Friday, September 7, 2012

“Scream 4” Movie Review

Runtime: 111 minutes
Rating: R
Release Date: April 15, 2011

Let me preface this by saying that I was extremely disappointed with “Scream 4”. I was a huge fan of the originals, though the third one bit it hardcore. I saw each one in the theater, but something kept me from seeing this one in the theater. I did see it at one point and hated it, but I recently watched it again and it wasn’t quite as bad as I thought.

“Scream 4” opens with characters played by Lucy Hale and Shenae Grimes playing two friends who get attacked by Ghostface. The camera pans back, revealing that the two were actually part of Stab 6, the movie-within-a-movie. Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell watch the movie and discuss horror movies and one of them dies, revealing that it’s actually the start of Stab 7. Then we get the traditional “Scream” opening with two girls chased and killed by Ghostface.

Sidney (Neve Campbell, “Scream”) is back in town after writing her own book about her experiences. She learns that her cousin Jill (Emma Roberts, “Twelve”) knew the two girls who were murdered, and Sidney herself becomes a suspect. Also along for the ride are Dewey (David Arquette) and Gale (Courtney Cox). The two moved back to their hometown when Dewey became sheriff, and Gale struggles to write another book and get back on top. Viewing the new murders as her chance to get back into the game, she teams up with the two leaders of the high school “cinema club” for extra help.

Like all of the other “Scream” movies, the film really revolves around Sidney. The killer seems to always know where she is at all times and what to do to set her off. After attacking her early in the film, she fights back. Though she lands a direct kick to the face and the killer gets knocked out, seconds later he’s up and running loose again. Naturally the movie becomes all about Sidney and trying to kill her, while racking up bodies along the way.

The best part about the film is the cameos from popular actors. Marley Shelton (“Valentine”) pops up as Judy Hicks, a deputy with a crush on Dewey. Anthony Anderson (“Transformers”) and Adam Brody (“The O.C.”) are also deputies, while Hayden Panettiere (“Heroes”) plays Jill’s best friend.

What it all comes down to is that I am so sick of Sidney/Neve Campbell. Oh really, you will never do another “Scream” movie? How about we wait a few years until your movie career tanks and see what you say then? I’m still waiting for the sequel where she snaps and becomes the killer. I had some high hopes for that ending with this one.

And why did we get so many new characters, if the central focus is still Sidney? There were so many high school students in this one and *spoiler alert*, none of them make it out alive. Of course the original three live to fight another day, which really annoys me. This could have been a solid movie that set up the franchise for future movies by killing off at least one “beloved” character, but instead we got a retread of the original.

There’s a joke in “Scream 4” that when making a remake, you never fuck with the original. Guess what? No one pays money to see an exact remake, just ask the people who made the “Psycho” remake. We want to see something that pays homage to the original while introducing something new. “Scream 4” was just a retread of a movie we already saw before, something we’ve seen three times already.

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