Review – Scream 4

No genre knows how to stretch a franchise like horror does. We’ve all had to endure a film series that starts strong but descends into utter chaos all in the name of making a quick buck. ‘Friday The 13th’, ‘Nightmare On Elm Street’ and ‘Halloween’ are some of the main offenders but most recently have endured the new Hollywood cash generating system…the remake. In the same way the first ‘Scream’ deconstructed slasher flicks ‘Scream 4’ is here to comment on modern horror remakes and it’s got a hunting knife to grind. ‘Scream 4’ see’s the return of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) to the town of Woodsboro to promote a book about her life ten years after the evens of the first film. Soon after her arrival the Ghostface Killer shows up to carve up the towns teen population as well as Gale Weathers-Riley (Courtney Cox) and Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette). ‘Scream 4’ is a sequel worthy of the original that is light on scares but has a good time picking apart modern horror remakes.

‘Scream 4’ works well because a majority of the main cast and crew from the original are back on board. Wes Craven (the original Nightmare On Elm Street) is back in the director’s chair and the king of teens in the 90’s, Kevin Williamson (Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Faculty, Dawson’s Creek) is on scripting duties. Craven doesn’t deliver big on the scares but he has certainly crafted this film as a big F.U to the studios that have turned is horror films into shoddy remakes. Helping him out is Williamson who fills the script with some clever observations on modern horror flicks with a lot of the film acting as flat out satire similar to the first film. A majority of the younger cast deliver terrible performances with the exception of Allison Brie (Community, Mad Men) and there is no doubt that Craven and Williamson are making a point about young Hollywood and how they are just lambs to the slaughter. Luckily the presence of Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette bring some life to their characters and it’s good to see them facing off against Ghostface together again.

The film has a strong opener but flounders in the middle as each character is knocked off with enough blood and gore to keep bloodthirsty fans happy. The film really hits its stride in the finale and is where Williamson’s script fires on all cylinders. It’s amazing how quickly the world has changed since the first ‘Scream’ film and Williamson addresses issues such as remakes, social networking and the emergence of a whole generation of celebrity who are famous for doing nothing. The weird thing is you get all this from has slasher film??? Yes indeed, which is why ‘Scream 4’ comes out as a winner and not just a slasher film but a revenge film; this is Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson sticking their flingers up at every remake.


The Popcorn Junkie