After eleven long years, Scream 4 is finally here! A sequel we didn’t necessarily need, but a sequel that lots of us wanted! I absolutely hated Scream 3 and it certainly wasn’t a good way to end such a good series of films, which is why Scream 4 ended up being a blessing in disguise. These types of sequels rarely capture the same feeling of the original films, especially with such a gap in time between the last films, but Scream 4 manages to defeat almost all of the obstacles and end up being a good film and a nice addition to the series. While it doesn’t bring anything new to horror, like the first one did, it still felt like a breath of fresh air for horror, considering most mainstream horror these days is crap. It felt like it was made in the 90’s with updated technology, and you know what, I enjoyed it!
Scream 4 is set ten years after the last film. All the main characters have tried to move on with their lives, but that becomes very hard when a killer is yet again on the loose in Woodsboro. Sidney wrote a book on her life and is touring with it and ends up making a stop in her hometown. The killings start almost immediately upon her return home. Luckily for Sidney, her good friends Gale and Dewey are still in town to help figure out the mystery of who the Ghostface Killer is this time! The story is your typical Scream film updated with newer teens and technology. Instead of using old clunky house phones, they use cell phones and instead of people using silly voice changer machines, they just use an app that can be downloaded on practically any phone. The story unfolds like the past films, but it still manages to feel fresh. Its fun knowing where everything is going and still being surprised when a character dies off. I love the format of the Scream series and I am glad they didn’t try and change anything. The last act is somewhat predictable, but it felt like they really didn’t have any other choice. I liked the way they wrapped it all up and I am curious to see what they plan on doing as Wes Craven has talked about making a whole new trilogy.
I am really surprised by how much I enjoyed Scream 4. I went in with really low expectations and I walked out satisfied. I think the main reason for that is because Scream 4 is written by the original writer, Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven. Williamson didn’t fully write Scream 3 and that just so happens to be my least favorite movie of the series. I thought Scream 3 was a joke. It felt way too funny and the character of Ghostface did a lot of things that he wouldn’t normally do. With Scream 4 he feels right at home. This feels like the true sequel to Scream 2 in almost every way. The same dialog that made the first films great is back. It always has those moments of laughter while still maintaining a serious vibe when the killings start. I’ve always loved how the Scream movies were all self aware of what’s happening and I was afraid they were going to lose that or embrace it too much in Scream 4. For the most part, they were right on the border of being funny and serious. There were a few times that I think they went a little overboard, but luckily, those parts were few and far between.
The casting was something that really helped this film. I was afraid that Craven was going to cast a bunch of horrible teen actors, which would cause this film to fail. Judging from the trailers, I was expecting a lot of annoying kids, but the result was much different. Each character brought their own unique traits to the table and they all blended very well together. Every actor casted felt strong and fit the world of Scream just perfectly. Even the core cast was right on the ball. Gale started a lot calmer, but once the killing began, she quickly shifted back into reporter mode. Dewey was his silly self with not a clue in the world and Sidney was the tragically strong lead that can’t seem to get a break.
Like I said earlier, the story of Scream 4 is right on par with 1 and 2, which is both good and bad. The good being that it feels like a Scream movie and it still brings the scares and surprises and the bad being that if you never cared for the other Screams, this won’t be changing your mind at all.
The only bad things I can think about in Scream 4 are the few brief moments were they take a joke a little too far. There were a few scenes that tried too hard to be funny and ended up being stupid and cheesy. I can only think of a few of these moments and luckily they were short. Had this been a reoccurring joke over and over then I feel that Scream 4 would have failed, but they manage to keep these mess ups to a minimum.
Overall, Scream 4 is a sequel that most fans will love! It’s nothing ground breaking at all, but it manages to channel that same tone of the first few films. It’s a strong sequel that delivers for sure. It’s rare that a sequel this far after the last film manages to live up to the hype and I think Scream 4 not only lives up to it, but it manages to go beyond it. The trailers made it look lame, but there was still hope that a good movie was to be made and thankfully Scream 4 turned out very good. Craven and Williamson recreated what they made so special in the 90’s. If you didn’t care for Scream 1 or 2 than stay away from Scream 4 because you will probably hate it. Scream has a very specific audience and the fourth installment doesn’t try to be anything it’s not. If you haven’t seen any of the other Screams, then check out the first two and catch 4 while it’s still in theaters!
Scream 4 – 8/10