Scream 4 (No spoilers)

Posted: June 27, 2018 in Movies
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Sideny Prescott is one of the horror genre’s iconic ‘final girls’. In the 90’s she was the face of the slasher genre. Scream put slasher movies back on top in 1996 and its two sequels secured its likeable characters and its Ghostface killer a place in pop culture history. The plan was for the third film to close out the series but thankfully the Scream Team had one more slash left in them and all of the key players would return for one last scream in Scream 4.

Released in 2011. Ten years had passed since the last movie and the horror landscape had moved on. Between Scream 3 and Scream 4 horror had gone through various waves – The Ring, The Grudge, Hostel, Saw, Insidious and Paranormal Activity came and went. I won’t even mention the HORDE of remakes that flooded the market during the 00’s. Simply put Scream 4 had a lot to say upon its release on the state of modern horror like the original film did back in 1996. I think this one highlighted just how you handle a reboot with respect and creativity too. To explain why would verge too far into spoiler land but it’s pretty apparent what the film’s overall stance is on horror by the time the credits roll. I’d make a case for Scream 4 being neck and neck with the second film as the best in the series outside of the original classic.

It’s a pain at times discussing the Scream movies because outside of the kills being spoilt there’s often twists and turns aplenty that you run the risk of ruining. So plot, okay, so basically Woodsboro, the town of the original slayings, is coming up on the anniversary of the killings. Sid is back in town to promote her new book which deals with all of the crap she’s been through. Deputy Dewey is now sherriff and Gale Weathers, ex-ace reporter, is now Gale Riley and is beyond bored with small town life. Someone else is back too. Ghostface and he?/she?/them? rains down a new wave of terror on the town as a fresh spree of killings kicks off. The targets this time being Sid’s teenage cousin Jill and her circle of friends.

I love this movie. The opening of Scream 4 is totally nuts and works brilliantly. It more than keeps the audience on their toes. The kills are brutal throughout, this is easily the goriest entry in the series and doesn’t shy away from some nasty kills. The set pieces are executed with great skill that it is a credit to the timeless talent of director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson. The writer of Scream 3, Ehren Kruger, did contribute to the script and as such he too should be given credit. When the dust settles and the motive behind the killings is revealed it’s not only cultually relavent but outright chilling. Scream 4, for all the fun and laughs offered up in between the horror, has a nasty streak running through it and pulls no punches when it comes to the horror of it all.

The cast and characters, old faveourites and new blood alike, are universally great. You get the impression all of the actors are on top of their game in this entry. A big part of that is no doubt due to the big gap in between movies and the fact the new additions were no doubt delighted to be a part of a great movie and a series with a classic legacy. Campbell, Cox and Arequette were no doubt on auto-pilot by the time Scream 3 came out and possibly ready to move on. In Scream 4 it’s clear to see each of them loving the fact they have been able to revisit their iconic roles of Sidney, Gale and Dewey. Emma Roberts, and Hayden Panettiere lead the new additions to the cast and they and their peers add great characters to the series.

Sadly Scream 4 is bittersweet as it would be the final movie to be directed by horror legend Wes Craven. But you know what? What a legacy. Craven’s work speaks for itself. He has created and brought to life some of the horror genre’s most famous nightmares and frights. This, his final movie, is a fitting example of the care he put into his movies. Outside of the gore, the frights and the kills Craven always strived to make the audience care first and foremost. If you don’t care about who lives and who dies in these movies then what’s the point really? Scream 4 more than delivers on that ideal. Originally this film was set to launch a new trilogy that would see a Scream 5 and Scream 6 close out the series. Once more, due to television commitments, Kevin Williamson decided to step away from his creation. That aside if this proves to be the final Scream then all involved can be proud that the series ended on a high (or should that be a scream?) and isn’t that better than outstatying it’s welcome?

 

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