Don’t FUCK with the Original: “Scream 4” Review

Our SCREAM week over at Slasher Studios Horror Film Club is coming to a close this weekend and to help finish things we have Brian C Tyler giving us excellent review of the final (?) chapter in the SCREAM saga.

It’s the year 2011. Horror films are running out of ideas again. Nearly every classic horror film had been remade and every iconic horror villain had been reimagined and recasted. In the 1980’s the trend was sequels, in our generation it’s remakes. I kind of feel a bit cheated, but then again maybe I wouldn’t appreciate the 1980’s as much if I was living it. Anyway, remakes… some are good, some are bad. One thing I’d rather see over a remake though, is a new SCREAM that comments on horror remakes.

The moment I heard SCREAM 4 was greenlit I was as excited as a kid on Halloween. I missed those characters (Sidney, Gale, Dewey), I missed Ghostface and the games he played with his victims and I missed the mystery. It definitely upped my excitement that Neve, Courteney, David, Wes and Kevin were all returning to do what they do best. I followed this movie so closely on Arrow in the Head and imdb (like an idiot) that by the time I sat down in the theatre to watch it, I knew a great deal of what was going to happen. But thankfully, that didn’t change my excitement and enjoyment for the movie one bit.

The opening scene is, of course, very clever. It may be missing the intensity of the original two films, but you have to account for it being a sequel made 15 years later. This opening is very fun, brutal and pretty funny with a couple cute cameos. Immediately after, we are introduced to an adult Sidney Prescott, no longer a frightened victim but a hero to those that have gone through similar experiences. Dewey, now the Woodsboro sheriff, and a very bored Gale are now married. We are also introduced to some very likable ‘new generation’ characters including Emma Roberts as Sidney’s cousin and Rory Culkin as a Randy-like character. My favorites of these new faces are definitely Hayden Panettiere as the lovable hot-chick horror-nerd and Alison Brie as Sidney’s hilariously insensitive publicist.

What this sequel has that the last one didn’t is a mean streak. There’s lots of brutality, Ghostface is a lot more knife-happy in this one than he was in the last one and I like it. There’s lots of fun, unpredictable and brutal bloody death scenes. Too bad there was less suspense, there should have been longer chase scenes! It also cleverly uses the current remake trend to tell this new story. I know we all love the scene where Hayden names tons of remakes as she participates in a little game with the killer. It’s a great scene, because it’s pretty suspenseful and funny, but it’s also kind of sad. It really makes it clear just how many classic films Hollywood has remade.

The reveal of the killers, although I already knew who they were because I’m an idiot, was very cool and it’s fun seeing my friends in shock every time it happens. It results in a very fun climax with some great lines and a great ending that’s a bit different for this series. All in all, I’m very happy with this sequel and it was very refreshing to see this among all the other stuff that’s coming out these days.