Scre4m

scream-4-new-poster Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Kevin Williamson
Producers: Kevin Williamson/Wes Craven/Iya Labunka
Starring: Neve Campbell/David Arquette/Courtney Cox/Hayden Panettiere/Emma Roberts
Year: 2011
Country: USA
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 111 minutes

By all rights, Scre4m should never have worked at all. It literally has everything working against it: the fact that it’s a third sequel in a horror series and they rarely work, the story is normally terrible, forgettable or predictable, the characters are one-dimensional and it’s overall mostly a cash-in that doesn’t show any love or attention. However, Scre4m is the total opposite of those points given and works brilliantly. The reason why it works so brilliantly is because Craven and Williamson go back to the roots of how Scream used to be and what it was all about. Ten years have passed, and Sidney Prescott, who has put herself back together thanks in part to her writing, is visited by the Ghostface Killer. Kevin Williamson really delivers when it comes to writing the story of Scre4m as, just like Scream; it’s clever and witty with the right blend of comedy, horror and suspense. Not only did the story fit in nicely with the movie series but it was also nice to see the main characters back together again along with some new characters as well. It was great seeing the trio again, it was like seeing old friends but the characters have changed quite a bit and in some cases, not in a good way. Sidney Prescott is more or less the same as she was in the series except for she’s more tougher and doesn’t take any nonsense, which is a great thing to see. However, the same can not be said for Dewey and Gale as they have both completely changed. Dewey doesn’t get involved as much in investigating the murders like he did in the first trilogy and doesn’t get much screen time either. Gale Weathers hasn’t changed much and proves that she’s still got the bitch attitude but she seems a lot more tame and, just like Dewey, she doesn’t get a lot of screen time. However, to make up for this are the new teenagers who surprisingly all have great personalities and fall under the stereotypical horror characters, which in Scre4m’s case, is actually a good thing.

The acting was great as we see Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette return to our screens after eleven years like they’ve never left. They prove they haven’t lost it as their characters as we see Neve Campbell perform brilliantly as Sidney Prescott, our tough-as-nails heroine. David Arquette and Courtney Cox return as Dewey and Gale Riley and do a great job. However, it does come to something when the newcomers, those of which includes Heroes star Hayden Panettiere, manage to outshine the old cast. Kevin Williamson is back after Ehren Kruger penned the third Scream and, let’s face it, it wasn’t the same without Williamson’s touch to the series. The script is clever, the story is great and yet again, he manages to make a horror movie that pokes fun out of the horror genre, only this time, it pokes fun of recent horror movies. This time, Williamson sets his targets on the amount of horror sequels and endless remakes there have been recently and, after Kirby’s scene, you realise there’s quite a few. Wes Craven yet again dons the director’s chair and stays faithful to the Scream movies, answering the many prayers of Scream fans to make Scre4m how the movies used to be. There were so many references to Scream, horror sequels and horror remakes that you wouldn’t have been able to spot them all in one watch and it is a lot of fun to find them. Craven and Williamson have not only set the standards of recent horror sequels, proving that they can be just as good as the first movie but they have also brought the Scream series back from where Scream 3 brought it down. Overall, the body counts are higher, the kills are more gruesome and gory and the story and characters are clever and so it gives me great pleasure to say that Craven and Williamson manage to make Scre4m one of the best in the series.

I can’t tell you how happy I am that Scre4m manages to bring the series back up to a high after Scream 3 dragged the series down a little. It not only reminds us that horror sequels can be just as good as the first but it also reminds us that Craven and Williamson have still got it. Scre4m is a great slasher movie with the right blend of horror and comedy along with suspense and mystery. If you are a fan of the Scream trilogy, this will please you and even if you haven’t seen the other Scream movies, this one is friendly enough to fill you in on what happened. Scre4m is clever, witty, funny and suspenseful and if this will be the end of the Scream series, it ends on a brilliant high.

8/10

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3 responses to “Scre4m

  1. moviegeek April 24, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Did You really find it suspenseful?!?! Oh dear… I think we must have been watching a different film…
    If the aim is to re-define the rules for the new generation, they fail completely, as this feels just like a cash-in exercise and an excuse to revive something by re-hashing and regurgitating everything that we have already seen.
    Behind all the talk about going against the clichés and trying to ridicule the various the character-less horror of the last few years, there is actually very little new. There a sense of Déjà-vu throughout and (aside from its far fetched ending) it is all rather predictable in its non-predictability.
    Admitting a theft (or a reference) may ease the conscience, but it certainly doesn’t make it OK, nor it makes it a good film…. Also, it might make it funny, but certainly not scary!!
    I LOVED the first Scream, but this is just tired… Still enjoyable, but they should really stop before it becomes the parody of itself…
    READ MY FULL REVIEW: wp.me/p19wJ2-ju

    • Darren Camponi April 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      I’ll have to disagree with you in a couple of things that you have said, Movie Geek. I don’t think they failed at all, if anything, they’ve succeeded. Scream was about horror movies, Scream 2 was about sequels, Scream 3 was about the end of series and Scre4m was about remakes and reboots. Scre4m was supposed to stick to the original rules but with a remade twist, as a certain character said and the movie was successful in doing so. It also doesn’t really go against the cliches but embraces them. I don’t know about you but I knew who the killer(s) was/were when the cast were introduced. The characters and the story was pretty much a massive cliche but that’s the beauty of the Scream series. Scream 3 was the parody of itself but Scre4m brought it back a little to the quality of Scream 2 in my opinion as they poke fun out of the genre.

      I do agree with you when you say that they should stop but unfortunately there have been talks that Scream 5 (or 5cream) is in development. I don’t know if it’s true or not though. I’d rather them leave it now, I can’t think of any more they could do to the series.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my review! 🙂

  2. Hal April 29, 2011 at 4:53 am

    Nice review (in both senses of the phrase). SCREAM 4 obviously isn’t up to the standard of SCREAM (a great movie), and in terms of characterisation and suspense it’s inferior to 2 but…despite its flaws it is still much better than its being portrayed as. There is not enough of Sidney really but what there is makes me want more of her. Still I think that’s partly because of the idea that Jill is the “new” Sidney which leads to Screamian (?) twists. Predictably the wonderful Neve Campbell makes the best of her material and brings warmth and appeal that isn’t in the script. I hope there isn’t a Scream 5 as I would not want Sidney to be killed or be the killer, and please God, no remake or reboot! Scream 4 effectively skewers that idea in the most skilful if bleak manner. Pity about the misuse of Dewey and the fates of particular characters. Thanks for the review Darren, sorry to ramble!

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