Scream 4 (2011)

Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson return to make a new generation Scream

It has been 15 years since the original Woodsboro Murders that occured in the original Scream movie. Sidney has returned to her home town, promoting her self-help book, where Dewey is now Sherrif and married to Gail. But, there's a new Ghostface Killer on the loose, targeting Sidney and everyone around her.

What is the most common trend in 21st century horror films? If you said 'douchebag characters', you were wrong. That's the second most common trend. The correct answer is 'remakes'. From well-remembered classics like 'A Nightmare on Elm Street' and 'Halloween', to barely remembered throwaways such as 'Prom Night' and 'The Stepfather'.

Before watching this film, I would suggest giving Scream a viewing, as this film satirizes remakes (while also taking a few jabs at the found footage genre, what with Robbie recording everything he sees on a headset). With this film returning to Woodsboro with a new cast of teenagers, it isn't lost on the characters that a real-life remake of the original Scream film is happening, and as a result, the film employs a number of fan-pleasing references and homages to the original film.

With the original three cast members returning, this definitely feels like a hark back to the original film. It is also quite astounding as to how seemingly easy Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courtney Cox can step back into the roles they haven't acted as for over 10 years. Cox comes off as bitchy as Gail Weathers ever was, making it seem like she never left the role in the first place.

Sidney Prescott, played by Campbell, makes a natural progression from the victim she was in the previous installment by overcoming the horrific events she previously encountered, doing this by publishing a self-help book. Dewey, meanwhile, finally gets the respect he deserves as he is now Sheriff of Woodsboro.

Abed had gone too meta
Combing the trio from the original with a new batch of characters manages to combine a sense of familiarity, while also feeling new. Most of the new characters are well defined, but a few aren't given much to do, and are therefore left as being one-dimensional.

The combined efforts of Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven manage to prove that, despite not being on the franchise for 10 years, they have not lost their touch. Kevin Williamson's script still manages to be witty and clever, while employing some great plot twists throughout, and Wes Craven's direction blends the humor and the horror elements very well

After the weak third installment which left more to be desired, Scream 4 manages to successfully recapture the comedic tones from the first two films whilst keeping the tension, jumps and self-referencing humour intact. It's a satisfying part to the Scream franchise we've known and (mostly) loved since 1996, serves as a great ending to the series, whilst being left open ended for future sequels, and is, without a doubt, the best film Wes Craven has released since Scream 2.

I'll now end this review on what I think is the perfect quote from this film:

"You forgot the first rule of remakes: Don't fuck with the original"


Dan O. said…
Good review Rodders. I saw it myself, and wrote one up. It’s not quite as good as the first, but it ain’t no slouch either. I’ve had the good fortune (or misfortune, depending on how I’m feeling) of seeing all of em’ and let me tell ya. This is easily the best of the sequels. I did think it was too funny. Like, that scene where the killer goes all medieval on his/her own ass in the end was HYSTERICAL!!! The scares were good too.