AS ever were, the sequels to Wes Craven’s 1996 slasher Scream never truly recaptured the fizz of the original. Certainly, the second made a good stab of it but the less said about three and four the better.

Some 11 years have now passed since cinemas were last terrorised by Ghostface - television outings notwithstanding - and a reboot is well overdue.

Episode five in the franchise comes hot on the heels of David Gordon Green’s success with resurrecting the beleaguered Halloween series. As such, the approach here is much the same. This is not Scream 5. This is simply ‘Scream’.

The premise is no less familiar. 25 years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a new killer has donned the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers to resurrect secrets from the town’s deadly past.

Roger L. Jackson once again voices Ghostface and he’s not the only returnee.

Reprising the roles of Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers and Dewey Riley respectively, Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette are all back in action.

This time around, the veteran trio instead serve as mentors to a new band of youthful victims.

Fresh from her winning turn in Jon Chu’s In the Heights, Melissa Barrera leads as Sam Carpenter and is joined by Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega and Jack Quaid. Surely they can’t all survive the night…?

It was the meta self-awareness of Scream that first stood it apart from the crowd in 1996.

The film’s characters were not naive to the tropes that haunted the slasher genre, while Kevin Williamson’s script revelled in toying with its cliches. Which is not to say that the film wasn’t littered with canon fodder for gruesome deaths. That was all part of the fun.

2022’s Scream is the first in the series to find release following the death of Craven in 2015. It’s also the first since the collapse of The Weinstein Company, which produced all four of its predecessors.

And yet, perhaps the hiatus has done the series some good. Scream 5 is a brutal whodunnit and keeps you guessing from open to close.

There’s more energy here than in films three and four combined. It’s sharply written and directed with furious vigour by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet. They made 2019 hit Ready or Not too. It shows.