Challenge Accepted: Snarky New Scream Poster Invites You To ID The Killer

The final "Scream" poster invites us to do the impossible — figure out who the killer is before the movie even premieres, and we just know it isn't going to be that easy. After all, they toss the notion back in our faces pretty quickly with a snarky tagline.

The poster — which appears to be the first "gift" in the film's "12 Screams for the Holidays" social media campaign, set to release "new exclusive 'Scream' surprises every single day" via the film's official social accounts — depicts the large cast in a classic style, with the tagline, "The killer is on this poster." Talk about clever. It's very clear, at least to me, that the poster's intention is to shock you into hypothesizing about the killer for a few seconds before realizing — duh — that Ghostface is displayed prominently. I don't know about you, but I like a little classic "Scream"-style sarcasm with my marketing.

Shortly before debuting the new artwork, stars Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox announced the exciting holiday campaign in a video tweet. The latest installment in the franchise — number five, to be exact — is set to bring a whole new spin on the legend, but we'll have to wait another month to find out more than what the official synopsis gives us:

"Twenty-five 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."

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett direct the film, working with executive producer Chad Villella. The trio make up the now well-known horror filmmaking group Radio Silence. The team made the film from a script written by James Vanderbilt, who is known for his work on "Zodiac" and "The Amazing Spider-Man," and Guy Busick, who wrote "Ready or Not" and "Castle Rock."

So, Who Could It Be?

Okay, yes, of course: the killer is on the poster. Makes sense — I mean, Ghostface is definitely dead center in the imagery, and no matter who lies under the mask, Ghostface is and will always be the "Scream" franchise killer. But as for the true identity of the antagonist this time around, it's anyone's guess and anyone's game at this point — and this poster only complicates things, to be honest. 

Knowing how the "Scream" franchise prides itself on having crafted — and continuing to subvert — the classic "rules" of the slasher genre, it seems like they wouldn't do something obvious and make our girl Sydney (Campbell) do a 180 and become the killer herself. Considering her broken past and how that parlayed into a life of trauma and watching her back, though, it doesn't seem all that far-fetched that she would need an outlet or have a motive.

Aside from Campbell's Sydney, Cox's Gale Weathers, and David Arquette's Dewey Riley — all of whom get prominent placement alongside Ghostface on the new poster — the rest of the characters that take up the visual's real estate are new characters, so again, it's anybody's guess as to who might be poised to go on a killing spree akin to the Woodsboro original.

"Goosebumps" star Dylan Minnette, "Ghost of War" star Kyle Gallner, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" star Mikey Madison, "Love" alum Jasmin Savoy Brown, "The Boys" star Jack Quaid, "In the Heights" star Melissa Barrera, "You" alum Jenna Ortega and Mason Gooding fill out the cast of the upcoming horror entry, with Marley Shelton also returning as her "Scream 4" character, Deputy Judy Hicks.

"Scream" debuts in theaters on January 14, 2022.