Thankfully, you didn’t need to bother yourself with seeing Scream 2 and 3 in order to get anything out of Scream 4. I know I didn’t. It does help to see the first one, of course, but that probably goes without saying. I hope.
Thankfully, you didn’t need to bother yourself with seeing Scream 2 and 3 in order to get anything out of Scream 4. I know I didn’t. It does help to see the first one, of course, but that probably goes without saying. I hope. Not that you’d be all bent out of shape either way, I guess. This isn’t exactly Hitchcock we’re dealing with, here.
Ok, how to set this one up. So, ten years have passed, and Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) has returned to Woodsboro while on a book tour. She has put her life back together much because of her writing. But, while in town she is again visited by the Ghostface Killer. Then things get all stabby.
The usual suspects are back, of course; Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette), Gale (Courtney Cox), and as I mentioned, Sidney (Neve), and everybody is great. There are, of course, tons of knife fodder, too. Many lovely ladies, such as Leslie Hale, Amiee Teegarden, Anna Paquin, and Kristin Bell, who find themselves in classic slasher predicaments. Kevin Williamson is back writing this one, too. You can like that or not.
This fourth installment of the Scream series has many of the same elements, but then that’s the point, right? People in houses at night talking about the rules of horror/slasher films, knowing that someone is gonna get killed, it’s just a matter of when. Blah blah blah. It is a lot of the same stuff, especially all the rules and cliches of slasher films. There is obviously a lot of love for the genre here, but the weird thing is that for all the poking fun of the rules and cliches, they don’t avoid using any of them here. Moments where someone could use their cell phone to call for help but don’t, when you hear a noise, don’t go investigating it. We all know how that ends. Seriously, how can you NOT know that something is going to happen to you? There were exactly two moments when I jumped. One was just a random bullshit shocker moment, the other a decent scare. But all the rest were pretty well expected.
Another thing that bugs me is that Wes Craven seems to fallen back on the whole “who dunnit” more than real scares. There isn’t too much gore in this, mostly just blood from all the stabbiness. Lots of stabbing. One throat cut, I think. Mostly stabbing. But it’s all about the redirection; who is the killer? It’s not too badly done, but I’m not so sure I like this direction. How long will we put up with it? That My Soul To Take Thing he made last year was pretty sucky and it did the same thing.
As imperfect as Scream 4 is, I do have some good news, believe it or not. The saving grace for this film is the tone and humor. Thankfully, they do not take themselves too seriously here. The light nature of it makes all the killing entertaining, and isn’t that what you want in a film like this? I sure do. Even the ridiculous, nay, egregious, levels of suspension of disbelief are laughed off simply because they so perfectly absurd they defy any possibility of the real world. Let’s just say being stabbed isn’t always terribly fatal, regardless of where the wound is located. They don’t even try to justify any of it. This goes practically double for the ending. It’s delightfully impossible. But at least they’re consistent.
I can’t say this is awesome, but it keeps things frivolous enough that I didn’t take it all too seriously, so I’m going to give this three kittenhands. It’s fun, but I wouldn’t go out of your way to spend $ 13 on it. It’ll make a fun rental – but maybe best on instant streaming.
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, surprised I didn’t hate this.