From Worst to Best, Slasher Studios Revisits SCREAM

scream

It’s been five years since the release of Scream 4 so I figured I’d take a look at my ranking of the series and see if anything has changed. Truth be told, it has. This ranking isn’t going to be a popular opinion for sure and I want to get it right out in the open that I at least “like” each installment of the slasher series. It’s just that I happen to love two of the installments while merely “liking” the other two” Here it is…feel free to let me know what you think! Happy slashing everyone.

4. Scream 4 (2011)
Scream 4…what a five years it has been. When this sequel was originally released, I went back again and again and again to support what might end up being the last film in the horror franchise. I loved it and I wanted more. Watching it now, a half decade later, I find it to be a bit of a missed opportunity. The old characters, our “Woodsboro trio”, aren’t given nearly enough to do. The new cast, well, they are okay but they also aren’t given much to do. This is the kind of sequel that seems to hedge its bets right when it should be breaking all the rules. Side note: Allison Brie is fantastic as Sidney’s publicist Rebecca BUT….think of how great this could have been if she’s been Gale’s publicist trying to rebrand her for the social media public of 2011? Once again, it’s fine, but still a missed opportunity.

3. Scream 3 (2000)
Scream 3 is the kind of movie that has a lot of great ideas mixed in with a few mediocre ideas. The film spends far too much time with Sidney away from the group, alone in the cabin. The supernatural “visions” of her dead mother are also silly and out-of-place in the world of this slasher series. That being said, Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers has never been better. Given a bitter rival to play against, played by a deliciously witty Parker Posey, she shines in every single scene that she is given. Overall, I think Scream 3 is a fun film that’s actually a bit underrated. It isn’t perfect but the stuff that works, pretty much any scene with Posey, makes it a lot better than it has any right to be.

2. Scream (1996)
Scream made horror movies scary again with a brilliantly constructed plot. One year after the death of Sidney Prescott’s (Campbell) mother, two students turn up gutted. When a serial killer appears, Sidney begins to suspect whether her mother’s death and the two new deaths are related. No one is safe, as the killer begins to pick everyone off one by one. Finally, something the horror genre was missing: a good old fashioned murder mystery. The performances all around are first rate from Neve Campbell as the vulnerable to Courteney Cox as the bitchy journalist willing to do whatever it takes to get a story Gale Weathers to David Arquette as the sweet, slightly dimwitted Deputy Dewey to Drew Barrymore’s doomed Casey Becker.

1. Scream 2 (1997)
Although at times I feel as though I am in the minority, I truly believe that “Scream 2” is the best film in the Scream franchise. This is that rare sequel that takes everything that works about its predecessor and manages to take it to another level. The deaths are suspenseful, the characters are charming and likable, and the twist ending works better than it has any right to. I also truly believe that this is some of Craven’s finest directing and the “cop car” scene is a hide-your-eyes-behind-your-fingers chiller of a scene. More than that, this film is just a hell of a lot of fun from beginning to end.

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.

Picking Favorites: Ranking the “Scream” Films

Ranking a horror film series is usually just asking for trouble. For every one person that agrees with you, there will be at least a dozen that feel cheated by your list. “How DARE you rank X above X? What were you thinking?!?!” Well, in honor of this week’s Slasher Studios Horror Film Club, I decided to take my ranking list to the test and take on the Scream franchise. Agree with the list? Disagree? I want your feedback! Which Scream film do you feel is the most successful? The following is my list from best to worst. Let the games begin!

1. Scream 2 (1997)
Although at times I feel as though I am in the minority, I truly believe that “Scream 2” is the best film in the Scream franchise. This is that rare sequel that takes everything that works about its predecessor and manages to take it to another level. The deaths are suspenseful, the characters are charming and likable, and the twist ending works better than it has any right to. I also truly believe that this is some of Craven’s finest directing and the “cop car” scene is a hide-your-eyes-behind-your-fingers chiller of a scene. More than that, this film is just a hell of a lot of fun from beginning to end.

2. Scream (1996)
Scream made horror movies scary again with a brilliantly constructed plot. One year after the death of Sidney Prescott’s (Campbell) mother, two students turn up gutted. When a serial killer appears, Sidney begins to suspect whether her mother’s death and the two new deaths are related. No one is safe, as the killer begins to pick everyone off one by one. Finally, something the horror genre was missing: a good old fashioned murder mystery. The performances all around are first rate from Neve Campbell as the vulnerable to Courteney Cox as the bitchy journalist willing to do whatever it takes to get a story Gale Weathers to David Arquette as the sweet, slightly dimwitted Deputy Dewey to Drew Barrymore’s doomed Casey Becker.

3. Scream 4 (2011)
“Scream 4″ is executed with an artistic flair of wit and style that long time fans and film buffs alike will love. While I sometimes wished there could have been a little more genuine tension and suspense, the final twenty minutes are just so off-the-wall that it makes up for any slow patches. All in all, this is bloody, fun, and very entertaining. The cast is clearly having a ton of fun, and most of them really put on a good show. This may be cinematic junk food but it sure is tasty.

4. Scream 3 (2000)
“Scream 3″ is the kind of movie that has a lot of great ideas mixed in with a few mediocre ideas. The film spends far too much time with Sidney away from the group, alone in the cabin. We want to see Sidney take on evil and put on a good fight. Something that doesn’t happen here until the final act. That being said, Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers has never been better. Given a bitter rival to play against, played by a deliciously witty Parker Posey, she shines in every single scene that she is given. Overall, I think “Scream 3″ is a fun film. It may be the worst installment of the franchise but it is still a hell of a lot better than 90% of the horror that is released today.

Slasher Death Scenes We Love: “I Know…”, “Scream 4”, and “My Super Psycho Sweet 16”

Looks like we have some more slasher deaths for you horror fans. Here are three more favorite slasher death scenes submitted by Kevin, Brian, and Cory. Keep those favorite deaths coming at the Slasher Studios Facebook Page. Submit your favorite slasher movie death scenes and why they love them so much and we will feature them here!

Reece Glen Donnell-“I Know What You Did Last Summer”
My favourite slasher death comes from 1997’s I Know What You Did Last Summer and it is the untimely death of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s lovely Helen Shivers. For me this is the ultimate in slasher death scenes because of the eight minute long chase sequence that precedes it. The character puts up one hell of a good fight for her life and has the audience rooting for her until help is only feet away, but in typically cruel slasher style it’s too late. As an audience member I was willing Helen to survive more and more as the scene went on and could’ve cried when the slicker clad villain appeared behind her….I think purely because I wanted the character to survive SO badly and the fact she didn’t after such an epic struggle, is the reason the scene has stayed with me.

Cody Landman-“Scream 4”
My favorite slasher death is Olivia Morris in Scream 4. I love this death because of not only the bruality of her death but everything that leads up to it. Kirby and Jill talking to Olivia next door over speaker phone. Kirby getting the phone call from Ghostface and having a one-on-one with him. Eventually saying he’s in the closet. With Olivia still on the line Kirby opens Jill’s closet to find…nothing. Ghostface saying he didn’t say he was in Jill’s closet. Ghostface then pops out of Olivia’s closet. Olivia gets tossed around dressers, walls, etc. Receives multiple stab wounds and face smashed in a window. All in front of Jill and Kirby and ultimately guts Olivia in front of them too.

Sean Hogan Wells-“My Super Psycho Sweet 16”
Oh god, my favorite slasher death scene. Such a hard decision, but the first thing that popped into my mind was Chloe’s death in My Super Psycho Sweet 16. Definitely the most brutal of the film, this scene caught my attention as soon as Charlie appeared out of the fog and beat her with the extinguisher. These scene wasn’t taken to the extremes with the gore factor because it is made-for-TV, but I found it to be enough to call itself a good scene, and the slight suspense of Chloe calling for Skye had me a bit intimidated by what was going to happen to that poor girl.

Scream 4 is a Bloody Good Time!

Hmm…well, where to start when you are reviewing the most anticipated horror sequel of the year? Seeing “Scream 4” just made me feel good, like reconnecting with old friends while making new ones as well. The film is just damn fun from beginning to end. And speaking of beginning, the opening fifteen minutes are terrific. It doesn’t beat the original’s opening twelve, but it certainly toys with conventions while still being witty, dark and quite violent. The final twenty minutes is fucking insane. Hell, some of it is just down right crazy. Everything in between is fairly standard stuff from there with many good, and a couple excellent, moments.

“Scream 4” begins on the fifteenth anniversary of the original Woodsboro murders, high school students Jenny Randall (Aimee Teegarden) and Marnie Cooper (Brittany Robertson) are attacked and brutally killed by a new Ghostface. The following day, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to Woodsboro to promote her new book with her publicist Rebecca Walters (Alison Brie). Sidney becomes a suspect in the murders after evidence is found in her rental car, and she must stay in the town until the murders are solved. Her cousin, Jill (Emma Roberts), who is dealing with the betrayal of her ex-boyfriend, Trevor Sheldon (Nico Tortorella) gets a threatening phone call from Ghostface, as does her friend Olivia Morris (Marielle Jaffe). Jill and Olivia, alongside their friend Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere), are questioned about their calls by Dewey Riley (David Arquette), who is now the sheriff of the town, and one of his deputies, Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton). Meanwhile, Dewey’s now-wife, Gale Weathers-Riley (Courteney Cox), is struggling with writer’s block.

Sidney stays with her aunt Kate Roberts (Mary McDonnell). Later that night, Olivia, who lives next door to Jill, is attacked and murdered by Ghostface as Jill and Kirby watch in horror while Sidney was interrupted by a scream while reading her book. Sidney and Jill were injured in their attempt to save Olivia, and are taken to the hospital, where her publicist Rebecca is murdered in the parking garage. Gale, trying to solve the murders, enlists the help of two high school movie geeks, Charlie Walker (Rory Culkin) and Robbie Mercer (Erik Knudsen), who explain that the killer is using the rules of movie remakes to murder. Charlie concludes that the killer will probably strike at a party being held that night. Can the group of teens stop the killer before it is too late?

“Scream 4” is executed with an artistic flair of wit and style that long time fans and film buffs alike will love. While I sometimes wished there could have been a little more genuine tension and suspense, the final twenty minutes are just so off-the-wall that it makes up for any slow patches. All in all, this is bloody, fun, and very entertaining. The cast is clearly having a ton of fun, and most of them really put on a good show. This may be cinematic junk food but it sure is tasty.