Scream 4 (2011)

Horror movies just got fun again…

Cast: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere & Rory Culkin

Directed by: Wes Craven

Screenplay by: Kevin Williamson

Plot:

On the fifteenth anniversary of the original Woodsboro killings, survivor Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns home to promote her new book. Her return prompts the return of the Ghostface killer who targets a new generation of teens attending the same high-school Sidney did.

Verdict:

If director Wes Craven had pitched his latest entry in the Scream franchise as the funniest one yet, he wouldn’t have been far off summing up Scream 4. The laugh ratio undeniably outdoes the scare ratio this time around. Just look at the opening sequence that comes complete with double bluffs, multiple murders, characters bitching about horror movie cliché’s and ironic cameos from Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell. It’s a killer of an opening that has so much fun playing around with the Scream formula; it’s like watching the perfect start of a genuinely decent spoof. Furthermore, the cops – including David Arquette’s now Sherriff Dewey – spend most of their screen time acting like they are in Scary Movie 5 rather than Scream 4.

And yet despite Kevin Williamson’s script at times veering dangerously close to total self-parody, Scream 4 is effortlessly entertaining with all the returning cast members clearly in tune with the more playful tone this time out. It’s also for the most part still just as clever and self-knowing as its predecessors, seeing as eleven years have now passed since Scream 3 slashed its way into cinemas, there is plenty of material for Craven and co. to put the knife into. Ghostface is now using Facebook and also filming his murders and uploading them to the web. And we have a new generation of knowing teens to discuss the current state of the horror genre and the new rules Ghostface will abide by for a reboot scenario. “You do a remake to outdo the original” says one character after realizing Ghostface has considerably upped the ante.

The film referencing is plentiful ranging from absurd (a character reels off a list of every horror remake to date) to scathing (characters trashing the torture porn sub-genre) and the obvious (lots and lots of vintage movie posters). Most of this comes from the fresh young cast who are represented particularly well by Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere and Rory Culkin.

Trying to figure out who the killer is has always been one of the strongest aspects of the Scream franchise and that is the case once again with every character a possible suspect. The eventual final reveal is a decent and surprising one.

Apart from a tension-laced sequenced in which two characters witness the brutal murder of their friend from an opposite window, Scream 4 is rarely terrifying and by this fourth entry, Ghostface has naturally lost some of his edge. But let’s not forget that the Ghostface character, now with one classic film and three very respectable sequels to his name, has been served very well compared to the slasher characters that inspired his creation.

Wes Craven’s Scream 4 is living proof that if it aint broke, don’t fix it. Sure it’s far from perfect but Scream 4 sticks to a formula that works and is all the more enjoyable because of it. “What’s your favorite Scary Movie?” Well it probably won’t be Scream 4 but this is a healthy reminder that it might be the original Scream…

Featured Comedy Movies

I’ts a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)

 Greed is a trope used in the realm of fiction to be associated with drama, and usually involves some very thematic elements to it. Yet the theme really has not been associated with the genre of comedy. Enter the 1963 film “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”, a comedy that showcases a lot of […]

St. Vincent (2014)

 This movie opens up with our main character telling a very dry joke, which sets up the tone for the rest of the film. “St. Vincent” is a comedy that puts focus on one grumpy old man trying to come to terms with his life. The resulting effort is a gem of originality that has […]

Big Hero 6 (2014)

 Ever since Disney purchased Marvel back in 2009, we have gotten a lot of good action/superhero films that have a strong connection to their continuity. However, with today’s feature, Marvel and Disney are branching out and creating something completely different. The finalized product is the motion picture for today “Big Hero 6” based off Marvel’s […]

Speak Your Mind