One of the many reasons the Scream series is so beloved is that it’s in on the joke. The movies are predicated on the characters not just understanding the rules of horror movies, but specifically calling them out. It gives the franchise a unique edge that’s helped make it such a success.
The fifth film in the series, just called Scream, opens January 14. A rather nice New Year’s gift, is it not? And being that the film is only about a month away, marketing continues to be released with that same sense of self-awareness. Case in point: this latest poster.
“The killer is on this poster.” How perfect is that? On the surface, it’s trying to make you to guess which of the characters on the poster is the killer, another trademark aspect of the Scream films. But there’s much more to it than that. Ghostface is on the poster, right? So the tagline could just be referring to them. There’s no telling who is behind that mask. Also the singular of “killer” instead of “killers” predisposes that there’s only one. More often than not in Scream films, there is more than one killer. Is that a spoiler too? We don’t know.
Of course, the real answer to what this poster is trying to do is “all of the above.” The fact we’re even thinking about it is the mark of a great tagline. But let’s be honest: for this new Scream to really justify its existence, there has to be some kind of new twist. Maybe there are multiple Ghostfaces working independently. Maybe it’s someone from the past. Or, and this would be the most fun, it’s either Sydney (Neve Campbell), Gail (Courteney Cox), or Dewey (David Arquette)—or maybe even some combination of them. The trick there, though, would not be the surprise, it would be making a motivation valid enough that doesn’t undercut the original four films.
The good news is, we’ll find out soon enough. Scream opens January 14 in theaters only.
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