Scream 4 – Movie Review

Scream 4When Scream was released in 1996 the slasher movie genre had cooled down.  Audiences had grown fickle towards them because they were mostly the same thing over and over again.  Because of that Kevin Williamson wrote a screenplay satirizing them.  The screenplay was so unique and fresh that it caused a bidding war for the rights to it, and eventually Wes Craven, the creator of one of the hottest slasher movies in the 80’s A Nightmare on Elm Street, took the director’s chair.  The movie was a success, and eventually spawned two sequels.  By the time the third movie had rolled around however, the series had started to become that which it was making fun of, and ticket sales started to die down.  Thankfully the series was only meant to be a trilogy and it was ended.  That is, until now.

10 years have passed, and survivor Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) has returned home to Woodsboro for a book signing on the anniversary of the original killings.  She’s taken in by her cousin Jill (Emma Roberts) and her Aunt.  Before she can get settled however the killings start anew, copying the originals.  Dewey Riley (David Arquette) is the sheriff of the town now, and with his staff he begins investigating the crimes, just as his wife, former journalist Gale Weathers-Riley (Courtney Cox) begins an investigation of her own.  It’s a race to find the killer before he manages to do the one thing the original killers never could do, kill Sidney.

Scream 4 manages to do something a lot of sequels are unable to do, and that’s bring a fresh approach to an old story without trapping itself in convoluted twists and turns in order to tie it to the original.  Fans of the first movie will enjoy this one if for no other reason than for nostalgia’s sake.  It’s fun seeing how horror movies have changed in the last ten years, and by hearing the new rules one instantly remembers the old rules brought up in the original flick.  Neve Campbell picks up where she left off, and doesn’t look s day older even though it’s been 10 years since the last one came out.   The new cast, led by Emma Roberts and Hayden Panettiere will help the younger members of the audience relate, while those who followed the original movies will enjoy seeing the original cast in action.  Make no mistake, even though this movie is a satire of the genre, it is still a slasher picture and features plenty of violence and blood.  At times the comedy makes you forget that.  That was part of the charm of the original, and it’s still true now.  This movie has everything that it needs to be a hit, and if it is it will be Wes Craven’s first since the last Scream movie came out ten years ago.

If you are looking for some good fun at the theatre and enjoy slasher pictures, then this movie is for you.  If you don’t like horror then stay away, even though this movie does fall somewhere between horror and comedy.

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