriter David Chaskin for denying he intentionally wrote gay subtext into the script. Looking like James Toback’s kid brother, Chaskin oscillates between smug and glib in his talking head interviews. The film quotes an old interview where he admits the subtext was intentional, but “was intended to play homophobic rather than homoerotic.” Later, he says: “I didn't want it to be obvious. That's subtext. Which is why I never really admitted to it. That, and because it was so much more fun not to.”
In one of the film’s most powerful scenes, Patton finally confronts Chaskin. Driving up to the meeting, he explains that all he is seeking is an apology for and an acknowledgment of what he went through. It’s a familiar enough scene as far as these kinds of films go, but Patton is so openhearted and tender that its muted resolution feels downright revelatory.
As the camera follows his routine of attending horror conventions, waking up at the crack of dawn to sign autographs of photos taken 30 years ago, Patton asks himself — “How does Beyonce do it?” He is grateful for the income, but admits it is surreal to be trading on a career milestone that was so fraught for him. “[I] feel a little weird about that, honestly. But it is a business.” It is this candor, humor, and ability to rise from the ashes like a flaming phoenix, that make Mark Patton such a compelling and worthy documentary subject. The final boy has the final word, and it’s a vital reminder of how far we’ve come.
“Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street” played NewFest on October 28.
Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.
Matt: Halloween is so close I can *taste* and wow, it tastes rank. How else would rotten zombie flesh, newt eyes, and intestinal slasher trophies tickle your taste buds? There’s no deception there, but sometimes when seeking spooky October cinema, we’re tricked by unassuming titles or treated to hidden gems. In the spirit of finding something more palatable for y’alls seasonal parties, Chris and myself are going to spotlight some tricky winners and horrific treats to watch.
Chris: October feels like it’s flown by, but I hope you’ve been enjoying it, boils and ghouls. As Halloween approaches, Matt and I have put together a list of cinematic tricks and treats sweeter than any candy apple and chewier than a handful of candy corn. So put on your full Dracula costume, grab your rubber skeleton mask, and get ready to scream your face off!
Uncanny Annie Now Streaming on Hulu
Matt: Into The Dark has been a hit-or-miss bag of tricks and treats itself, but October’s Uncanny Annie is a fun festive delight. You can read my full review already posted here on SlashFilm, but in summation, Paul Davis finds a way to subvert normal Halloween architectures while still overseeing darkened entertainment. Play spectator to Annie’s board game of doom, as players are forced to answer “Truth” questions or take part in “Mischief” dares – and refusal means DEATH. Think deadly Jumanji with Grim Reapers and final execution over jungle imprisonment. Solid slumber party creepiness worth your streaming time.
Chris: I have not enjoyed any of the Into The Dark segments. Will I enjoy this one if I watch it? We’ll see!
The Mutilator Now Streaming on Shudder
Matt: Buddy Cooper’s hilarious trick within The Mutilator is a first-act fake out that sells something completely different than the gruesome slasher marketed. As the film hits opening credits, students prepare for a beachside vacation during the fall. Then it happens – “Fall Break” reads the title card. Cue Peter Yellen’s 80s sitcomy original theme, and horror fans can only scratch their heads at the silliness being put forth supposedly a grindhouse classic. Bodies start piling up and we eventually discover how The Mutilator earns its reputation, but don’t get me wrong. It’s poorly edited, poorly acted, poorly filmed – and I can’t wait to watch Cooper’s vicious laugher twenty more times.
Chris: I haven’t seen this, but I misread the name above as Bradley Cooper for a second and got very confused.
The Taking Of Deborah Logan Now Streaming on Shudder
Matt: Adam Robitel has been candid about how Netflix saved The Taking Of Deborah Logan, given Millenium Entertainment’s burial after a notably poor test screening. Consider this a treat, because without streaming resurgence, Robitel’s mockumentary nightmare might have been forever buried under bargain bin piles. I can’t heap enough praise on Deborah Logan herself, Jill Larson, who portrays an Alzheimer’s patient afflicted by something vastly more sinister and unholy. Plus, that gifable snack sequence you’ll all seen – even more despicable in the film’s context. No tricks here, only lights-off terror to unwrap
Chris: I just rewatched this recently – it holds up. It’s super creepy, and uses the found footage trope well. And yes, that snack sequence Matt mentions is aces.
Head Count Now Streaming on Netflix
Matt: Dial up another treat, as one of my favorite Overlook Film Festival titles barely got the release it deserves. Head Count – a Joshua Tree creepypasta tale – hit select theaters, but more horror fans need to be discussing Elle Callahan’s name. Now on Netflix, I’m hoping subscribers discover this vexing vacation of shapeshifters and optical tricks. It’s the kind of engaging cinema that has you counting heads, scouring every background detail just to try and stay one step ahead of Callahan’s storytelling. Math is dumb, but Head Count’s usage of numerical nastiness is sinister statistics I can get behind.
Chris: I was at the Overlook Film Festival with Matt, but I don’t remember seeing this. To be fair, most of the Overlook is a haze, because it’s held in New Orleans, aka the city where you can carry fishbowls full of liquor out onto the street.
Dolls Now Streaming on Tubi
Matt: I played a trick on myself by not seeing Dolls for so long. In no way did I know this was a Stuart Gordon/Charles Band collaboration, or that it starts out with a gigantic killer teddy bear sequence. A fellow film critic finally sat me down for the cheesy 80s doll “puppeteering” and overacting that awaited, which was just delightful. It fits the promise of a Gordon/Band hookup, and for good measure, Brian Yuzna’s name is *also* listed in the producing credits. If that’s not a good enough telltale for the zany tone that awaits, go brush up on your Gordon, Band, and Yuzna. Every party needs a jokester in the mix!
Chris: Oh hell yeah, Dolls! I love this cheesy nonsense.
Continue Reading Now Scream This >> Source: Slashfilm.com
Russell Crowe has had his brush with horror with the critical and commercial catastrophe that was The Mummy RIP Dark Universe, and is now teaming up with Scream writer and producer Kevin Williamson to star in a very meta supernatural thriller. Crowe will star in a new movie as a troubled actor who begins to experience real-life horrors while shooting a horror film — a fun meta twist on the genre that appropriately comes from the screenwriter that created one of the most meta horror franchises ever.
Deadline reports that Crowe has teamed up with Scream writer and producer Kevin Williamson for a yet-untitled supernatural thriller under Miramax as a part of Williamson’s ongoing deal with the studio to produce more genre content. Here’s the synopsis for this original thriller:
Crowe will play a troubled actor who begins to unravel while shooting a horror film. His estranged daughter wonders if he’s slipping back into his past addictions or if there’s something more sinister at play.
Crowe has a long and lauded career, yet it is one that has never included horror. The closest would be 2017’s The Mummy, which was a horror show in many senses of the phrase — bombing at the box office and effectively killing the Dark Universe in which Crowe would’ve played a key part. But it seems like Crowe has gotten a taste for the genre with his new thriller, which will be helmed by first-time directors Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin, who also wrote the script. Miller and Fortin are best known for yet another meta-horror movie, The Final Girls, which followed a group of young people as they were transported into an ’80s slasher movie. While The Final Girls was a bit more tongue-in-cheek, it seems the Russell Crowe thriller will be more of a serious affair, though it will similarly be “about the genre,” Williamson said in a statement.
Williamson added that he is “so excited to work with Russell, one of the greatest actors of our time…Fortin and Miller have such a fresh vision for this film, we know that together they will create something terrifying and memorable.”
Outerbanks’ Ben Fast will also produce this yet-untitled thriller, along with Miramax’s Bill Block. Here’s the trailer for Fortin and Miller’s The Final Girls: