¨Welcome home Sidney. You`re a survivor, aren`t you, Sidney? What good is it to be a survivor when everyone close to you is dead? You can`t save them. All you can do is watch.¨
Wes Craven is back again for yet another Scream installment 15 years after the first film of the franchise, and he has brought back with him all the stars including Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, and of course Ghostface, who have all stared in the four Scream movies. Kevin Williamson was also brought back as the writer for the screenplay so we have all the major players of the franchise back. I really enjoyed the first movie, but wasn’t a big fan of the second or third installments. I have to admit the original Scream movie was the film that helped me get over my fear of watching horror movies. There was something about how that film was written mixing comedy with horror that somehow helped me begin to appreciate the genre a little more. I usually don’t find horror movies that scary or interesting anymore, but I have to admit that the first Scream did help revive the genre, so I was really excited about seeing this forth film. Scream 4 wasn’t scary at all just like its predecessors, but it still was very entertaining and I had a fun time. The Scream films are very self aware of its genre and they make fun of the usual stereotypes we find in horror films. The scenes where the film geeks lay out all the ground rules for horror films are very funny and enlightening at the same time as we see how the rules have changed over the years as well as the horror genre. From the opening scenes with all the Stab sequels we are reminded that this franchise is not just a horror film, but a satire on scary movies as well.
Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is back at Woodsboro after ten years and is promoting a self-help book she has written. She seems to have finally gotten over her past and is now moving on. In Woodsboro she reunites with her friends Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette) and Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) who are now married. Gale is no longer a reporter as she has also become a fictional writer, and her Stab novels have turned to a successful movie franchise. Coincidently upon Sidney`s return to the small town, a murder has taken place and it seems Ghostface has returned. Jill (Emma Roberts) is Sidney`s estranged niece and one of her friends from high school was the victim, so she isn’t too thrilled her aunt is back in town. Jill spends most of her time with her best friend Kirby (Hayden Panettiere), and is now hiding from her ex boyfriend Trevor (Nico Tortorella) who recently cheated on her. Everyone at school is worried about the murder and fear they will be the next victim, realizing at the same time that anyone of them could be Ghostface. Robbie (Erik Knudson) and Charlie (Rory Culkin) are the film geeks who warn everyone that the rules in horror movies have changed and that anyone could be a victim. Sidney begins to receive threats from Ghostface and fears that Jill will be his next target so she gets Dewey to send a patrol to guard their house. Deputy Perkins (Anthony Anderson) and Deputy Hoss (Adam Brody) are in charge of surveillance, but with Ghostface around no one is really safe.
The highlight of the movie is actually the comedy because there are not really any good scares or deaths in this film. This self awareness that we are reminded about throughout the movie is what makes this film so entertaining because we know we don’t have to take it seriously. Even the opening scene with the cameos from Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell remind us that we shouldn’t think too hard about what is going on. The highlight of the Scream films have always been trying to figure out who the killer/s is/are; the final plot twist at the end is something that we have come to expect and in Scream 4 we aren`t disappointed although the surprise element is nothing compared to the original. The movie also stretches the ending a little too much for my taste, but I can`t say I had a terrible time with this movie. The actors were good in this film; we had a lot of fresh and young faces and they all did a decent job. Each of the young actors seemed to play an archetype from the original Scream film, so in a sense Jill was Sidney, Kirby was Tatum, Trevor was Billy, Charlie was Stu, and Robbie was Randy. That is what made this movie the closest one to the original as we could trace some parallelisms back to that one. I honestly didn’t think this was a great movie, but I had a fun time with it. I wish it would have lived up to my expectations and had the same effect on me that the first film had, but it really didn’t. By the end of the year it will probably be forgotten, but I still give it a passing grade for keeping me entertained nonetheless although the scares were missing.