It’s no secret that the ‘Scream’ series has been a box office smash for the studios. But that success has also created a level of confusion and disappointment among viewers, many of whom are left confused about which film is truly worthy of their time. Some are driven to pick another ‘Scream’ film to see just how ludicrous it can be. Others just want to go back to the happy days of the franchise, when the actors were much more interesting. So, which is the best of the ‘Scream’ films?

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In order to answer that question, one would need to look past the title ‘Scream’. If the movie didn’t actually scream’scary movie 5′, then it was certainly very scaring! The five-minute comedy skit may have only been mildly funny otherwise if not for the lead’s extremely off-key delivery. The ‘Scream’ franchise hasn’t offered the scariest satire – just the most clumsy attempt at a mainstream comedy that failed completely to find any success upon release.

Five minutes of zinging comedy is hardly a horror movie. However, in looking at the new ‘Scream’ series, distributor Universal Pictures is effectively taking a step backward with the upcoming fifth installment of the ‘Scream’ franchise. The original ‘Scream’ movie introduced an entire new cast, brought in new characters, and tried to build upon the original premise (a serial killer ramping up his killing spree). However, with the current crop of actors, the focus is clearly on original, scarier leads… but is the new ‘Scream’ series better? Or perhaps it’s just taking a bit of the previous franchise’s idea and running with it.

The first thing that’s important to note when reviewing the new ‘Scream’ series is that the overall tone of the film isn’t any different than the prior movies in the series. In fact, it’s essentially the same as the first few installments; you’re basically just swapping around different characters and locations. What makes this fifth installment different, however, is that Universal Pictures has brought in an all-star cast featuring some very notable names from previous ‘Scream’ movies like Tim Burton, Henry Selick, and Will Smith. Add to this original cast the impressive talents of Kevin Dunn, and you have a scary movie franchise making the rounds in your local theaters.

The basis of the new ‘Scream’ series is once again set in an ordinary family home… but unlike before, the family is in for a violent death. Once the son of a wealthy family ( Jason Statham ) arrives home one evening, he discovers that his wife has been brutally murdered. He then quickly follows through on his dark side, killing all of the people in his path while screaming like a madman. This blood thirsty maniac quickly becomes the prime suspect in the murder, and after tracking down the true killer, he now wants to put an end to this twisted game before it can even begin.

Although it’s clearly not going to compare to the original ‘Scream’ series which took audiences by storm in 1994, the first film in the new ‘Scream’ series looks to be a huge success. Not only does it look to be a very stylish thriller with a killer premise, but the director could very well bring in a better script and quality performances as well. Perhaps the biggest question mark hanging over this new movie is whether or not Universal Pictures will be able to capitalize on the’Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ and ‘The Faultless Five’ franchises before they begin losing their thunder to other big budget films like ‘X Men: First Class’. It looks like this could be a hit for the studio, especially if Matt Reeves returns as John Reese, the successful CIA agent sent onto the dangerous planet of the Apes to find out the secret of its existence.

The new ‘Scream’ movie looks to be following in the footsteps of the brilliant ‘The Ring’ and ‘The Shape’ movies that Reeves starred in. The villain in ‘The Shape’ was originally an African tribe who possessed a supernatural force that could take over the lives of those around them. In the third installment, Reeves has once again plays the role of the evil leader and is joined by great cast members such as Jason Statham, Sienna Guillory and Jill Valentine. With the current crop of talented actors and actresses in the lead roles, it looks like the future of the horror franchise may be bright. One has to wonder if Reeves might introduce even more powerful beings into the mix of this already amazing story line.

One thing is for sure, this new franchise will keep fans of the original ‘Scream’ excited. Although I’m not a big fan of the Jack Sparrow, undead pirate, etc, I do see how the story will be exciting enough to make it worth my time. Plus, I’m pretty sure that both Anne Hathaway and Selma Blair will have the time of their lives playing the crazy lady and the evil dead man. Who knows, maybe a crazy lady and an evil dead man makes for a great pair of twins who kick butt in’Rise of the Planet of theape’.