Scream 4 (2011)

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IMDb Rating
6.2 out of 10 (view IMDb page)

Sidney Prescott, now the author of a self-help book, returns home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. There she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey and Gale, who are now married, as well as her cousin Jill and her Aunt Kate. Unfortunately, Sidney

  • Not Rated Yet
(Based on 1 Rating)
MPAA Rating:
111 Minutes
Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Wes Craven
Kevin Williamson

Weekly Volcano's Review

Rev. Adam McKinney on April 13th, 2011

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As much as I would like to support Wes Craven in all of his creative choices, I must make a stand in refusing to refer to the latest installment in the Scream franchise as Scre4m. Instead, I will use the perfectly appropriate title, Scream 4. Because Scre4m, when said aloud, must be pronounced as "screform," which sounds like some kind of Orwellian political policy.

I will freely admit that I neglected to keep up on the Scream series, missing episodes two and three, but it seems as if there is very little catch-up that needs to be done to understand this fourth visit to the quaint, though frequently blood-soaked, town of Woodsboro. As you'll recall from the original and - might I say, brilliant - Scream, Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell) was among the few to escape the wrath of a mysterious, masked killer. In the time since those crimes, the murderer came to be known as Ghostface (Killah, we presume). Now, 15 years later, Sydney returns to Woodsboro on a book tour for her memoir, based on her surviving Ghostface.

And, wouldn't you know it, Sydney's presence in Woodsboro (on the anniversary of the murders, no less), inspires a copycat killer to try and "reboot" the franchise, if you will. And Sydney's cousin, Jill (Emma Roberts), seems to have caught Ghostface's attention.

Right off the bat, the meta-commentary and inside-baseball horror talk that is associated with Scream is placed front and center, with a fairly ingenious and tone-setting opening sequence. Horror films have changed quite a bit since the last Scream installment, 11 years ago. Torture-porn has dominated the market, and it is rightly decried even before the opening credits of Scream 4. Although, given Craven's involvement in the gross-out remakes of The Hills Have Eyes, he is far from blameless.

It turns out that Sydney's run-in with Ghostface, along with the ensuing true-crime accounts from Gail Weathers (Courteney Cox), have inspired their own series of horror movies, called Stab. (Stab now boasts 7 installments, including episode 5, which featured time travel and was irrefutably the worst of the bunch.)

If you are a fan of the series, I think it's safe to say that you'll like Scream 4. All of the clever horror deconstruction is present, with resident film nerds discussing how the horror template has changed. The original Scream was about post-modern horror, whereas this new one seems to explore to new paradigm of post-taste, or post-empathy. It must be said that these new teenagers are depicted as colder and less sympathetic than even the shockingly nihilistic ending of the original.

Technology and the way that we are desensitized by overexposure are at the very center of Scream 4. This is, unfortunately, where the film runs into some problems. Toward the end, the audience gets an unpleasantly preachy little lecture regarding technology and internet fame. It comes off as unnecessarily pandering for an audience that - if you can say nothing else about them - totally fucking gets it. - Three out of four stars

User Reviews of Scream 4 (1)

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chris w said on Apr. 14, 2011 at 11:22am

I love the franchise-within-a-franchise point with Stab having 7 installments. I wasn't very excited about this new Scream, but I may have to change my mind after your review Adam and some others I've read.

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