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Scream 2022 Is Already Less Fun Than The Originals | Screen Rant

The original movies are both funny and scary but judging by Scream 2022's trailer, the fifth movie will be a more serious outing, less fun affair. When legendary horror director Wes Craven revived the slasher genre with 1996's meta-slasher Scream, it is unlikely that he knew how big a franchise it would soon spawn. The series includes four movies and two TV shows, and Scream 2022 will add another outing to the long-running franchise.

However, fans of the Scream franchise could be forgiven for not realizing that Scream 2022 is an addition to the meta-slasher series judging by its trailer. Although the first preview for Scream 2022 features Ghostface’s iconic mask and returning Scream characters Sidney Prescott, Dewey, and Gale Weathers, it is also a deathly serious and dark promo with little of the trademark humor found in the series. The Scream movies were famous for injecting a streak of witty, self-aware humor into the genre, so some viewers were surprised to find this element largely missing from the long-awaited trailer for Scream 2022.

Related: Why Matthew Lillard Should Return As Stu Macher In Scream 5

Scream 2022’s trailer is quite serious throughout, with few gags or one-liners. Contrast this with Scream 4’s almost outright comedic promotional materials and it becomes clear the sequel will take on a more self-serious tone - although this may not be a bad thing. Although part of the franchise’s acclaim came from its self-referential humor, much of Scream’s appeal came from identifying the killer and dreading the next murder. Particularly when the intervening decade between Scream 4 and Scream’s 2022 has seen a glut of more light-hearted, self-aware slashers flood the market, Scream 2022 being "less fun" could actually be a good thing for the series and a necessary tonal corrective for the subgenre as a whole.

Scream 2022's less fun, more intense feel may also bring it more in line with the 1996 original. Although the later Scream movies were lighter in tone, the first entry did not sacrifice scares for laughs. The harrowing opening alone is evidence that, while Scream featured many funny lines, Craven's film was primarily interested in terrifying audiences. Although it did feature characters addressing the cliches of the slasher genre, this made it all the more effective when Scream's movie-referencing teens were still killed despite knowing the rules to surviving a horror movie. In contrast, recent slashers such as Freaky, the Happy Death Day series or The Babysitter series relied on broader humor and eschewed serious scares in favor of laughs.

Many of the above-mentioned movies worked well as comedies, but few offered any of the traditional thrills of a conventional slasher. Instead, comparatively stone-faced outings like 2018’s Halloween or 2021’s Candyman have been the slasher subgenre’s biggest providers of scares in recent years and have relied mostly on horror, with only brief moments of humor to alleviate the tension. As such, Scream 2022's less funny, more scary approach could be wise to darken the tone of the franchise, as this will allow the series to stay innovative and fresh. While Scream 4’s broad humor was a welcome surprise back in 2010, now Scream 2022 can offer another welcome shock with a slasher that is still scary despite not taking itself completely seriously.

More: How Scream 4 Referenced Wes Craven’s Unmade Nightmare On Elm Street 4

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