The Latest Reviews For The Screenwriter James Vanderbilt

The Spool Staff

The Scream franchise's strength has always been in its self-awareness. Initially, it turned the camera towards the audience, demanding that they ask themselves why it's so entertaining to see other people being made to suffer, and what happens if, as the tagline went, someone took their love of scary movies too far. Then it mocked the inevitability of sequels, then the movie industry in general, then how the media treats trauma victims like celebrities, with varying levels of success. The 2022 reboot, directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, sought to address all of it in some fashion, with toxic fandom on top of that. It was mostly successful, despite being at times aggressively meta. Scream VI does much of the same, although this time the knowing winks and nods are starting to feel a little tired. Continue Reading →


Say what you will about the Scream movies – while they’re almost as absurd as the movies they’re satirizing, they’re also each trying to say something. While the first movie was about slasher movies in general, Scream 2 explored the nature (and necessity) of sequels, while Scream 3 attempted (to less than successful results) a pre-#MeToo spotlight on sexual harassment, and, as an answer to the rise of Facebook and Twitter, Scream 4 focused on social media culture. Wes Craven set out to not just entertain and scare audiences, but to get them to think about what they were watching, exactly, and why. Continue Reading →