About ten years ago, it seemed as if Wes Craven's "Scream" franchise had come to an end. He struck genre gold with the first film in this on-going series, which was the first film to properly satirize the slasher genre by allowing the in-movie characters to be aware of the horror movies that we have seen. References to "Halloween", "Friday the 13th", and even "A Nightmare on Elm Street" would pop up just about anywhere. Then came the first sequel, which was actually pretty good. Both were written by Kevin Williamson; who I have, at one point, referred to as a "well-read" and "self-educated" man. It is because of my admiration of him that it was such a shame when he didn't return for the next installment, which was to be, at the time, the concluding chapter. And you know what; I was not satisfied. If that had truly been the end, I would have been pissed off. But no; Craven seems to have realized that he disappointed several of his fans with that film by leaving out a few members of his team, but now he has made "Scream 4"; and the family is back together yet again. They have never been better.
In all honesty, after "Scream 3", this film is pretty much a miracle; and in comparison, I'd even go so far as to call it a masterpiece. Of course, when speaking of it as a film in general, it is not, in fact, a masterpiece (that title goes to the first film, thank you very much), but it's still some of the most fun you'll have with a 2011 horror film. Every year, a large number of horror movies are released (many of them American-made), and too many of them are disappointing and unsatisfactory. "Scream 4" gives you exactly what you want and what you need out of a genre-satirization. It owes a lot to the flick that started it all, but it pays a certain, intelligent number of homages to the first "Scream", and I couldn't help but be overjoyed by this. It shows that Craven is proud of this franchise even though it's had its ups and downs. He has always been skilled at making these films, and he always will be. Really, it's impressive that he can make the God-awful "My Soul to Take" the year before, and make a good film such as this one in the next. Some might not be pleased by the film's treatment of the common clichés and "standards" that are present in the spoofed genre, but if you are appreciative of this kind of material, then try to think of it as a newer, slicker, gorier, and equally as fun reboot-esque version of "Scream". This way, you'll have a good time.
It is the fifteenth anniversary of the Woodsboro Murders. Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is returning to that very town - which was her home town from the first film - for the first time in several long years. She has published her first novel, and is hoping to start life anew. She reunites with the policeman-turned-Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette), as well as his now-wife Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox). However, while the characters - all who have survived through three films and are intent on surviving yet another - are busy catching up, new characters are being introduced, and along with them, new problems are added into the equation.
But wait! Before I get to that, shouldn't I introduce you all to these new faces? I think that would be quite appropriate on this occasion. Sidney's cousin Jill (Emma Roberts) is finally brought into the picture, living life as an American teenager. Her circle of friends includes Olivia, Kirby (Hayden Panettiere), and ex-boyfriend Trevor (Nico Tortorella). Every one of them, including Jill, is receiving harassing phone calls from that lovable psycho-serial-killer who we like to call Ghostface; and it can only add to the problem that Sidney is in town, and such things unintentionally trigger bad memories. Aside from Jill's friends, there are other various students in the High School - that they attend - who are worth mentioning. I think I'll start, and end, by telling you about Charlie (Rory Culkin) and Robbie (Erik Knudsen), two movie geeks who run the school "Cinema Club" side-by-side. Both are quite essential to the plot, as they are hosting an event known as "Stab-a-thon". This of course refers to those in-movie-movies about the events that occurred in the first "Scream", although apparently the countless amount of sequels were allowed to keep on coming when Sidney requested the filmmaking teams behind them search for material that wasn't based on her fractured, broken life.
As with all the "Scream" movies, there are certain scenes that I enjoy more than others, and sometimes, they are enough to save the film and provide me with a good night's dose of pure entertainment. In "Scream 4", some of my favorite scenes include the following: a scene where the Sidney and Gale attend the High School "Cinema Club" - where PLENTY of movie talk, centered on the horror genre, is thrown around with ease, and presumably, with joy. Another scene I really liked was at the end, where the then-revealed killer mutilates himself/herself in order to frame another character at the scene of the crime. I found this scene as darkly amusing and hilarious as it was (probably) intended to be.
The charm of the "Scream" films lies in their ability to manipulate overused material and create satire. Ever since "Scream 2", this franchise has practically lived on its premise and all that the first film set up; and unfortunately, it didn't work one time out of three; which is now four. "Scream 4" is successful because it understands what WE understand - and expect. It's stylish, well-filmed, smartly directed, and actually pretty damn funny. The scenes of extensive, obsessive movie talk, the sequences of high-intensity, in-house chases, and those little ironic moments where the clichés seem wink at the audience as if to get some mechanical laughs, are all what this franchise is about. I kind of loved what this one had going. And I enjoyed it while it lasts. In fact, I had such a good time, that I might just watch it again, for what it is; entertainment. It's nothing more, and nothing less. You did well, Craven. You did well.
I am a horror movie fan and a casual “slasher” film fan. “Scream” was innovative in the sense that it mixed horror commentary and viewer ability (though it wasn’t arguably the first to do so) but Wes Craven made a mark and revitalized the “slasher” genre with the 1996 film. “Scream 4” comes more than a decade after the original film, and has its work cut out for it. It comes at a time when the pop culture phenomenon the original had achieved … more
Star Rating: Cleverness is a double-edged sword, and Kevin Williamson doesn’t seem to understand this. On the one hand, his screenplay for Scream 4 is rife with witty dialogue and a few interesting insights into the horror genre. On the other hand, he spends far too much time winking at the audience, as if he were desperate to make us aware of the many, many conventions the film is both utilizing and working against. He thinks he’s being smarter … more
SCREAM 4 Written by Kevin Williamson Directed by Wes Craven Starring Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette Rachel: These sequels don’t know when to stop. Fifteen years after director, Wes Craven, and original writer, Kevin Williamson, scared the crap out of unsuspecting moviegoers initially, they have finally reunited to resurrect the SCREAM franchise. Original cast members, Neve Campbell, … more
'Scream4 is directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson...and they nail it...Bringing back some of your favorite characters (the ones that weren't killed off in Scream 1,2 and 3) and introducing us to several new ones. Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) now the author of a self-help book returns home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. There she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette) and Gale Weathers (Courteney … more
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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