Monday, July 11, 2016

My Review of Scream 4 (2011)

Written by Kevin Williamson And Ehren Kruger
Directed by Wes Craven

Sidney: "You forgot the first rule of remakes, Jill. Don't fuck with the original!"

Prior to MTV doing their version of this franchise through a fun but relatively TV series in it's second season, this movie was one last stab of rebooting the entire franchise and despite having the three survivors we've known and loved in the first three movies, this was a reboot in a lot of ways.

Set fifteen years after the first killings and finally returning the action to Woodsboro, Sidney is no longer in hiding but instead has become a successful book author (Out Of Darkness), to counter Gale settling for the slow pace life with Dewey and some rather unenviable writer's block to boot. Of course with Sidney's return to her old stomping ground, Ghostface soon gets busy and reminds both her and the audience that they're a force to be reckoned.

Unlike the second and third movies which often struggled with adding in some new engaging characters, this movie manages to have plenty in abundance. There's Dewey's deputy Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton) who fuses a degree of likability to offset Sidney's dollar fixated publicist Rebecca Walters (Alison Brie) and of course a short but nice enough appearance of Sidney's previously unmentioned aunt, Kate (Mary McDonnell). Two of those three of course do not make it out of this one alive.

Then there's the younger cast, which in my opinion are some of the most successful we've had since the first movie. The tag team of Sidney's fame hungry cousin Jill (Emma Roberts) and her easily led partner in crime, Charlie (Rory Culkin) make for satisfying antagonists, actually some of the best we've had since Stu, Billy and the latter's mother and the last confrontation between Sidney and Jill at the hospital is one of the best final moments from any of the movies we've had.

Of course, the biggest revelation of this particular movie is of course, Hayden Panettiere. Best known for her roles in both Heroes and Nashville, Panettiere takes on the role of Jill's horror movie buff friend Kirby Reed and it's pretty noticeable that she's a bit closer to the mark to being the new Sidney (with a bit of Randy thrown in there too) than Jill actually was and her fate is left a little ambiguous in this one as well. Had this movie done better and a fifth one had emerged, it would've been nice for Kirby to have returned. As for Trevor (Nico Tortorella) and the maybe gay Robbie Mercer (Erik Knudsen), well they managed to fare a bit better than Olivia Morris (Marielle Jaffe) but only by a tiny margin though.

As for our regulars, well once again, Sidney was put in the position of losing family members and being betrayed by them. I will admit that Jill worked so much better as a personal threat compared to Roman in the previous movie. As for Gale and Dewey, a few marital blips and the former getting attacked by the killer, they were mostly on the same page for once and of course survived to tell the tale once again.

- The opening scene really did take the meta text to a whole new level. Why did Veronica Mars kill Sookie Stackhouse again? Also, one of the Stab movies involves time travel.
- This is one of the few horror franchises to have all it's main characters return for every sequel so far or change the title so much.
- On a sad note, this was also Wes Craven's last film prior to his death last year as well.
- Two of the killers have been female and two of them have been relatives of Sidney.

Easily the best one of the four movies after the first one of course. Scream 4 had a lot to say about the nature of reboots/remakes and while the meta stuff was certainly old hat by the time this was released, it still managed to get the message across well. The third movie might have inadvertently steered into unintentional parody at times but this one certainly gave a new energy to the franchise and while I don't mind the current TV series, a part of me would prefer another movie though.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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