Scream 4 - Review

As far as i remember, Wes Craven, the director of all the previous scream movies, once said that he won't do another scream movie after part 3, because he doesn't want to end up one day making scream 12. well......yeah, anyway now in 2011 scream 4 gets released. question is whether or not craven came up with some new ideas. Most of you might know that the last movie in this franchise was a pretty lame experience. Did that change with scream 4?

The plot: Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), now the author of a self-help book, returns home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. There she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette) and Gale (Courteney Cox), who are now married, as well as her cousin Jill (Emma Roberts) and her Aunt Kate (Mary McDonnel). Unfortunately, Sidney's appearance also brings about the return of Ghostface, putting Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, along with Jill, her friends, and the whole town of Woodsboro in danger.

The plot is kind of traditional halloween style: a specific person returns --> killer returns. There's nothing wrong with it except that the movie does a poor job introducing the return of the ghostface killer. It's typcial for unintentionally planned horror sequels to have problems with finding another "intelligent" reason to let the killer return. Despite this, the movie has a cool and clever trademark opening sequence which distinguishes itself enough from the other scream openings.
Another great thing about this flick is that wes craven tries to be up to date with the current pop culture and it's humor. This often shows in the (unfortunately not often funny) jokes, but at least craven tried.
There's exactly ONE good joke in the movie which happens during a kill. I of course won't spoil it but i think you'll notice it.

One of the biggest weaknesses of scream 4 is that the movie has big problems to get going and keeping you interested in what's going on. Personally, (except for the opening) the movie starts to get going after the first half is over.
The complete first half of the movie consists out of lame jokes and dialogue which is pretty good at times while at other times it feels uninspired and occasionally even stupid. The best example for this are the verbal bitchfights between courtney cox and sheriff judy which just feel tacked on. I was always like "what kind of conversation is that?! what age are you both? TEN!? what adults talk like that?!". i guess stupid cox and arquette are just a perfect retard couple.

The acting is pretty ok as far as slasher movies go. But the addition of all those teenie actresses just annoyed me. Hayden panettiere and especially emma roberts ("yeah i can act is julia roberts...yeah!")
constantly reminded me of that cheap ass teenage smallville tv series acting style. maybe it's just me but i couldn't take them seriously. But maybe it's also just that all the teenage girls in this movie know UNREALISTICLY much about movies. I mean ok i get the theme and style of scream flicks with the "mocking of movies bla bla" but fuckin chick that hot talks about "character development" when watching a horror flick with her friend. That's just...ridiculous (just like the movie questions by the killer and the girls knowing almost every goddamn answer).
Probably especially people like me should like movies like scream 4 because it so hardly tries to appeal to movie nerds and cineasts with its constant movie references but doesn't.
At least the girls look hot.
But alright, i admit that a slasher movie just NEEDS dumb teenies to get killed off, just like it needs them being stupid fucks so that the audience roots for the killer (the "hero" of any horror movie). BUT..the character that just drives me nuts is that dumbass goofy fuckin sheriff dewey played by david arquette. I know that his character was intentional and probably underlines the flick's comedic tone but damn i just always hated david arquette AND courtney cox in all of the scream movies.
And as i expected, my hate for them both didn't change the least in scream 4.
This brings me to my next complaint: none of the characters seemed sympathatic to me. Well except maybe neve campbell but even she feels a bit bland in this one. Kind of like "well you have been in the last three movies so get your ass in the studio, we make a fourth one!".
But all bitching aside, the ghostface killer's voice is pretty badass.

But now what did wes craven do right in scream 4? The first two movies in the franchise were modern classics of the horror genre.
Well, some scenes in scream 4 are quite clever and give the audience something fresh. For example scenes like the suspense-driven camera-party scene were pretty cool and exciting (if not for long but anyway). Also the killer's theme-motivation is something different. Additionally i have to say that i really respect wes craven to scare people by suspense and atmosphere rather than with gore and cheap jump scares (which are quite common in newer horror flicks). A thing which craven tried to keep in scream 4 but ultimately failed was the fact that he tries to mock horror movies with the "horror movie rules" but unfortunately that's something that we have already seen in previous scream movies and which haven't actually changed that much.
But the biggest highlights for me in ANY horror movies (next to the atmosphere) are the kills.
when i watch a horror movie, i want to see the killer KILL people in different and interesting ways. the scream movies never were very inventive when it comes to the killings. it always was that hunting knife --> stab or a gun ---> eh shoot. i mean come on, this is wes craven. this guy invented freddy krueger. just compare the scream kills to those fuckin awesome ones in the nightmare movies. well concerning the kills, scream 4 doesn't reach new territory.
Scream 4 really shows that wes craven indeed had some new ideas but i guess they just weren't enough to keep this franchise going successfully into round 4.

But now the best part of this movie is when the ghostface killer reveals his identity. I admit that i was actually surprised but at the same time i was like "Wha..THAT person did all this? are you kidding?! because of THAT?!". i honestly had more problems with the killer's actual reason and motivation of the killing spree (which goes almost beyond unrealistically stupid but at the same time, can you really argue with a serial killer?).
Anyway, though it doesn't save the entire movie of being lame, the final 3rd act with the showdown is very good. This is the part when i really cared about what was going on. If only craven could have included more moments like this one throughout the entire movie. Long story short: scream 4 gets good after the killer's reveal (that means probably the last 20 minutes but well).

All in all, watching scream 4 just made me wish that i was watching the classic first scream movie. I am not sure if the movie could have been better if it took itself more seriously or if the entire idea and comedy of the scream movies just don't appeal to viewers anymore. One thing is for sure though, the franchise is definately showing its age and should end here (well ok it should have already ended with 3). Even wes craven himself wasn't able to give us enough new ideas to keep this franchise fresh and alive. Though Scream 4 is a far better movie than most slasher/horror movies that rapdily get released and is definately an improvement over Scream 3, it still feels and remains unnecessary. If you ask me, it's time for craven to invent a new horror icon and start a new franchise. But at least there's the possibility that die-hard scream fans will get a last kick out of "Scream 4".

Final Verdict: 4 out of 10


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