Scream 4

Slasher comedy is the fourth installment and the self acknowledged reboot of the Scream anthology. The barely-there plot involves Sidney Prescott returning to Woodsboro after ten years as part of her self-help book tour.  Actress Neve Campbell is back along with Courteney Cox and David Arquette. For fans of the series, it’s nice to see the old gang again. It helps if you’ve seen the other episodes because you’ll care more for these people. The action also integrates a new group of kids. Despite the fresh faces, the characters don’t really change mentally or emotionally in #4, they exist more as a body count. The Ghostface killer is particularly efficient this time around.  He has an almost workmanlike approach to killing people, stabbing one victim after another without much creativity or even surprise. The scariest scene is when the girls drive through a stop sign. When it happens you’ll understand why.

The series has always spoofed its knowledge of horror genre conventions, but it reaches an apex in this chapter. The story starts out with two teen girls discussing the movie Saw 4, which one dismisses as terrible because it had no character development and a bunch of dismembered limbs. Could the writer be making fun of this picture perhaps?  I guess that’s the point/joke. Later friends gather at someone’s home to watch “Stab 7” on TV, a film within this film, based on the murders that took place in a previous installment of the Scream franchise. “Stab 7” is how this movie opens so we the audience are actually re-watching the same fake movie  for the second time. All the self-awareness can get a bit tedious after awhile. The actors endlessly discuss who’s going to die next, or when the killings are going to end due to the rules of the horror reboot. All this removes any tension the story is trying to build. It does cause a headache however, and that’s kind of frightening, right?  In fact, I’d have to say this is the least scary, horror film I have ever seen. There is no suspense and it isn’t particularly inventive either. Watch it as a comedy and there are some laughs, but as horror, it fails.

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One Response to “Scream 4”

  1. I had a lot of fun watching this movie. I had no expectations, so that made it fun. Scary, no. Funny, yes.

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