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Tim's Movie Review of the Day: 'Scream 4' (2011)

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Tim's Movie Review of the Day: 'Scream 4' (2011)

Post by Timma1986 on Thu Apr 28, 2011 6:46 pm



Director: Wes Craven
Cast: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Anthony Anderson, Marley Shelton, Nico Tortorella, Roger L. Jackson

It has been a full 15 years since the release of the original 'Scream', 14 years since the likeable sequel 'Scream 2', and 11 years since the deplorable 'Scream 3' (the less said about that film, the better). Renowned for its genre-satirizing celebration of horror franchise cliches, the 'Scream' series has undoubtedly found a strong foothold within the slasher genre. However, this is a new generation of teens. The horror genre has gone through so many changes just in the past 10 years. It is no longer an art of suspense and steadily rising terror. A horror film's objective nowadays is not to simply scare viewers; it is to shock them into believing that disgust and terror are the same thing...that gore and pain can cause the same kind of adrenaline rush as suspenseful classic terror can. 'Scream 4' is a gargantuan middle finger raised high in the air that basically tells the 'Saw' movies where they can stick their profits.

Plot Synopsis:
It has been a decade since 'Ghostface' (voiced once again by Roger L. Jackson) last terrorized the lives of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers-Riley (Courteney Cox), and Dewey Riley (David Arquette). Sidney has become a best-selling author. Gale has married Dewey and abandoned her past as a reporter, while her husband Dewey has since become the sheriff of Woodsboro (the location of the events from the first film). There are now a total of 7 'Stab' films, which have long since strayed away from Sidney Prescott's adventures. Everyone seems to have moved on with their lives, so Sidney decides that a visit to Woodsboro is in order for her book tour. However, it's only hours after Sidney arrives that the killings start...again. Only this time, the killer is patterning his or her murders after the original 'Ghostface'.

Wes Craven, the master of suspense, played his cards well. The ten year wait made all the difference. Now granted...this is NOT a perfect film by any standards. The terror that made the first 2 movies so good has basically turned into laughs. I'm not saying this brings the movie down; it's just this generation. It's much more difficult to shock viewers who are so used to the gore-porn that has littered the cinemas over the past decade. No, this film is much more about familiarity. It's like an old friend who has been gone for so long that it's finally time to see what they've been up to since the last time you saw them. At least that is what made the movie so pleasant for me. The characters...the cliches...the dialogue...the rules....it's all here...and unlike 'Scream 3', it sticks to its own genre.

I have to be honest. The film doesn't start off all that good. The first 2 acts are just more of the same slice-em-and-dice-em slasher cliches that have made the predecessors work. The phone calls that precede someone's death of course make up plenty of scenes. I waited and waited for the film to surprise me. I waited and waited for something that I hadn't seen before. Alas, I did. The third act picks up a whole different kind of rope and starts climbing. I was very pleasantly surprised at the final revelations of the movie.

Above, I mentioned the rules. The rules have perhaps been the biggest staple of the franchise. All 3 predecessors of 'Scream 4' featured Jamie Kennedy's character (in life or death) giving a new set of rules. This film does the same...but unlike the third one, it actually follows them (to a certain extent). The first film based its rules on the principle of slashers like 'Halloween' and 'Friday the 13th'. 'Scream 2' featured a new set of rules that were inspired by the habits of horror sequels. 'Scream 3' tricked the audience into thinking it actually had rules...rules that defined trilogy closers. And finally, 'Scream 4' relies on the guidelines set in place by reboots and remakes. Indeed, most of the verbal allusions to other movies directly reference reboots and remakes.

The self-confidence of this film is extraordinary. Craven undoubtedly took some risks...but they ultimately pay off. As evil as Ghostface is, there's no denying how happy we, the audence, are to see him again. And I don't really know what gave me this feeling, but that really came across in the film as an absolute. It's almost as if the filmmakers are rubbing it in our face. I mean this in a good way. They knew exactly what we wanted and they gave it to us.

This is could almost be considered a loose remake of the original film, while at the same time being a continuation. However, "reboot" is still the more appropriate word to use. This is basically the first film updated and redone for a broader more 21st-century derived audience. The 90s are over. A new decade means new rules. Movies genres change. Characters change over time. New cliches are born every decade. But the need to be entertained...the constant human desire to get adrenaline pumping....that never changes.

Final Consensus: 'Scream 4' is Wes Craven's ultimate statement against the gore-ridden "horror" films of the last decade, and represents a brilliant return to pristine form for him AND his 'Scream' franchise.

3.5/4 Stars
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Re: Tim's Movie Review of the Day: 'Scream 4' (2011)

Post by JakeTheSnake on Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:07 pm

I would only recommended this movie to people who have seen the first one though because it makes a ton of references back to that. Also if you weren't a fan of the Scream movies before this will not change your mind. It's pretty much a fans-only type movie. I really enjoyed it though.

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Re: Tim's Movie Review of the Day: 'Scream 4' (2011)

Post by Timma1986 on Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:20 pm

I agree with that, Jake, and I wish I'd mentioned something about that in the review haha. But I also think people who haven't seen the first one will find ways to enjoy this one as well. It has laughs that can relate to anybody that's ever seen a horror movie. It has twists that will still manage to shock and entertain even non-fans of the series. It is definitely an improvement over the 3rd one...AND the second one, for that matter.
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Re: Tim's Movie Review of the Day: 'Scream 4' (2011)

Post by JakeTheSnake on Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:22 pm

Yeah it's still a good movie and I do think that newcomers will enjoy it but maybe not as much if they didn't get all of the little references.

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Re: Tim's Movie Review of the Day: 'Scream 4' (2011)

Post by MasonK565 on Mon May 02, 2011 5:26 pm

I thought it was a solid sequel for a horror film. It made new strides in making comical references of today while still staying true to itself from the past. I find it to be better than Scream 3 and Scream 2. And Scream 2 is one of my favorite horror sequels of all time, so this easily makes my list.

Solid review Tim! Nice to see you on TG!

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Re: Tim's Movie Review of the Day: 'Scream 4' (2011)

Post by Timma1986 on Mon May 02, 2011 6:28 pm

Thanks Mason. I havent seen any new movies in awhile, so I think I might start reviewing some old classics. Any ideas??
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