Why The Scream Franchise Has Been Able To Thrive For Over 20 Years

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Why The Scream Franchise Has Been Able To Thrive For Over 20 Years

Scream VI proved that it was a force to be reckoned with by receiving the best opening weekend of the franchise thus far. Since 1996, the franchise has been relevant in both television and movies. There’s been six movies and a series that ran for three seasons. The overall premise of the franchise hasn’t changed much with stalkers terrorizing a neighborhood until the final girl saves the day. However, Scream’s brand continues to grow despite being over 20 years old.

Though the formula for the franchise is relatively the same, Scream’s winning strategy of balancing meta-humor with horror always remains timely. Scream has also managed to blend the original cast members with fun new faces that helps keep and bring in new ones to the popular series. Scream certainly has its ups and down, but the impressive feat of this long standing franchise proves that audiences could care less about numerous sequels if the quality remains high.

Scream’s Delicate Mix of Horror and Comedy Proved to Be a Winning Strategy

Why The Scream Franchise Has Been Able To Thrive For Over 20 Years

The biggest reason that Scream has stood out is due to the meta humor that was introduced in the very first film. Of course, a strong script put Scream into the horror Hall of Fame for life; however, Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson poking fun at genre conventions and subverting them is a key identity that no other horror series has. It’s a tricky balance in trying to mix horror and comedy together. Part of the fun of the Scream series is figuring out how they’ll veer left and create a new path that hasn’t been done before.

The only time that the franchise sort of the meta-humor was in Scream 3. The meta humor was no longer present in supposed final film and it ultimately turned out to be another run-of-the-mill slasher flick. Thankfully, when Scream 4 returned over a decade later, the horror genre had evolved and the series reverted back to what made it so popular from the beginning. Though the formula of two masked stalkers is growing stale, filmmakers have been able to keep the franchise alive through clever writing which has made the series as good as new.

The Scream Franchise Has Blended The Original Cast Members and Its New Stars Seamlessly

Why The Scream Franchise Has Been Able To Thrive For Over 20 Years

Scream 3 closed the chapter of Sidney Prescott’s personal journey. However, the creators have found a fun way to balance the new generation with the original cast members. Scream 5 focusing on the second generation of legacy characters was an excellent way to mix nostalgia with the new blood of the series. Sam Carpenter leading the charge for the series gives the franchise new life because her story is vastly different from Sidney Prescott’s. This opens the franchise to new directions down the line, while still keeping the Scream name intact.

Scream 4 did a solid job of re-inviting audiences into its world by developing Sidney, Gale, and Dewey’s characters into the modern generation. However, Dewey’s storyline in Scream 5 was incredible. His arc of being a broken man served a strong narrative purpose that helped bridge the gap between the two generations. The Meeks twins are also a nice inclusion that keeps the spirit of Randy Meeks alive. Radio Silence (directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett) has given Chad and Mindy their own personalities that doesn’t make them seem like copycats. Incorporating the old and new cast hasn’t been perfect, but Scream has found a seamless way of incorporating new and legacy characters together.

Ghostface’s Evolution Has Been Riveting

Why The Scream Franchise Has Been Able To Thrive For Over 20 Years

The first three films were all about Sidney Prescott. That’s why she’s such an iconic final girl because her character grows in each movie. The traumatized teen in the first film grew into a strong woman once the end credits rolled in Scream 3. However, the franchise has found clever ways of bringing back Ghostface that expanded the mythology of the series and its prime protagonist. Scream 4 was about the social media age and how some people will do anything to gain attention. Scream 5 focused on the legacy of their characters and how their lineage has drastically affected their families. Scream 6 expands on that by moving to a new location and highlighted that Ghostface is a legacy beyond California.

Though it was disappointing that Neve Campbell was unable to return in Scream 6, Sidney Prescott’s absence helped solidify that Ghostface was the star of the series. It allowed Radio Silence to dig beyond the surface and expand Ghostface’s ideology. The evolution of Ghostface has been truly fascinating; the motivations behind each Ghostface killer tells a deeper and compelling story that often reflects society as a whole.

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