Directed by Wes Craven. Starring Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox.
Yes, I’m a fan of the Scream series. And if you are too you’ll probably be eager to catch this one. It may not be as scary as the first three but its loyalty to the original, the self parody and a shocker of a twist at the end make it an enjoyable watch.
The first Scream was the classic where Sidney Prescott (Campbell) is attacked by the masked and machete wielding Ghost Face who then terrorises the town of Woodsboro. This film reignited an interest in the horror genre and of course spawned several copy cats and parodies like Scary Movie. After that, 2 and 3 continued copycat killings by a new Ghost Face (sometimes more than one) while continually having references to horror movies and typical ways in which the killer goes in for the stab.
Coming a decade after the original, Scream 4 starts off with a phone call of course. But it isn’t as predictable as you may think. Wes Craven knows that people are tired of so-called horror films. We know all the tricks, the creaking noises, the door handles slowly being turned, the closet door being opened gingerly to see if the killer hides within. Hard to scare audiences nowadays isn’t it? So instead, Craven has mocked these very formulas and turned them on their head. It works in some cases but not all.
The gang fans love, Sidney, Dewey (Arquette) and reporter Gale Weathers (Cox) are lovingly reunited. Well sort of. Almost looked as if the filmmakers were mirroring Arquette and Cox’s real life marital problems in the Dewey-Gale onscreen marriage. Unfortunately, reality didn’t mirror art this time when it comes to a happy ending. What’s funny is that a review blog has commented that the wrinkles on the cast member’s faces are scarier than the movie! For 46-year-old Cox, that is sadly true, though she still has an enviable figure. But I’m sorry, Neve Campbell still floats my boat! Love her.
Ghost Face is after Sidney yet again and since the plot really isn’t important I shan’t delve into it. What I love about Scream 4 is its mocking tone. The irreverence. The social comment on how in this new fangled age of webcams, iPhones, twitter and facebook, people don’t need to be stalked in real life or appear on the 11 o-clock news for killing someone. Now fame is just a few clicks away by youngsters who think that they’re better than sliced bread because they have ‘followers’ on twitter and they’re colleagues at work re-tweet their life and pat them on the back so that everyone can see how wonderful they are. Tut-tut. Not really something to base your self-respect on you ‘star’ boys and girls.
The film has surprises, but the kills are pretty predictable. You even have a pair of cops joking about how they are the ones who usually get killed off in horror films. Hint, hint… At the end of the day, Scream 4 isn’t great, it’s good and warm and familiar. Also, you’ll never guess who the killer is.