Stop Giving Sequels The Same Title As The Original, Dammit
Ah, Scream, the beloved horror movie franchise that featured both a sadistic masked killer stalking teens and the occasional anecdote about fictional George Lucas' possible handsiness. Because everything from the '90s (with the possible exception of your uncle's acid wash fanny pack) is pop-culturally immortal, we're getting a fifth Scream movie starring the original trio of actors (Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, and David Arquette) and directed by two dudes who are conveniently more alive than Wes Craven.
Following up Scream 4, you might expect that this new movie would be called, you know, Scream 5 -- but that may not be the case. While nothing has been officially announced, judging from the on-set photos, the new movie may simply be titled Scream.
Which follows 2018's Halloween, which was a direct sequel to the original Halloween, and before that 2011's The Thing, which served as a prequel to the John Carpenter classic of the same name. Which is kind of weird, but not entirely unpredictable. The way we label film sequels has always been in flux. The Godfather Part II used Roman numerals to seem classy. Then after studies found that sequel-weary audiences preferred no numbers in the title, we got more sequels with lame subtitles tacked on, such as National Treasure: Book of Secrets, Star Trek Into Darkness, and of course, the dreaded Squeakuel. When that trend tired itself out, franchises began repackaging earlier titles with the word "The" shoehorned in, such as with The Final Destination and The Predator. Or, in one case, a popular franchise simply removed all its indefinite articles.
But giving a sequel the exact same name as the original? That's simply maddening, not to mention flat-out messy. How the hell can the sequel to Halloween also be Halloween? Plus, the only part of this new Scream movie anyone is the reunion of the original characters. Fans want an actual Scream 5, not a reboot, or "legacyquel" that passes the torch to a new generation of characters. Especially because Scream 4 was an elaborate rebuke of that approach, literally ending with our hero Sidney Prescott (SPOILERS) killing her young cousin who seemed poised to take the reigns of the franchise before we found out she was a cold-blooded killer. And in a fitting moment of self-reference, Sidney quips: "Never fuck with the original."
Cribbing the original title is the definition of fucking with the original. Give us Scream: Book of Secrets, Scream: Tokyo Drift, Sidney v Ghostface: Dawn of Justice, anything but just Scream.
Top Image: Dimension Films