This semi-reboot of the Scream franchise deserves immense plaudits for revitalising the legendary horror series.

It does descend into familiar slasher territory by the end, but as the fifth instalment of the hit nineties franchise, its biggest compliment is: it’s a darn sight better than parts three and four.

That’s because the directing team of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett – the duo behind fairly well-received Ready or Not – freshen things up for a new generation, after original director Wes Craven passed away several years ago.

And that’s by getting it right in the important areas of jump scares and creative gory kills – which is pretty much what the popcorn-munching demographic will lap up.

While the three veterans of the series – Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott, Courtney Cox’s Gale Weathers and David Arquette’s Dewey Riley – all return to Woodsboro for continuity purposes, it’s left mainly to a new generation of youngsters to take the driving seat.

Said group is headlined by Melissa Barrera’s Sam – the lovechild of Skeet Ulrich’s killer Billy Loomis – who returns to her hometown after her little sister Tara (You’s Jenny Ortega playing the Drew Barrymore role) is brutally attacked by a new Ghostface killer 25 years after the iconic – and still easily the best – original.

With the movie Stab – based on the murders previously seen in the Scream films – being seen by most of the teenagers (with varying levels of fascination), everyone is a suspect as ex-Sheriff Riley looks to aid Sam and her boyfriend Richie (Jack Quaid) in finding the new version of Ghostface.

And admittedly, through various blood-splattering sequences – with some ingeniously gruesome deaths thrown in – this refreshingly ‘ticks’ all the right horror boxes for a night at the cinema.

As aforementioned it does slightly descend into (understandably) familiar Scream horror tropes territory in the final act – with intermittently ropey dialogue – but for the most part this definitely ‘hits’ more than it ‘misses’.

Losing the ‘five’ moniker to distance itself from the appalling Scream 4 a decade ago definitely works – as this enigmatic re-tooling becomes the best iteration since 1997’s sequel.

Which is well worth screaming about – especially with a dearth of blockbusters to start the year.

ESP Rating: 3.5/5

Gavin Miller

Showcase Cinema De Lux Peterborough, Out Now

Cast: Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Neve Campbell, Jack Quaid, Dylan Minnette, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Sonia Ammar, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Kyle Gallner, Marley Shelton & Heather Matarazzo

Running Time: 1 Hr 54 Mins

Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett