Scream 4

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"Fuck Bruce Willis"

Aug 25, 2011

I'm a fan of horror movies. At least I was a fan of horror movies. Over the last decade there has been a serious decline in quality in no small part due to the Scream franchise. That's not to say I'm not a fan of the films I just hate the influence they had and the many duplicates that followed.

Scream 4 returns after a ten year hiatus with the intention of influencing the current state of horror (and mainstream cinema itself) by taking aim at the remake craze. Scream 4 managed to make me a fan of horror again or at least in the potential it has. This film really needs your support.

Scream 4 is not a great film. It's a good film. This is the type of film made for home viewing its enjoyable fare that lacks a cinematic scope you expect to find in the theatre. Before we get my opinions of the film itself I want to address why you should buy this film (skip straight to the review here).

I like the majority of cinema goers have become feed up with the needless remakes that are released every couple of months. While a few are actual gems and really had a purpose the majority remain a cash grab. While the content in Scream 4 attempts to address this situation to varying degrees it's what the actual film represents that is important.

Scream 4 is a genuine sequel while at the same time managing to show a reboot of the franchise. The next generation displayed on screen is representative of the modern remake while at the same time giving fans of the originals something to look forward to, something to hold on to. Scream 4 had the potential to show the world that a well done sequel is preferable to a remake, only it performed badly at the box office.

But there's hope. The Scream franchise may continue and it hinges on the DVD sales. Not that I'm that bothered about another Scream film but I want to avoid another remake. I want the movie industry to see that we as an audience are feed up with recycled content. I want to see the death of remakes (at least for a couple of years).Support good horror, support the death of remakes, Buy the DVD here.

On to the plot of Scream 4 which really doesn't seem that impressive. Sidney Prescott returns to her home of Woodsboro while trying to promote her new book. No sooner does she set foot in town a new batch of murders begin as the next generation of Woodsboro become the target. Enter our new heroine Jill, Sidney's young cousin.

Scream was a trilogy that really didn't seem to need a sequel. The third movie in my opinion was the weakest of the bunch and was really stretching its premise beyond plausibility. When Scream 4 was announced I was hardly elated. Then the film evolved. Kevin Williamson was brought on to write. He penned the first two films (both great) but skipped out on the third. Wes Craven decided to direct. Three of the original cast were to return. I was mildly interested.

Then disaster struck. Kevin Williamson left the project to be replaced by Ehren Kruger for rewrites. This is the person who wrote Scream 3. Reports of problems on set. The cast continually dropped out and were replaced. Wes Craven announced his disappointments with the production.

I didn't know what to expect when I went to watch this this flick. Scream 4 is a good film despite a couple of flaws. Better than the third film this entry justifies its creation. This is the sequel we should have gotten ten years ago. The story itself is standard whodunit fare. Combining the surviving cast with the next generation. One by one people get picked off before a final act massacre which is discussed at every opportunity, "it's so meta" (a line from the movie). If you manage to figure out who the killer is, as with most Scream movies, it'll be dumb luck, "everybody's a suspect".

Many problems are brought up in other reviews that I really see no issue myself. The daddy of which is that the film is not scary, Ghost Face is irrelevant. I see the point. The costume is the image of ridicule due to the first Scary Movie. What most people fail to mention is that Scream was never scary.

Scream is a comedy. It's the one fact that is overlooked time and time again because its humour is not slapstick. The Scream films are violent but they've never really been about the kills. Try to remember any death in the franchise and it's a struggle. The setups are clear, defined by dialogue and irony. A simple stab. It's not a pleasant thought but nothing compared to the torture porn gore of new age horror. Scream 4 is no different and it shouldn't be.

Meta humour is something that drives me insane in movies. I cannot stand the self-aware crap that is shoved into movies. To me it comes off as lazy writing and most of the time takes me out of the story. But in the Scream films I give it a pass. It's the main premise and they defined how to use it. Scream 4 continues in the same style and while a lot of the dialogue is repeated lines from the original film there are some gems to be found one which involves mention of Bruce Willis. Great.

The originals do what they do best (Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette) and the new generation fit in well. Jill played by Emma Roberts echoes Campbell's original performance well with a little more edge representative of modern society (involved in pranking her friends). Hayden Panettiere steals the film with her character Kirby and is a worthy addition to Scream cannon. While there are many Randy clones running around she never oversells it and seems like any movie fans ideal girlfriend. The only problem here comes not from the acting but the lack of time everyone gets onscreen. The new generation is never given enough time to shine as they have to share it with the originals. What we do see is quite good and none of the teens grated like many do in current remakes.

I know there are two moments that are going to divide fans. The first is the opening sequence a strange series of events that really stretch Meta humour to the max. I was not a fan as it really felt like a moment from Scary Movie rather than Scream; fun in its own way but strange on first viewing.

The other is the identity of Ghost Face and the explanation for their actions. I loved it and thought the motivation was true to our society and more believable than any other reason given in any other the prior movies. This will be explained more in an upcoming spoiler piece The Killers of Scream.

I really enjoyed watching this film and encourage all to watch it now it's on DVD. I remember all the positive reviews for the film when it came out but now the film has performed poorly at the box office movie sites are now condemning the film. We are not one of those sites and encourage you to pick this film up as I said before this film needs your support (click here to buy).

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