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Scream 4 (2011)
Written by Kevin Williamson Directed by Wes Craven
We’ve come full circle in the series now and have been brought back to the beginning. The “reboot” brought back the original cast and crew; who could ask for a better deal? Well, I couldn’t at least. Say what you will, it will not bother me none. I went in expecting to be a bit disappointed because I didn’t think they could still hold up the story but alas, put too little faith into a creative team I’ve enjoyed for the past 16 years. As well, were the films that assisted in my love for the genre to begin with. I was just a kid when the first Scream came out and while I later grew to love 70’s and 80’s Horror, it was the Scream series that echoed loudest throughout my generation. Now we seem to be veering more towards the Grindhouse/Retribution films and the so-called “torture porn” type but back then it was the hip/clever approach that showed how smart our killers could be that thrived and reinvented the genre. Craven himself stated that he wouldn’t come back unless the script was as good as the first and okay, the film itself wasn’t as good. But it did do a great job of reprising the movie and capturing that same essence. With the addition of upcoming actors who reflect the very characters they were mocking was something I got a continued kick out of. Just the same, there were a couple of points that I questioned and thought could have been different but overall, was extremely glad to leave the theater and feel that something I had been so fond of wasn’t tampered the way I’ve seen done to other’s classics.
Film starts; I was one of the ones who fell for the “Inception” type beginning but I thought it was a nice fun way to start the movie. Their was an alternate beginning that I liked parts from and thought a combination somehow of the two would have been better (because the alternate does lose you for a bit after peaking your interest) but all the actresses did a nice job. The cameo of Anna and Kristen being the better deal of the bunch. “There’s something real about a guy with a knife that just, snaps.”/ “But you, you’re the dumb blonde with the bib tits, we’ll have some fun with you.” With the obvious “throwbacks” to the original left and right; the ‘Tatum’ scene was used on our opening credits victim. I got tingle’s (won’t lie) from my excitement and loved how the song cued in our beloved heroine Sidney (Campbell). Whose not so recent attacks had involved into a book tour in which she believed being the victim for too long was the real disservice to herself. I also really enjoyed Alison Brie as her agent. (Between Mad Men and Community I think she’s becoming a fantastic actress to watch progress)
Then as we follow Hayden Panettiere picking up her two friends, you get a feel for Halloween with three leading ladies unbeknownst to the terror lying ahead. The scream mask set up around the town looked nice for the reunion of the massacre, even though they take them down. Marley was another nice addition, she was just the right amount of funny and suspicious and I like the duel her and Gale seemed to have bidding for Dewey attention. When Gale is writing at the computer, she would surly be writing in that big of font haha. I liked Hayden’s hair too; (yea OK, I was crushing on her in this film; what of it) Nico (this movie’s version of Billy) was alright I just didn’t find him to be a good choice, he never seemed convincing enough for me. Uh oh, trouble in paradise at the book signing. That’s a pretty loud ringer, just saying. Cue to the high school, I like how every single person had their phone on loud. “What are you gonna do, arrest me Deputy Judy?”/ “Are you familiar with the phrase…I wrote the book on this?”
“It was the killer’s voice, from Stab, or you know, your life.”Alison again; “I was like lame PR move right, well fuck me wow!”/ “I have scars too,” “She means knife scars mom.” Again with the original and Trevor sneaking into Jill’s room, “Why is Sidney Prescott staying with you? I mean, that’s like being on Top Chef with Jeffrey Dahmer.” Sidney getting flashbacks I’m sure by seeing them together. This scene with Marley creeping out of the shadows as some infatuated lost little girl fawning at getting to see Sid in person once again was something they wanted to take out. But I thought it added a nice touch. It was as well a deleted scene but Kirby (Hayden) spent the night because her parents were out-of-town and didn’t want to stay alone. She also played the equivalent horror movie junkie in female form; greatly appreciated since that’s a rarity seen. “This is not fucking Trevor!” (I liked the phone call as he gets more angry and presses on) “Open the closet door; I think I’d have just enough time to slice someone open.”/ “I never said I was in your closet.” I saw somewhere people ‘dissing’ this film because they said the kills weren’t as creative…compared to what I’d like to ask. The film said the killings would be more brutal, which they were. We’re dealing with someone who is mimicking the killing but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re “more professional” than it’s preceding villains.
Once again they turn their back on the killer and here comes boyfriend Trevor to the rescue. “He’s like a ghost.” Cue the freaky Tarantino kids who announce the local’s legacy regaining its pulse. Charlie runs the cinema club at school, suspicious no? “You’re a victim, for life.” Short circuiting in an elevator and being alone in a parking garage; yup your fucked. “I’ve got time, it’s you that doesn’t. Sounds like you’re in a parking garage, a dark and deserted parking garage.” So not only does she get out of the car but she thought she was going to out run the killer when she basically ran straight to where he wanted her to. Loved her facial expression when getting stabbed; then thrown off the roof onto a van. Onto Cinema Club, I wish they had that when I was in school. “Beyond Jamie Lee Curtis, forget Linda Blair, this is the ultimate.” All the usual suspects in the class naturally. They also introduce the new rules and how the next step for the killer being to film his own murders and thus, making his own movie. “The original Stab structure is pretty apparent.” I loved this scene because it’s the fundamental reasons behind what’s occurring on-screen. The thought of that being the next step as a means to feel more connected with his “audience” being a rather eerie thing for a killer to set-up.
“I’ll be up in my cell, I mean my room.” Trevor, the ever faithful boyfriend with another girl around him at Stabathon. Like that wasn’t the most obvious camera Gale could have planted. I also loved the idea for the Stabathon and everything about it. How they audience were saying the lines in complete unison and the drinking game they played and the whole idea of celebrating a series yearly by that type of means. Mr. Killer’s on to you Gale. I have an idea, why don’t you go in there, alone, with no back-up and no means to protect yourself. Oh you were planning on that anyway? Good. -_- She’s lucky all she got was stabbed in the shoulder. Ghostface had some better entrances in this fourth one. “He’s recording the murders, this time he’s making the movie.”/ “Sucks to be a cop in a movie.”/ “Dead man walking.” We see another stab to the forehead but this one a bit more effective. That’s right Sid, grab the knife. Eek to the reflection in the wind chimes. How does he move so fast?! Hicks (Marley) was there fairly quickly. “This is what the reboots do, they one-up the original ending.”/ “I could trivia your ass under the table cinema boy,” “Wow, did you feel that? That charge that moved between us right now.”
Uh oh, going outside alone and getting drunk. It’s as though they ask to be victims. “Cause your actually pretty cute. Especially when I’m scared, and lonely and drunk.(hilarious)”Who needs a killer around when there’s so much drama.” That sucked to see the door open and know your about to bite the big one. Goodbye would be Randy. And where has Jill been exactly? She was gone a bit too long, that’s when you kinda know it’s most likely her. She did the calls, the other did the killings. That was awfully convenient no? Charlie knew they’d be there how? She was smart even, she knew she couldn’t trust him and then she bothers to think the killer would be nice enough to grant her any mercy and goes out there anyway. The phone call with Hayden was a great tense moment, she reacted perfectly. “It’s time for your last chance question.” Then hey, where the fuck did Jill go? When Charlie jumps out at Sid I jumped a bit. Alas, our killer is revealed. The scene naturally poking at the ending in the first, though I had some issues from where the movie went on from here. “You think you had a shitty boyfriend Sidney? Here’s one that fuck’s you, dumps you and doesn’t even make you famous.” Huh? Umm, no. Billy was way worse, he raped and killed her mother and then took her virginity while killing all her friends around her and trying to plant the thing on her dad…I mean, that’s pretty bad. Lesson in this one being: men beware; the crazy’s starting to kick in at younger ages.
“It’s not like anyone reads anymore.” A speech on society and what it takes to make it nowadays as opposed to in the past. BUT it was a bit redundant and already so much on top of the film that maybe if it was shortened, wouldn’t have seemed like an overkill. “You don’t have to achieve anything, you just gotta have fucked up shit happen to you.” Now, the next scenes in which Jill completely fuck’s herself up (which made me think of Liar Liar) lost me a little to. Again, too much where wasn’t needed. They should have cut out when she runs herself into the wall, (it gets a laugh every time) and just kept her throwing herself onto the table. At the hospital when you finally see her face she looked pretty bad; giving herself away much like Mickey with a piece of information only the killer would know. “You just won’t die will you? Who are you, Michael fucking Myers?”Kinda sad how this little girl kicks all their asses. “Consider this an alternate ending, your never gonna get out of this Jill,” which she doesn’t. So thus ends our Screamathon; will they make another one? Probably, hard to say really; it’s always expected I think. Hard to see any series continue to distribute as smart, clever and suspense filled films after four well made ones. But I’m sure it’s always a possibility as I’ve been surprised before. Call it my guilty pleasure but the Scream movies are always something I can go back to and never tire of. Bottom line: They made their OWN remake people, come on! How do you not appreciate that? No one could ever touch this series except for the people who’ve always been connected.