‘Ready or Not’: Why ‘Scream 5’ Is Perfect for the Horror Movie’s Directors

Much like a horror movie villain, you just can’t keep a good horror movie series down. And so the Scream series is gearing up for a revival. Of course, Scream 5 will be the first entry without the involvement of the late Wes Craven.

The legendary horror director helmed all four of the previous Scream movies. In his absence, filmmakers Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have risen up to take the lead on the project. While Scream die-hards might be skeptical, the duo’s 2019 movie, Ready or Not, feels like the perfect lead-in to Scream 5.

Samara Weaving at the 'Ready or Not' premiere
Samara Weaving at the ‘Ready or Not’ premiere | Alberto E. Rodriguez/WireImage

‘Ready or Not’ was only its directors’ second feature film

In Ready or Not, Samara Weaving stars as a brand-new bride who discovers she must endure a wedding night from hell. To be initiated into the family, she needs to participate in a deadly game of hide-and-seek. Her new husband’s wealthy family will hunt her throughout their estate. And all she needs to do is survive the night.

Made for just $6 million, Ready or Not went on to earn more than $57 million worldwide. Remarkably, the movie was also only Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett’s second directorial feature. They also directed 2014’s Devil’s Due. That movie was also a financial success. But unlike their first film, Ready or Not earned universally strong reviews from critics.

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The movie captures just the right scares and macabre humor

The over-the-top premise of Ready or Not may seem ridiculous. But the actual film features just the right tonal balance to make it all work. More darkly funny than truly terrifying, the movie actually shares that element with the Scream series. Aside from perhaps a few flashes of true terror — the first film’s opening, for instance — the Scream movies have always erred on the side of humor.

After all, their entire hook relies on the self-awareness of the genre conventions of a horror movie. In a similar respect, Ready or Not leans into the goofiness of its story. On the page, the concept could have gone either way. And the fact that it all crescendoes in a truly macabre, brilliant ending makes it easy to see how it will dovetail neatly into Scream 5.

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‘Scream 5′ needs a fresh perspective to honor the series’ history

At this early stage, it’s too early to tell what angle Scream 5 will take. It seems like the series has exhausted all possible options. But provided Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett have a fresh take, the movie could honor Craven’s legacy and the game-changing horror franchise he created.

After all, all involved in Scream 5 sound like they recognize how stacked against the project the odds are. Bit by bit, the original cast is coming back to their respective roles. And series creator Kevin Williamson is back to executive produce the movie. So, ready or not, fans should prepare to be impressed by Scream 5.