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The original Scream trilogy was one of my favourite movie series when I was a teenager so when I heard that they were making a fourth film my initial thoughts were that A: why wait so long in between and B: I hope that they don't ruin it. My initial concerns were alleviated when I read that not only were the original cast members (well those that survived) all back but that original director Wes Craven and screen writer Kevin Williamson were also going to be back writing and directing respectively.
As soon as the film was released I went to see it at the cinema as I didn't want to wait for the DVD release and also I didn't want the ending spoiled for me by accidentally reading something on the internet. I remember coming out of the cinema feeling slightly disappointed with the film but I still had to buy it on Blu-Ray when it was released to not only complete my collection but also so I could watch it again now that my expectations were a little bit lower.
~~~~~~~~~~ plot ~~~~~~~~~~
The plot of Scream 4 takes the franchise back to the town of Woodsboro where it all started. Sydney Prescott is now a successful writer having written a book about the events in the previous Scream movies told from her perspective. Dewey is back in Woodsboro and is now sheriff and he is married to Gayle who has given up her career in showbiz to settle down and make a life with him in small town America.
When Sydney comes back to Woodsboro for a book signing havoc ensues once again as a series of killings start happening based on the original killings in Scream.
~~~~~~~~~~ Opinion ~~~~~~~~~~
I think that having had such high expectations when seeing this at the cinema clouded me a little as I enjoyed it much more viewing it at home than I did at the cinema. It isn't as good as the original trilogy but it stand up well against films in the same genre.
Each Scream film starts with an opening death scene that lays the foundations for the main movie. The most memorable of these was definitely the Drew Barrymore scene in the original movie and the filmmakers have never been able to live up to or match the intensity of that particular scene. Here instead of going for scary they go for clever instead having several scenes that incorporate the movie within the movie Stab. It is interesting but I feel as though a trick was missed as although unexpected and clever they seem to have spent more time on tricks than trying to get the balance of suspense right. The beginning is filled with a host of hot young actresses such as Anna Paquin and while it is interesting and enjoyable it doesn't really leave work as well as it could have.
The main part of the film starts with an entirely new set of teens in peril which includes Sydney's niece played by Emma Roberts who does an ok job of playing the damsel in distress. Another new addition to the cast is Hayden Pannitiere who's snarky horror loving character is probably one of the most successful of the new cast. Although there is a new cast of teens getting sliced and diced the original characters get plenty of screen time. Never Campbell has barely aged a day since the original film back in 1996 while David Arquettes Dewey is still the same loveable doofus. Courtney Cox is back playing a slightly different Gayle Weathers here. She has given up her life of celebrity to move to Woodsboro with Dewey and relishes the new killing spree as it gives her a chance to get back in the game.
The original Scream movies were famous for their tongue in cheek social commentary and there 'rules' on surviving a horror movie. These rules are still there but they have been changed slightly to go with the digital age. The movie script is still razor sharp and offers some great lines and I liked the fact that being a completely different movie to the other three that some of the lead characters might actually die or else even be the killer in this one. There are loads of red herrings littered around the film with nearly everyone being a suspect at some point. There are also a lot of plot holes but I was willing to overlook these are they didn't really take away from the film. Without giving anything away the killer and reason behind the killings was an apt and clever move but the execution of it again wasn't done to its best potential. The movie zips along at speedy pace up until the last 15 minutes or so when to be fair it should have ended in my opinion 15 minutes earlier but the filmmakers obviously decided to wrap up everything neatly just in case there was another sequel.
One thing that I always liked about the Scream films was that they were fun and this one is no different. It makes such a nice change to watch a horror movie that doesn't revolve around torture porn or found footage and it makes the film feel a bit old fashioned but in a good way. It isn't a particularly scary film but it is a lot of fun and an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.
~~~~~~~~~~ Blu-Ray Extras ~~~~~~~~~~
I bought Scream 4 on Blu Ray because I have the others on Blu Ray and needed this to complete my collection but I have to say that I was so disappointed when I got my disc home and realised that there was no added extras on the disc whatsoever. There are some trailers for other movies that play before you can get to the movie menu that can't be skipped which is really annoying and then when you get to the main menu you are just presented with the film and a trailer. I am not usually one for watching all the extras on a disc but I was actually looking forward to the ones on this as I wanted to hear from the actors as well as Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven about what it was like to be back making a Scream film after so many years. I can only imagine that they were saving the set for a special set but already owning all four films on Blu-Ray I certainly won't be purchasing them again and I think it was a blatant rip off not to include any on this disc.
As far as picture quality goes the HD Blu-Ray quality looks gorgeous with colours reproduced well and there is great clarity and everything looks sharp and good. The sound is also good with everything clear and loud but not overwhelmingly so.
~~~~~~~~~~ Recommendation ~~~~~~~~~~
The original Scream film made over 100 million dollars at the box office and was a phenomenon at the time. The subsequent sequel also managed to make over 100 million while the third came close. This one didn't make anywhere near that amount of money but I don't think that it was a case of this not being a good film but more to do with the fact that they had left it too long in between the movies and people were no longer interested in the franchise as much as they had been.
The movie isn't as good as the original ones but it is still a blast to watch and I for one enjoyed revisiting the characters and being introduced to the new ones. The writing is still razor sharp and the direction tight and pacey. It is a really enjoyable movie and if not for the lack of extras on the Blu-Ray I would have scored it a little bit higher. I think the movie is probably a four star film. It isn't a classic and won't win any awards but it is a lot of fun. The Blu-Ray would only get two stars and that is only because the picture quality is so good. I would recommend the film for people who like these types of films but just go in expecting a fun ride and you will enjoy it. Go in like me and compare it to the originals and you might be left disappointed.
I had seen all the Scream movies 1-3 but did not have the time to go the cinema when the fourth came out so when I saw it pop up on Sky Movies Premiere (months ago I must add!) I quickly recorded it for when I got some free time. I have to say I kept flicking past it until my available recording space was only 30% at one point so I decided to sit down and watch it to finally get it over with!
Our lovely Sidney is back in Woodsboro on the anniversary of the Woodsboro murders to promote her new book. We have our remaining original characters back in motion - Gail Weathers and her loveable but dopey husband Dewey all on the scene as it seems we have a new Ghostface running loose. Of course, it is the usual material, our killer(s?) running around stabbing lots of teens fresh out of high school and targeting and intimidating Sidney on the phone asking everyone....what's your favourite movie?
I won't be spoiling the plot here but I found a lot of the film quite predictable and not scary in the slightest. With the trilogy before, there were always moments that would make me jump or at least feel something inside my heart telling the usual stuff to the tv like "run the other way you fool!" but with this fourth instalment it felt a bit wishy washy and repetitive.
The acting from Courtney Cox, David Arquette and Neve Campbell was as solid as ever and i think they were the only winning element in this film. The others as the kind of annoying "teeny bopper" students - Hayden Panettiere and Emma Roberts were really a bit sub-standard and seemed to annoy me throughout with their whiny - Oh my God! - ness lol.
The storyline is pretty run of the mill stuff for a Scream film, but I was actually pleasantly surprised at the ending when the killer is revealed as the plot plays out giving about 3 or 4 quite cliche and convenient suspects but the actual culprit was not on my radar for the entire film so I appreciated this twist in events and so boosted the profile of this film up a bit in my opinion. However, once the culprit is revealed and the motive for doing so this did of course seem far fetched so I was a bit disappointed but it did make the last 20 minutes of the film for much more interesting viewing.
For fans of the previous Scream films this probably will entertain but in terms of the horror movie genre - it falls a bit short. Sure it's packed with lots of stabbing and the usual blood everywhere but the storyline itself is a bit paper thin and I didn't get to see much of Neve Campbell as I'd liked and I felt the oldies like Gail and Dewey got a bit overlooked in favour of the younger cast. I'd still give this film a decent 3 stars as it wasn't awful and thankfully was too mediocre to give me any nightmares!
I was really looking forward to this when it came out but then I ended up missing it at the cinema, so I can't really comment on the 3D aspects, only the DVD version. Having a fairly good idea of what to expect, Scream 4 didn't let me down.
The original Screen film came out in 1996 (wow, where does the time go?) and since then it's reached cult status, with the infamous Scream mask being a favourite in shops at Halloween. In my opinion, Scream and its series took horror in a new direction and gave the growing fan base something to look forward to. Scream 4 was released this year (2011) was written by Kevin Williamson and was, thankfully, directed by Wes Craven again. His knowledge and experience within this genre was palpable in the film and it had the strong sense of continuity, upholding the expectations viewers of previous films may hold.
This instalment sees Sidney Prescott, the protagonist really of the original and later films, returning as a self-help book author. As part of her book tour, she makes a final stop at her home town, the home of the murders, Woodsboro. Here we see familiar faces, including Gale (the non-relenting journo played by Courteney Cox) and Dewey (the sheriff played by David Arquette), the two of which are now married. We also see Sidney's aunt Kate (Mary McDonnell) and her friends from back home.
However, what should be a joyful, short reunion and book promo turns into, you've guessed it, a blood fest. Horror fans should get their fill of gore, whilst thriller fans should be kept satisfied by the twists and turns. What I really liked was, as I mentioned earlier, the continuity. The film has the same essence and 'feel' as the other Scream films, which some might say is becoming too boring and predictable. For me though this adds to the interest of the film; the familiar characters, scenes and inevitability of murders, the mask worn, the dark sense of the film mixed in with the drama that occurs as fear spreads through the town.
I won't give anything away about the plot, but for those who have seen any of the previous films will probably guess, it's not necessarily straightforward. In fact, finding a suspect isn't really easy, but it does seem like the killer wants to recreate the Woodsboro murders, wants to scare Prescott and save her for last. Things have changed since the last movie, as seen through character development, but not too much as to change its overall nature and appeal.
It may not offer anything new to the genre, and some may argue that it's predictable, but it was still fun to watch so I would recommend it, especially to those who have seen any of the previous instalments. The only reason I'm knocking a star off isn't because of lack of enjoyment or any real flaw, but because I don't look back on this film and remember anything in particular as such, like one moment or event that really sticks in my head, unlike with the other films in the series.
Released August 2011, Rated Certificate 15.
Running time 111 minutes, selling on Amazon for £7.00
Being a fan of the "Scream" franchise since it first came out back in the 90's, and having seen a few horror films very young in the late 80's early 90's ("Child's play 3" while it was "unavailable" in the UK, "sLaughterhouse", and a very scary night watching "Jason Goes to Hell" with my cousin) slasher films have always sparked my interest, but non other than "Scream"
So, after years of waiting and wanting to see Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) & co, I finally got my wish. One of the things I currently love about the "Scream" franchise, is that the characters grow, this is their story, unlike most movie franchises out there that take away the characters from the original and give the audience new teens to slice for the next generation of people who will pay to see it at the Cinema and disregard the original characters or plot elements.
But not "Scream 4", it gives us the original survivors, Sidney, Gail Weathers (Courtney Cox), and Dewey Riley (David Arquette) along with the staple new victims in a bunch of teens who get, well, sliced up.
"Scream 4" opens with the obligatory opening kill, this time also including some sneak peaks at the franchise within the "Screamverse" "Stab" and it's many many sequels. The story follows as Sidney Prescott returns to Woodsboro on the 15th anniversary of the original killings on the final leg of her nationwide book tour, and someone has decided to do a "real life remake" of the original "Stab" movie, a concept that unfortunately doesn't play out. As good as that could have been for our audience, not knowing what happened in "Stab" and trying to guess what the murders where like within the film, we get kills that are throwbacks to "Scream" but more inventive and modernised, like the video camera Gail hides in Stu's living room has now been updated to webcams put throughout the Stab-a-thon.
Also joining this time round are Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts) Sidneys cousin, Kirby Reed (Hayden Panetierre) the horror fan, Charlie Walker (Rory Culkin) the geek, Robbie Mercer (Erik Knudsen) the school vlogger and Trevor Sheldon (Nico Tortorella) Jill's ex-boyfriend.
The new comers are good at what they do, and I love how their characters seem so desnsitized by the original massacre and knowing the rules of the original "Stab Trilogy" do nothing to stop themselves feeling like the victims until the final realisation that they are the target group for this killer.
Unfortunatly, for me, I was told who the killer/killers where when going into the film, althought it was a "Hell No!" moment still, it took away a little bit of the shock that you get and sometimes moments of confusion when you think about how one person could be they be killing someone when 2 seconds ago they were right there with whomever. The final encounter will stay with me and I have to say was really good. I wont spoil anything but I shall say that this time the killer is derainged and knows what they want.
I also like the fact it's stand alone, the original characters are there, but you don;t need to see what they have been through to know that they're tired of this following them around, they want it to stop, but because they've been through this 3 times, in this one they have not only smarted up, but it's like they knew that it would happen and seem to have been a bit more prepaired than previous encounters.
It's hard to believe fifteen years have passed since Drew Barrymore answered that fateful phone call in the original "Scream". Fifteen years - I was a teenager back then! The original "Scream" managed to simultaneously spoof and revitalize the tired, cliched stalk n' slash genre of Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees, and usher in a new era of horror films.
A lot has happened since then - the teens (like myself) who lapped up the original and, in decreasing proportions, it's sequels, have grown up, and today's teens have been raised on a different breed of horror - grungy "reboots" of classic 70's & 80's touchstones, and the nihilistic, grisly "Torture Porn" flicks such as "Hostel" and the "Saw" series.
When I first heard there would be a fourth installment of "Scream", I was intrigued to find out which direction franchise director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson would take. Time has moved on for those guys, too - in the Nineties, Williamson was the hip, young(ish) writer of the popular "Dawson's Creek" TV series, who turned his attention to the beloved horrors of his teen years. Aside from the "Scream" movies, he also wrote the more straightforward "I Know What you Did Last Summer". "The Faculty", and another installment of "Halloween", with "H20".
Wes Craven, now in is Seventies, must be the new equivalent of grandpa telling scary stories to the kids around the campfire, decades after his own glory days of "The Hills Have Eyes" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street". Of course, the campfires of today are all online - so has Craven got anything left to truly scare today's kids out of their wits?
The film's tagline "New Decade, New Rules" hinted that the director-writer duo may have looked at everything that's happened during the interim, and come up with something new. Their options? As I saw it, three options; a) re-invent the slasher movie AGAIN for a new audience b) keep going as they were, and throw in some fresh twists or, more interestingly, c) move away from the stalk n' slash premise, and use the same characters, but use the "Torture Porn" as the basis for a new reign of comedy/terror.
What we end up with is a kind of combination of A & B, with a few moments to suggest that C might have been on their mind, but weren't really sure how they could pull it off.
So back we go to the sleepy town of Woodsboro, the setting for the original three massacres. It opens with a semi-smart movie-within-a-movie-within-a-movie, with the standard young babes sitting on a sofa watching a scary movie. The phone rings - guess who it is?
The two girls are diced up as you would expect. It turns out to be the anniversary of the original killing spree, which coincides with Sidney Prescott's (Neve Campbell) return to the town, promoting her new book on the subject.
All the old characters are re-introduced - bumbling Dewey Riley (David Arquette) is now Sheriff, and married to former reporter Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox), who's own book on the killings have launched a hugely lucrative series of horror movies, the "Stab" series. Like Sidney, she too would like to reinvent herself, but even the benefit of a conspicuously large Apple Mac can't inspire her to start something new.
We also meet Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton), one of Dewey's deputies, who appears to have a crush on Dewey, and seems both needy and a little unstable. (Initial reaction: "She's the killer!"). In town with Sidney is her publicist, Rebecca Walters (Alison Brie), who is ruthless, tactless and greedy. (Initial reaction: "She's Dead!")
Then there are the new "characters" - the usual collection of glossy, boring, two dimensional knife-fodder you'd expect - Sidney's cousin, Jill (Emma Roberts), a gloomy, humorless wisp of a girl, who's dealing with her cheating, suspicious-looking ex-boyfriend Trevor (Nico Tortorella), who spends much of his time popping out and making his friends jump. (Initial reaction: "He's too obvious to be the killer!")
There are Jill's two best friends, Olivia (Marielle Jaffe) - hot, bitchy-looking brunette, seen early on just her bra ("Dead"), and Kirby (Hayden Penettiere) - hot, bitchy-looking blonde, doesn't get involved too much early on ("Could be dead, could be the killer?:)
And so on. As the killings start to mount up, Dewey does his usual ineffective, bumbling police work - which tends to involve standing around looking confused, apparently in a different State from where the action is, and Gale decides it's her place to help crack the murders, to which end she approaches a pair of the School's movie geeks, Charlie and Robbie (Rory Culkin & Erik Knudsen), to identify which horror movie "rules" the killer is using this time.
The movie nerds think Ghostface is using the template of a remake, or "Reboot" instead of a standard sequel, and they themselves are throwing a traditional third act party, their annual "Stabfest", where the local teens show up, get drunk and scream along together as the films are played back to back..
What made the original "Scream" so original and entertaining was the simple premise - it was a horror movie populated by teens who had actually seen horror movies before; they knew the rules, and tried following the rules to keep themselves alive.
The teens in "Scream 4" not only have seen horror movies before - they repeatedly watch "Stab" films even as their friends are getting slashed up around them - they also live in a town where there's been mass killings before.
Yet they continue to blithely do things the rules have told them not to - answer phone calls from the serial killer, open doors to investigate noises, wander off upstairs by themselves to check out creaking floorboards. They do this with such a casual lack of alarm that's it is difficult to feel any sympathy for them when the killer eventually strikes.
Craven and Williamson introduce new fangled technology such as Iphones, wireless webcams and streaming live blogs, as if they would like to use all this current cool stuff to do something new, but are too behind the times to know what to do with it. It's a bit like watching your grandmother trying to work a new mobile phone.
Woodsboro itself is a strange town. A new spate of killings begins, but there is very little in the way of actual police presence on the streets - apart from Dewey and his equally inept deputy, and a few nameless police officers sitting in their patrol car waiting to get killed (Talking, of course, about the chances of survival for police officers in a horror movie - this is "Scream", after all.)
The place should be under marshall law, but instead, Ghostface has a pretty much clear run at his victims, and is never in danger of getting caught. One thing I really loved about "Dark Knight" was how the Joker had the whole of Gotham City in his grip, including the police and the military, and everyone was helpless because his plan was so ingenious - there's nothing that clever here.
The final reel flirts with moving in a different direction, and for a few minutes looks like it might contain a genuine surprise - but then Williamson & Craven bottle out and go for the obvious.
The original trilogy's self-referential tone continues throughout, although without the zip and verve of the original two "Screams" in particular. For example, at one point we see two girls watching "Shaun of the Dead". They're talking to a friend on the phone, and tell her they're watching "Shaun of the Dead".
Compare this to a scene in the original, where Randy is talking his audience through "Halloween" while Sidney is getting it on upstairs with her boyfriend. Randy, downstairs, says "Here comes the obligatory tit shot", while upstairs Sidney's about to take her shirt off. No tits are shown in either circumstance.
The original is smart, and inventive in the way it uses a clip from an earlier movie to comment on another cliche of slasher films, and get a laugh; the "Shaun of the Dead" moment is just some girls watching it. It doesn't actually reflect or comment on anything in the film - that's not self-referential, it just shows that Americans at least have some good taste.
In all, the whole venture is deeply anachronistic - there's something warm and friendly about seeing Neve Campbell and David Arquette settle back into their old roles, and there's absolutely nothing threatening about the glossy, ultra-middle class small town Woodsboro. And there's something almost quaint, after the fiendish nature of Jigsaw's deathtraps in "Saw" about teens simply being knifed by a killer.
I'm not a particular fan of the worldview of "Saw" and films like it, but their labyrinths of filthy boiler rooms and ill-lit warehouses have a deeply unsettling quality, and like it or not, they are the language of horror movies today. There's been enough of them to warrant a "Scream"-like spoof - it would have been magic if Craven, Williamson and their old cast could have done it here. But everything goes in cycles - I guess we'll just have to wait...
(This review was first posted on Ciao! as Midwinter.)
...I know that sounds like a bit of a contradiction, but let me explain!
The fourth movie of the "Scream" franchise was released in cinemas in April 2011; it is not yet released on DVD. The film scores 7 out of 10 on IMDB which is quite good. It has been rated an 18 as are the previous Scream movies, however this film is a lot more gory and violent than the others. Scream 4 was directed by Wes Craven which is always good news as were the previous three Scream films, and was written by Kevin Williamson who also wrote the first and second Scream movies.
I have always loved the idea of Ghost-face and think it is a very scary image with its threatening stupid-ness and passion for movie trivia. Although the Scream mask image was taken from the famous Edvard Munch painting "The Scream", the actual mask was around before the Scream movies were produced as Halloween accessories and after obtaining certain rights, Wes Craven nicely used it as the "horror" figure in his films. Since he did this, the mask gets associated with the 90's Scream movies a lot.
In the Scream films, Ghost-face is the mask worn by one or two teenage killers who work together and want revenge on other teenagers and their friends - with the full costume they create a form of disguise whilst out on killing sprees pursuing and murdering its victims. There normally is a couple of killers; one the dominant with the motive, the other normally pretty dim, tagging along with pressure from the dominant. Ghost-face's murder weapon is a hunting knife, and he uses a voice changer to talk to its victims on the phone in order to scare; whilst pursuing his victim he is generally characterised as clumsy and pretty stupid. Ghost-face killer is however not so easy to track down as the Ghost-face costumes are bought widely by teenagers of Woodsboro to scare one another for fun along with fake rubber knives. All this from the previous Scream movies stays consistent with this 4th film.
A new story
I remember spending a lot of my spare-time after school watching the Scream movies over and over again; I was quite addicted to those films when they came out! And nothing would get in the way of me watching them, not even my home-work. So ten years on, I was really looking forward to another Scream...
After watching it though, this film was not what I expected - I kind of expected it to be as exciting as the rest of the Scream movies, scarier and as funny, but I couldn't find that so much in this film. I am always open minded about films especially ones from the horror genre and I think the reason why I was not initially impressed could be because the first two movies from the Scream franchise were brilliant and its probably just difficult to create something AS GOOD as that, so you end up with really high expectations leading to a downward slope in hope for a similar sort of quality of film ...anyway, I like to think all films have good and bad bits...like this one.
Wes Craven makes a point of not messing with the original 1996 film and creating "Scream 4" as a follow-up of events previously happened, which works in the sense that if it wants to use characters from the original movie and they have obviously gotten older in reality, these characters should be depicted as though they have gotten older in this fictional world as well. To be perfectly honest though, I went into the cinema without any clue about this film; I didn't know if it was going to be a direct remake or a follow on of events - I don't think I would have minded either way though as long as the film was produced well.
The new "Scream" story is basically set 15 years after the events that happened in the first Scream movies when Sidney escaped being killed by the previous Ghost face. So she returns to Woodsboro on this 15th anniversary to promote her new book; she is reunited with Dewey and Gale, but her arrival also brings out the new Ghost-face who is out to get her, and we know there is a new motive involved here - we also know that this all will build up to a twist towards the end of the film, where the motive of the new Ghost-face is revealed.
Maybe trying too hard...
* Lack of scare and lot more blood - Like I mentioned earlier, this film lacked all the scary jumpy bits the first two Scream movies had, and instead of this it seemed to be replaced for bloody violence. But don't get me wrong, I love typical American horror-slasher movies with lots of blood and gore, but I just thought that the bloody violence in this film was a bit strange, even though I have never thought that about other horror movies I've liked and it may have been because of the context it was in; there's a scene in this film where we see the guts of one of the teenagers pouring out the stomach maybe going for the more "Saw" like murders - Ghost-face is known to kill by throat-slashing and stabbing, but I guess people change over the years...In this new film, Ghost-face has obviously learnt to gut its victims. I just mean that the balance between the scares and the slashing was so uneven - there was way too much meaningless stabbing not making any sense and the extra blood just seemed like a really desperate need to make it overly gory just for the sake of "new" but it was not scary and there were no edgy, jumpy bits, so whats the point?!
* New characters vs. the old - Although I liked the new characters such as Rory Culkin ("Signs") and Emma Roberts, I just thought these characters amongst the original three characters seemed really secondary and it would have been good if they were a bit more interesting and we learnt a bit more about them. The new characters also didn't seem to have the same sort of chemistry as the teenagers from the first Scream films did. I guess with two generations of characters - the new and the old - it was difficult to choose which should be more central.
* Really new? - Maybe it was just me but I felt this film was trying a bit too hard to prove that this is the "new" Scream - with reference to things like Facebook being the means in which Ghost-face stalks and the new horror movies references like instead of watching "Halloween", they watch "Shawn of the Dead", which is great as these are the things they didn't use in the 90s, but when it was referred to in the film, it just felt a little disjointed and just shoved in to prove a point. Also during Ghost-face's need to test his victim with movie trivia, his victim ends up listing a full list of all the new horror movies that have recently been out - a little unneccesary though, one or two names would have been fine.
Why I will always love Scream movies
* Characters true to fictional reality- I am always happy when a sequel is released of films I have liked. I don't think there is anything wrong with sequel after sequel being released from the original successful film. So I was happy to know a new Scream film was due to be out. It genuinely felt that they had moved on 15 years in their fictional world just as we had moved on 15 years in our real world. "Scream 4" is about the 15 year's anniversary of the Woodsboro massacre. And although I wasn't sure about the new characters in this film, I don't think the film would have been the same without the old characters; Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers (now Riley) & Dewey Riley. If Nev Campbell, Courtney Cox or David Arquette did not agree to star in this new film, would it have been as good and as liked? And would people care about this film as much? Maybe, maybe not...
Since they were bringing back the characters from the first Scream films, I knew that the new Scream could be a great come-back - if they accepted to star in this new Scream it must be because it was going to be a good promising film. Sidney (Nev Campbell) stayed true to her previous characteristics being over-cautious and a bit annoying for the viewers but always works to her advantage and also not really trusting anyone, but she seemed a lot stronger than when she was younger. Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) had the same sort of character as her first, the same persistent news reporter sort of selfish but mostly meaning well and Dewey (David Arquette) still funny and useless but kind and helpful, always trying to save the day (although it IS his job to...).
* Great twists - This has a really great twist in the end because a killer you would not have expected gets revealed which makes the ending actually quite strong and probably the best part of the film for me. Only thing is I felt the end was way too recycled - too many ideas were taken from the very first Scream film, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but doesn't allow you to think for yourself what is going to happen next - it remains still really predictable, and the way the new Ghost-face tries to cover up their tracks is just same ole, but I don't really think that failed the film in anyway; it is what it is, a Scream movie!
* New decade, SAME rules - I think it is great the way the characters in "Scream" have always talked about and discussed the "horror genre" like how to avoid getting killed, who is likely to be the a suspect or the victim etc. I think this is always a clever idea and ironic since it is these characters which end up getting themselves killed or are the killers and it is also ironic because these kids already know themselves that horror movies are clichéd and predictable anyway - we could say the same thing as viewers whilst watching "Scream". But I really like the way they have continued this whole "horror movie rules" into a new generation of teenagers of Scream 4, despite it being recycled it doesn't really seem to matter, its still great and unique to the Scream franchise. All that is fine, but I thought there are actually no "new rules", regardless if it's a new decade or not. There is nothing original about this new decade - if "the unexpected, is the new cliché", then what was the cliché in the old decade? Wasn't it the same thing?
For fans of "Scream"
Overall I think that this film is always going to be one of those which some will love because you are happy to always welcome a new "Scream" film but some people may hate it because of the constant re-using of ideas and the unoriginality of it. I personally think that if you liked the previous Scream films and are a big fan of them, then you should watch this film to make up your own mind about it. I thought the film was okay, and I couldn't say I hated it - I did enjoy it but I did not love it. It wasn't the best horror film I've seen this year so far and is nowhere near as good as the original Scream movies of the 90's, but still I love the way "Scream" is back and being re-lived in the 21st century. If you start of watching this film with a negative and critical mind, you may finish the film hating it, but if you start of watching it without high expectations and treat it as a bonus to the previous Scream films, knowing that it will be silly, hilarious, light-hearted and predictable then you may just accept this "Scream 4" for what it is and just enjoy it better.
"Scream 4" is supposed to be the first of a new trilogy; it is intended to be treated as a new "Scream" generation - so we may have more Scream movies to look forward to.
(Thanks for reading =) Previously posted on Ciao)
I'm not sure how many people can really say they loved the Scream trilogy, to be honest they were pretty poor movies when you looked back on them. The stories were dragged out, the twists were obvious and the acting was the only really saving grace. For some reason though, when I saw that they had released Scream 4, I got into my car, drove to my local cinema and sat down to watch it with my best friend and little sister.
It's been 10 years since the last film and Sidney Prescott has now managed to put the past behind her. She comes back to Woodsboro and reconnects with her old friends Dewey and Gale and moves into the home of her Aunt Kate and cousin Jill. When Sidney returns, so does Ghostface which puts her friends and family again in danger.
Sidney Prescott- Neve Campbell
Dewey Riley- David Arquette
Courtney Cox- Gale Weathers Riley
Kirby- Hayden Panettiere
Jill Roberts- Emma Roberts
Throughout the film, my friend and I were sitting there making comments about how this film compared so much to the first film, which in my opinion was the best one out of the trilogy by far. I really recommend watching the previous three if you haven't seen them before watching Scream 4, as it provides you with a lot more knowledge and you might be able to guess the twist a lot quicker with this knowledge.
I was sitting there very confidently when I worked out who Ghostface was this time. As I watched the previous movies when I was very young and the third film came out when I was 9 years old and didn't really get the twist within the first three films. Since then, I have become pretty good at getting twists, even ridiculous ones that don't even seem possible, however I hold my hand up and say, this film stumped me and it houses one of the best twists I've seen in a very long time and the twists just keep coming at you once it begins.
One of the themes that runs through the movie is the phrase 'The first rule of remakes: Don't f*** with the original' and I think this was something that the writers must have been thinking throughout the film. You can easily compare this film to the original as there are a lot of similar stories and parallels going on throughout the movie, however there is a point where the parallels ended and this movie took over and became something different.
The opening sequences for me are probably one of the best parts of the movie. One of the things this movie has managed to do all along, is take the piss out of the movie and the opening sequence does this with a lot of famous actors including Kristin Bell and Anna Paquin and it will make you think for a minute whether you have stepped into the right movie or not. This is probably one of the best things about the movie, besides the very smart twist, because it does not take itself too seriously and when you start to cringe or laugh at it, people in the film do this as well.
The three actors that we all came to love in the first three movies, Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette were all just as brilliant as they used to be in the first three movies and even more so in this one as they have grown so much as actors in the last eleven years.
A really good film and the one thing I should say, it is gory, and it does make you jump, but I can't say that the film made me scared at any point during the film.
== About the film ==
Scream 4 is the fourth film in the slasher film series, Scream. It was released at cinemas on April 15th. The film was directed by Wes Craven and written/ co produced by Kevin Williamson who also wrote the first and second films in the series. Williamson is also known for Dawson's Creek, The Vampire Diaries and I Know What You Did Last Summer. Scream 4 is 1 hour 43 minutes long and rated 15 due to violence, gore and language.
== Plot ==
On the fifteenth anniversary of the Woodsboro murders three high school students are attacked by the infamous Ghostface! Only the day after, Sidney Prescott is back in Woodsboro for the release of her new book but soon, people begin to remember all of the bad things that happen when she is around. Every single time she has been in Woodsboro, people get murdered all over the place and no one wants to be seen with her because of this.
The nightmare is starting all over again for Sidney but she is a changed person. She kicks ass and is determined to stay alive, along with the help of old friends, Gail and Dewey and her family who she is staying with while in town. Gail and Dewey's relationship is strained and all Gail wants is to be back in the limelight but what lengths will she go to in order to get that? Ghostface is back and this time, he is playing by a completely different set of rules!
== Cast ==
David Arquette as Sheriff Dwight "Dewey" Riley
Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott
Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers Riley
Emma Roberts as Jill Roberts
Hayden Panettiere as Kirby Reed
Anthony Anderson as Deputy Anthony Perkins
Alison Brie as Rebecca Walters
Adam Brody as Deputy Ross Hoss
Rory Culkin as Charlie Walker
Marielle Jaffe as Olivia Morris
== What I thought ==
I am a massive horror/ slasher film fan so when I heard that there was going to be more Scream films, I was kind of excited. I loved the original three Scream films (number three a little less than the others though) when they first came out but I was wondering where the series could now be taken after such a long time. 10 years is a hell of a gap between the last and most recent film in a series and especially one that was left at quite a good place.
== The Plot ==
I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed the plot. Although not totally original, it was very entertaining and not what I was expecting. I think for the most part, I was expecting to see the makers of this film take on ideas from newer horror films, like the did in other instalments but that is not the case. Instead, what we really get is a bit of a remake of the first film in a sense and this is where the lack of originality comes in. There are some new aspects brought in but the majority is a take on the first film in the series. While I liked how the film was done, I think adding in some new and fresh material would have made the film even better than it already was.
Considering how many horror films I have watched, I thought I was going to be able to figure out the killer/s pretty quickly. This was not the case at all. I had a few ideas and three main suspects in my head and it turned out none of them were right. When everything was revealed, I was quite mad at myself for not being able to figure it out. I cant remember the last time I didn't guess right so I have to applaud this film for completely throwing me off track and messing with my head the whole time. That being said, there is still plenty of predictability when it comes to who is getting killed off and who isn't. The guy who I went to see this with were having a little competition of who could say when/ who was getting killed first and I am very happy to say that I won. I got all but one right!
Something running through this series of films is the idea of rules in horror films and this wasn't forgotten this time either. I loved this aspect throughout and couldn't wait to see what would be thought of for this. As the killings are very similar to those in the first film, new rules for killings of this kind are introduced and I loved them! As technology has improved/ evolved since the other three films, this is also used, bringing the film and it's ideas bang up to date!
Scream 4 is a lot funnier than any of the previous films. I'm not really sure how funny a slasher film should be but I really appreciated it. I don't want to be terrified at the cinema but I also want to be entertained so I thought adding in more comedy was a good choice. It was great to be able to go and see a film full of gore, suspense and still get to laugh at the same time. Yes, it is cheesy but who cares?! Aren't all of the Scream films cheesy in some way or another?
== The Cast ==
== The Originals ==
Scream 4 has a pretty impressive cast, much more so than any of the other films in the series so far. Returning from the original cast are Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courtney Cox. I don't think a scream film would ever be the same without these characters and I am hoping that if there are more films to come, none of them actually ever get killed off. Campbell and Cox give amazing performances, just as they always do and both demand attention when on screen. Playing the main character, Sidney, Campbell always has something interesting going on around her and there were times when I was genuinely worried that things weren't going to go her way this time. Cox comes back as the feisty, Gail Weather and I have loved her character from the beginning. She always gets some great one liners and has a real charismatic presence in these films. Cox didn't disappoint me this time around either. Her character is still the same as she always was but this time, she has new problems and they, of course, are all down to being in Woodsboro. David Arquette was the let down of this great trio for me though, even if that wasn't really his fault. His character, Dewey, was always a favourite of mine but in Scream 4, I think he was underused. The time spent between he and wife, Gail, could have been put to better use.
== The Newcomers ==
This is where the impressive cast really comes into play. There have been appearances in the previous films from some big names such as Drew Barrymore, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich, Matthew Lillard, Jada Pinkett Smith and Patrick Dempsey but as we all know, they don't last that long. This time, things change. There are some fantastic smaller roles given to Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars), Anna Paquin (True Blood, X Men) and Shenae Grimes (90210). It was great to see a host of people that I love from TV shows right at the beginning of the film and because of this, it made excited to see who else would be popping up throughout the film.
In for the bigger roles are Emma Roberts (Wild Child) and Hayden Panettiere (Heros) as well as Adam Brody (The O.C). All three of these actors did fantastic jobs and were so much better than I ever could have expected. Roberts is more well known for teen films being in Scream 4 really showed how much if a diverse actress she is and now, I cant wait to see her take on some grittier roles in the future. Panettiere is always amazing in my eyes and I really took notice of her from when I started to watch Heros. She is just as good in Scream 4, even though it is obviously a completely different role but she was extremely convincing and I loved her character. Adam Brody's role isn't as big but he was still as good as always, very funny and instantly likable.
The mix of new and old characters worked really well and I think it gave the film a new lease of life, making it very different from the other films but still just as good.
== The Dream Team ==
Wes Craven is one of my all time favourite horror film directors. From way back when he did the Nightmare on Elm Street series, I was a bit in love with him. His film career began back in the 70s with early work such as the original versions of The Hills Have Eyes and The Last House On The Left. Craven is now more well known for his slasher films though. A Nightmare on Elm Street was one of the first horror films I ever saw and I was instantly a fan. Craven took something as real as dreams and made them terrifying. I know I was afraid to sleep after watching each film incase Freddie was going to come and get me. Not only is Craven an extremely talented director but he is also an amazing writer and producer. I think I would watch anything that he put his name to.
Kevin Williamson was the writer of the first and second Scream films and although he didn't write the third, he did co produce it. I was glad to see that Williamson was back to write Scream 4 as the third film just didn't come anywhere close to being as good as the first two. Williamson proved with Scream 4 that he really is the mastermind behind great scripts and knowing what the audience want. Instantly, you could feel that Williamson was behind this film with similarities to Scream 1 and 2 and having that certain feel to it that only he is able to give. Even though I love Williamson for his genius writing in the Scream series, I still think his masterpiece was Dawson's Creek which was a favourite of mine as a teenager.
== Overall ==
My only bad thing to say about this film is the fact that it didn't make me jump...once. I know slasher films aren't really supposed to be very scary but I would have liked a few more surprises thrown in there to make me jump even a tiny little bit. The plot was great and the script funny and entertaining. Scream 4 is a great film and one not to be missed for fans of the series.
I have been very excited for this new Scream reboot, nervous for it as it could go pear-shaped but now that I've seen it, it is phenomenal as a reboot, in bringing back the themes of the original into the modern day and establishing itself once again in the satirical horror niche.
~~~THOUGHTS ON PLOT~~~
Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to Woodsburo on her book tour when tragic killings happen once more, on the anniversary when she was first attacked fifteen years ago. With evidence discovered in her car, she becomes a suspect and is forced to stay in Woodsburo.
Giving up life as a reporter for love, Gale (Courtney Cox) craves to investigate the case with husband Dewey (David Arquette) now sheriff of Woodsburo, but when he objects, Gale goes rogue, teaming up with high school students and movie club presidents, Robbie and Charlie, to explore the new rules to the recent Ghostface killings.
The movie begun with a phone ring and the merciless killing of innocent blondes, instantly making fun of social networking and mobile technology that boomed since the last film, with references to SAW and excessive gore introducing the style of murder which would play out in this movie.
Whilst the pace was rather slow for the first half with a few tense moments when Ghostface shows up and hacking unimportant characters to death, most of this is used to set up and develop the original characters, with the new ones left to remain shallow. However, the movie definitely picks up past the halfway point and builds up to an exciting, jumpy and shocking climax which keeps you at the edge of your seat all the way till the end.
Throughout the movie, key sequences are brought back from the first movie which gives this one almost like a 'remake' feel, eg. when guy is strapped to chair and girl looks out the window answering Ghostface questions; when Jill talks to her ex in her room; and the final scene (I won't spoil but you'll know what I'm talking about when you see it), there's a sense of deja vu which makes this consistent and reuses what's great to excel this film.
Once again, the film constantly throws you off guard with deliberate red herrings. I yelped as Ghostface came round the corner instead of a perfectly placed dark window Sidney sneaked across. I honestly did not know who the killer was either till it was revealed, to which I was completely shocked, but it made sense and I loved how dramatic the finale was.
As I mentioned before, the gore was excessive in this movie (perhaps referencing SAW films?) with blood pouring from one victim and the entrails of another showing, though for humour, the script was good with some very clever lines and references to modern day which successfully brings the franchise into the 21st century.
Neve Campbell- Sidney Prescott
David Arquette- Dewey Riley
Courtney Cox- Gale Riley
Hayden Panettiere- Kirby
Emma Roberts- Jill Roberts
Eric Knudsen- Robbie
Rory Culkin- Charlie
Nico Tortorella- Trevor
Cameos from well known stars Kristen Bell, Anna Paquin and Adam Brody.
Neve Campbell doesn't look a day older than when she last appeared in a Scream film and I thought she retained the personality of her character very well throughout, there was a moment when her teary eyed gaze matched her teary eyed gaze in the first movie which was just perfect.
I didn't feel Courtney Cox had a big enough role to play in the movie- whilst she was snooping around and doing her thing, she was incapacitated far too early, but it makes up for her involvement in the final scene.
I read somewhere that the cast were not told/given the script for if they would die or not till the day of shooting to prevent leaks which I thouht was fantastic as it makes it more real for them on set as well as prevent spoilers before the film's release.
Whilst many may criticise this "sequel" as milking the franchise, SCRE4M comes at a perfect timing in which the horror genre has changed drastically and by bringing it back, it can once again resume the satire with familiar characters but in an original and fresh way. The references made were relevant and consistent whilst the murders were definitely far more brutal.
Unfortunately the new characters do not get developed a great deal and like the film says "we really don't care if they die or not", but the fact that the actors are well known, there is perhaps already an attachment to these characters.
With the consistency of this movie keeping to the themes whilst being modernised, I hope to see this as being the first of a new trilogy with the storyline and characters to be developed further than it was in this one, but definitely a successful reboot in my opinion. Bring on 5CREAM.
After ten years the Scream series returns. I was surprised that a fourth instalment was coming out given the big time gap since the last film, but in retrospect I don't know why. When it comes to follow up movies the horror genre really doesn't know when it is time to lie down and die (much like the immortal killers that feature in them.) Look how many Saw movies we have gotten in a relatively short period in time, not to mention that to this day they are still bringing out sequels and spin offs staring the likes of Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees.
I must confess that I am not a huge fan of scary movies (looking in the mirror is enough terror for me) but from time to time I do stumble onto a horror flick which I like. One such example was the original Scream as it did something different in basing itself on horror movie conventions. There was a good balance of terror and moments were they poked fun of horror movie clichés which made me chuckle. I didn't really care for the sequels though as they just seemed to be repeating the same formula over and over. It also didn't help that after the success of the first film the market got saturated with slasher films trying to get in on the popular trend of butchering teenagers.
All that said I was looking forward to Scream 4. Enough time had passed for the idea to feel fresh again. The Wes Craven movie was being touted as Scream for a new generation. With the trends in horror changing over the last ten years there was potential to breathe life into the franchise by having new scary movie "rules" to play around with. After watching the film it however seems that they missed that opportunity and just gave us more of the same. I should have known better than to fall for their promotional lies, but once again my judgement was impaired by nostalgic fondness of the original.
The movie takes place in Woodsboro, fifteen years after the killings which took place in Scream. The unluckiest chick on the planet, Sidney Prescott, returns home to promote her book (Out of the Darkness) which chronicles her life evading death at the hands of psychos who have a thing for large butcher knives and cheesy Halloween costumes. Sidney's arrival, right on cue, sparks a fresh spate of killings. It seems like some nutter has decided to don the Ghostface mantle and target her teenage cousin's friends. The body count starts to rise as history repeats itself. Can the killer be stopped before Woodsboro's population of hot teenage girls hits zero? You will have to watch to find out.
It all sounds awfully familiar doesn't it? The lack of originality is probably the film's biggest flaw. At times it feels like you are watching a remake/reboot of the first film rather than a proper sequel. They mention some newer horror films in passing, but don't take their concepts and play around with them. Instead we get more scenes of Ghostface calling victims (love his voice by the way) who he then surprises and stabs. Rather than reference horror films it just pokes fun at the Scream formula which they go too far with. At times the film crosses the line from "horror with some funny moments" to "comedy with some killings."
Returning to the cast are Neve Campbell (Sidney Prescott), Courtney Cox (Gail Weathers) and David Arquette (Sheriff Dewey.) There's not much depth to any of the characters they play, but fans of the series will be interested to know how the characters have changed since we last saw them. The heroine Sidney has matured from being a victim to someone who can hold her own in the face of adversity (rather than flee from the killer she actually confronts him this time round.) Sheriff Dewey, who should be experienced in such matters after going through this three times already, comes across as incompetent. In his defence though his attempts to catch the killer are not helped by the bumbling officers who work under him.
Former reporter Gail Weathers is probably the most interesting of the trio. Her fifteen minutes of fame are over and she is eager to get back in the limelight by uncovering who the murderer is. There is also a subplot which deals with her rocky marriage with Dewey who she is concerned could be having an affair with his attractive deputy. Talk about fiction mirroring real life. Cox and Arquette were married and have since separated. Working together must have been an awkward experience (I for one try to stay clear of exes after a break-up.)
The returning actors all come across as tired looking, only agreeing to do this in order to spark life into their dwindling careers. Compared to the calibre of acting we sometimes have to endure in horror films, their performances aren't terrible but none of them will be winning any awards when it comes to Oscar nomination time. Joining them are a bunch of supporting characters including Emma Roberts and Hayden Panettiere who play Sidney's cousin and her best friend respectively. None of the young cast stand out and are pretty much just fodder for the killer to cut his way through.
One of the things I used to enjoy from the Scream movies was trying to work out who the killer was. This time round though I didn't really care who was behind the mask. After three movies we know there are no clues to deduce. Everyone is presented as a possible suspect and you just know that they will try to surprise you by doing something unexpected which lessens the impact of the revelation. I thought the copycat killer's motivation for homicide was very silly, but I don't expect many viewers will care about that as any semblance of realism is thrown out of the window by the over the top finale.
Although I have spent a large chunk of this review criticising the flaws of Scream 4 I didn't hate the film. Overall it was one of those "meh" movies. I didn't hate it, but I wasn't thrilled by it either. One thing I have to give it was the pacing. There was always something happening so I was never bored. The movie is alright, but it just felt like another Scream sequel. If you liked those you will like this, otherwise you won't. Worth a rental, but don't expect anything special. It will keep you amused, but ten years from now I doubt you will remember it as it doesn't distinguish itself from any of the other Scream films that came before it.
Review also posted on Ciao.
(Film only review)
== Scream 4 ==
When I first heard that there was going to be a Scream 4 I was actually surprised and actually rather thrilled because I loved the original movie to bits and the second wasn't to bad either, however number three was quite poor to be honest. I started to think number four would take the same path as the third film. Scream 4 is an American horror film that is based around Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) again like the other Screams. Scream 4 has the ghostface killer in again, which I feel is one of the best serial killer characters in a horror movie. 15 years have passed from the Woodsboro murders and Sidney Prescott returns to her hometown to promote her new book. After two close friends are murdered, Sidney becomes a number one suspect in a murder investigation because a knife covered in blood is found in the boot of her car. Dewey Riley (David Arquette) and the gang now face what seems to be the ghostface killer again.
=== Did You Enjoy It? ===
To be perfectly honest I thought it was okay. I did enjoy it to some extent but there are parts of the movie where I felt could of been improved and other parts I felt, were really fake looking and wouldn't ever happen. For an example someone uses a Defibrillator on full charge right on each side of someones head and a minute later they're up as if nothing had happened. However I felt this movie had a few more comedy elements in my opinion, especially one where someone is beating there self to death by throwing there own body into picture frames, through a table and running into a wall. I do feel the acting has gotten slightly better than the previous movies and I do feel it helped it to be a little bit more enjoyable. Also there are some very good cameo roles and a surprise cameo. Some of the deaths in Scream 4 are a lot more brutal and look really good compared to others in previous films. However they are similar to the first movie as the killer(s) is copying it. Overall I did enjoy the movie I just feel its another version of the first one and I think they could of improved it with new ideas, even though the ending to the movie was a little new to horror films and it was quite good.
=== Characters/Performances ===
I feel this is one of the best parts to the movie. Scream 4 introduces a whole new bunch of characters and there are also a few of the older characters returning as well. I think its better with returning characters because if they're all new, the movie usually gets completely ruined and this one doesn't because of that. The characters are a bunch of interesting ones and also with previous Scream movies they always introduce these new characters and give them a suspicious part. In this Scream every character looks as if they could be the killer(s) and to be fair I was quite shocked as I am usually good at guessing these things. The movie has a star studded cast with new and old. The old cast from previous movies are great, just as they were in the first Scream. Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette are the three returning actors/actresses and I feel they're performance was good. Without them the movie wouldn't of happened. I was delighted to see that Hayden Panettiere and Emma Roberts are in the movie as I am fairly big fans of theres especially Hayden (from Heroes). Overall I was impressed with new and old characters and the actors they are played by, simply brilliant! One of the best things I feel is the cameos in the movie. Wes Craven himself made a cameo and to be honest I didn't realize myself until my friend told me. Also there were cameo appearances at the beginning of the movie from Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell which seemed like the same as it was with Drew Barrymore and Jada Pinkett Smith in the first two movies. However I did think it was good with these cameos. I was pleased with the cameos performances as well even though they didn't have long enough to make an impact but I do feel it worked well.
=== The Director ===
Now most of us know without even looking who has directed the Scream movies, yes thats right Wes Craven and he is actually one of my favourite directors as I feel know one makes horror films as good as he does. Wes Craven was born August 2nd, 1939 and has directed absolutely loads of movies throughout his whole career. Some of these movies include the well know A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Last House on the Left, My Soul to Take, The Hills Have Eyes and many many more. Wes Craven will definitely go down as one of the best horror directors of all time and in my opinion he truly is.
=== Special Effects ===
I think the special effects to Scream 4 are actually better than the other movies because I feel they was a little plain and they looked really bad yet it didn't make them to bad film wise. However in this one the killings are more brutal and much more intense but a couple of killings looked slightly shady and you could tell what was going to happen with them (trying my hardest not to give to much away). Overall the general special effects like people falling from things and a couple of scenes where there is fighting wasn't that bad I just feel they needed new material for this movie to be a big hit.
=== Soundtrack ===
I actually enjoyed the soundtrack in the movie itself. I found myself singing along to it or trying in my case. In previous Scream movies I thought the soundtrack wasn't to bad but lacked any rock songs but in this one they had a couple that had me enjoying the movie slightly more. There is a soundtrack CD coming out for Scream 4 and it features songs from Marco Beltrami, Stereo Black, Locksley, Say Hi, The Sounds, Ida Maria, The Novocaines, The Chain Gang of 1974, Raney Shockne and 6 Day Riot which are also featured in the movie and I feel it suited it really well especially in the right scenes. Overall the soundtrack really impressed me.
=== How Does It Compare To Similar Movies? ===
I feel Scream 4 is an okay movie but I feel the first two in the series are better. There are many movies with serial killers and I feel this is probably one of the iffy ones. I have always been a fan of horror movies I just feel they don't make them how they used to. Wes Craven does make most his horror movies quite similar to others he has made, but I just feel this one is lacking something the others have got. I would compare this to movies similar like My Soul To Take which was directed by Wes Craven and in all fact that movie isn't to bad. Other movies similar to Scream would be the well known and quite similar, I know What You Did Last Summer and there are three of them. Also Scream is like The Strangers which I think is a fantastic film but Scream 4 doesn't have as much to offer like The Strangers does. There are many more movies like Scream 4 and if you liked the previous movies then maybe this is for you.
=== Good Bits ===
*I think the ghostface killer is one of the best made up characters in a horror film.
*Some great acting on display, even more so than previous movies.
*Some of the original cast are back which I feel is always a great point about a film.
*Some good cameo appearances.
*The soundtrack to the movie was updated and a lot better.
*The killing were more brutal, with a lot more gore and blood.
*Wes Craven directed the movie what more is there to say?
*The ending was brilliant, best yet to a horror movie. It was suspenseful and the type to keep you on edge as you think whats going to happen.
=== Bad Bits ===
*The movie was more like a remake of the first movie.
*The story was way to similar to that of the original movie.
*Special effects were a little bit of a let down even though the killings were good.
*There are far better horror movies out there.
*I would of liked to seen something new and improved from previous movies and this was lacking both.
=== Final Thought ===
Scream 4 is an okay movie, I thought it was reasonable and worth a watch. I doubt it will be going in my collection when it is released on DVD. I do think Scream fans will love it, I do feel fans of other horror movies may like it but I doubt any other fans would like this movie. Scream 4 does have a lot to offer and some bits (not much) are different to the previous movies. There are some things each movie have in common but I don't want to give it away to much. To watch this at my local Vue cinema it cost me £6 and I do believe its value for money even though its not the best film ever but I did have fun. The movies runtime is roughly about 98 minutes and I do think that is quite good, however I did get into the movie a lot more nearer to the end and did want it to go on a lot more. However it didn't and with the ending I was very happy. I would say go watch it just for the ending because it was really suspenseful. I thought the ending was the best I have seen for a horror film (still not spoiling it). I do think if the movie had a little more work in places and wasn't like the original then it would be a lot better. The movie has a certificate of 18+ and this is spot on, it contains very strong language and tremendous amounts of blood and guts. I would recommend this movie but only because its become a well known movie and its also the 4th in the series. Its not all bad as you can tell from my review and if you go watch it I think most of you will be pleasantly surprised especially with the ending. Overall I would rate this movie a 7/10. As you can see I have only given this 3/5 stars, I would be giving it 3 and a half but Ciao wont let me.
Review will be posted on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987!
You can usually count on Hollywood to tell you they are making the ultimate finale in a horror series, only to reveal that it is only a prequel to the ultimate finale. I highly doubt that if this hits box office paydirt, that this will the last entry either. Therefore, expect Scream 109 along in about 80 years time. For now, number 4 comes along a decade after Ghostface made his last appearance. Returning to the helm of the series is director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson. Williamson certainly filled a gap in the market with his tongue-in-cheek take on teenage slasher movies, whilst Craven is one of the most accomplished horror director's of his time. Is there still a market though for a movie that brings back together the base team that made the original trilogy work so well? More to the point, is it any good?
Sidney Prescott has returned to Woodsbro, bizarrely, to market her new survivor book "Out Of Darkness". Since her last daliance with a slew of serial killers, misery memoirs have certainly saturated the real life bookstores, so it is no surprise that this provides the basis of her return. Branded "Angel Of Death" by her, previously unmentioned, cousin and her friends, Sidney finds that not everybody is pleased to see her back. Death follows Sidney as surely as Dewey and Gail Weathers do. Meanwhile, Hollywood continue to bang out "Stab" movies at a two yearly rate, abandoning the "reel life" tale of Sidney and pals for a Saw-esque series of fictional murders.
As the phone calls begin again, and the murders rise, the trio are all re-united to try and solve the case. This time they are surrounded by a group of irrelevant and, frankly dull, teenagers who all recite the conventions of horror films like it's a vocation. Dewey, now Sherriff, has to step up the investigation to solve the murders before the killer gets to his intended target. As usual, he proves to be slightly incompetent, and is hindered by the washed up Gail Weathers as she decides to go maverick to get the story.
Wes Craven brings a sense of reality to his main trio, in the same way that he brought a sort of reality to Heather Langenkamp's self potrayed character in Wes Craven's New Nightmare. The relationship between Dewey and Gail is in grave trouble, further enhanced by his flirtation with his deputy. Meanwhile, Sidney is potrayed as yesteryears scream queen who is about to be ousted from her leading role. Whilst you have to admire their lack of vanity, its a shame to say that the realistic touches added to the three are about the only character development on display.
Courtney Cox Arquette (or is it just Cox again?) is an unwelcome diversion from the outset. Sporting a frigid face and a trout pout, I barely gave her acting another thought. Given that she gets about half the screen time as usual outings, she never gets to grips with her character, and even her attempts to prove that she's still a bitch are poorly written and badly delivered. Husband David Arquette (or is is ex husband?) plays for laughs, but is the most unbelievable sherriff committed to film. As a dopey deputy, he was lovable. Now, he's just a bit of a dip out of his depth.
It is left to Neve Campbell and her killer to carry the film. Campbell gives Sidney her all, but her story of redemption in the previous outing is barely mentioned, and she is left looking a bit wet and fed up by proceedings. You can almost hear her groan "here we go again" as the killer wields his knife. The fact that she is just put through a beating for the utter sake of it is a large part of the film's problem. Whilst 2 & 3 existed purely for box office returns, you could still buy into its story and accept that it might just be possible. This belated sequel is as pointless as it is boring, and the reason thrown in for Ghost faces latest appearance is so far beyond ridiculous that it doesn't even score points on it's audacity.
Wes Craven has a reputation for delivering scares, but here he forgets all about the scares in an attempt to poke fun at remakes and reboots. Coming across as nothing more than a childish tantrum against the makers of last years A Nightmare On Elm Street remake, he invests his time in the underlying point scoring rather than making something genuinely thrilling or scary. Williamson is about the only person who really comes off with any dignity. The script is sharply written, and even it's cheese moments are deliberately placed to poke fun at the films that is is sending up. It is because of his knowing sense of humour about the genre he is working within that Scream 4 is even remotely watchable.
Trying to find anything good to say about Scream 4 has proven more difficult than I thought it would be. It is watchable, and good looking, but it is also empty and devoid of all the things that make a good horror film. Even the kills are completely devoid of originality. Whilst there aren't that many very original ways of stabbing somebody, they could still have demonstrated more style or variety in the way that they off their young. In the wake of films like Paranormal Activity and Saw, Craven couldn't have afforded to have his victims simply stabbed through the letterbox, at the door, in the kitchen, out the window, on the floor, on the roof or any other predictable places that are thrown into this sorry concoction.
The other character's are barely worthy of a mention because few are given any kind of development, despite an overly-generous amount of screen time. The beginning is a rotten cop out, the middle is a saggy retread of the original, and the ending is just ludicrous. The only fun to be had from the entire outing is trying to guess which preposterous character will be donning the mask this time, and trying to guess which of our trio wont make it to the end. However, anybody looking for a riotous good time, or even a moderate scream will leave £10 lighter and a good deal sleepier.
Horror-maestro Wes Craven and screenwriting extraordinaire Kevin Williamson team up once again, after a decade absence, to author another postmodern outing in the, once-revolutionary, fright-fest franchise.
Trilogy survivor, Sidney Prescot (Neve Campbell), has returned from the wilderness with a best-selling, life-affirming, self-help book in toe. Starting her press tour in Woodsboro, it's not long before our old friend Ghostface makes an appearance complete with a new generation of teens to terrorize.
Courtney Cox and David Arquette reprise their roles as the bumbling officer Dewey Riley, and hard-nosed investigative reporter Gale Weathers; needless to say, the real-life couple adds the same quirky chemistry established in the prior trilogy, with the characters attracting and repelling each other to great effect.
Well established in the sleepy-town-gone-awry, these broadly drawn archetypes feel as fun and cartoonish as ever. Rekindling the character bonds of old means our attention can be refocused on a whole new set of characters, including Sidney's younger cousin Jill (Emma Roberts), her ex-boyfriend Trevor (Nico Tortorella), best friend Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere), cinema club geek Charlie (Rory Culkin) and web-casting associate Robbie (Erik Knudsen).
As with most slasher sequels, these latest roles are potential 'death fodder' for our serial killer. Perhaps unexpectedly, this leaves little time or energy wasted on anything resembling character development; each death is little more than an insignificant interlude before the inevitable final-reel showdown.
Sadly, this lack of advancement extends well beyond these two dimensional 'lambs to the slaughter'. Williamson's slick, sardonic wit is largely absent from the screen too. The heavy-handed referencing, so fresh and satirical in the mid nineties, feels dated and clichéd in the post-millennial age.
In the same breath, characters proselytise about 'breaking the horror rules' whilst following them with effortless precision. In one scene, when our lurking villain reveals his location as the closet to his terrorized victim over the phone, the audience knows exactly what the next move will be - deadening any thrill or scare we may have hoped for.
As self-aware postmodernity is so heavily ingrained in our movies (and movies-within-movies), capturing the irreverent spirit of the first two titles was always going to be nigh-on impossible, and it comes as no surprise to see the film fail to rekindle the magic of old.
This franchise has been pulled out of cold storage way too early; memories of the modern horror reboots, so 'amusingly' referenced by Hayden Panettiere in a single line of dialogue, have become the new vanguard of the genre, and SCRE4M fails to build on their success or add anything of real significance to the formula, merely going through the motions and ultimately failing to revitalise this zombified effort.