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Scream 4 [MOVIE REVIEW]

For over a decade, Scream was a trilogy but in 2011 it was time to revisit Woodsboro and all our main characters. Wes Craven was back in the director's chair, all the actors have returned and finally, Kevin Williamson returned to pen the screenplay. Practically everything was where it should be and it looked like the series might actually get the finality it deserved. But did it?

After the very poor "conclusion" to the Scream series with 'Scream 3' I think a lot of fans were more than happy to get a 'Scream 4' with the original writer Kevin Williamson returning to hopefully bring the series to a more satisfying conclusion. What we got though is a movie a lot of people hated and probably an equal amount of people loved. For me however, this is a major improvement over 'Scream 3'. This is not the sharpest script Williamson has written but it gives us the one thing that only he has managed to pull off... to make the film feel like a Scream film. It had everything I wanted out of a Scream sequel, including a smaller cast which meant actually giving them an identity would be easier as opposed to what we got with 'Scream 3'. This is not to say all is well and good with the film though. The ending is quite a mess with huge gaps in logic. I also can sadly not praise Wes Craven's directing in this film as he sadly has nothing new to offer. There is nothing in the film that really came close to scaring me and it is by far his weakest output in the series. However, if I got the chance to go back in time and choose another director - I would not do it. This is still Wes Craven's franchise and I do not want any other director to take over from him (the TV-Series does not count here).

I have to bring up how good it feels to see Gale and Sidney actually being Gale and Sidney finally after the brutal destruction of the characters in 'Scream 3'. Their first scene was welcomed with open arms for me as it really showed that Williamson was back. There is now also some nice tension between the two as Gale has not managed to write something good in quite a long time while Sidney has been very successful with her new book called Out of Darkness. The jealous look on Gale's face when she looks at her also adds some nice suspicion as people might start suspecting that she is in fact the killer in this one.

Out of all the new characters, the best one is definitely Kerby played by Hayden Panettiere. She is a horror geek that could destroy anyone in a trivia contest but what makes her different is she is a hot blonde. If this was made in the 80's or 90's she would most likely have played the typical dumb blonde of the movie. We also have Jill Roberts played by Emma Roberts who gives an okay performance but her character is quite well written except for her existence being completely ridiculous (she is somehow a cosuin to Sidney who has lived in Woodsboro for all this time despite never having been mentioned before this film), she is quite an interesting character to watch though which I will get into a little bit later. Charlie who is played by Rory Culkin is very much the new Randy but the problem is... the only one who can play a character like that in these movies is Jamie Kennedy (who of course played Randy in the other Scream films). Compared to the new characters we got in both 'Scream 2' and 'Scream 3', these are the strongest we have gotten since the first movie. They are way above the blank sheets of papers we got in 'Scream 3' and the only reason people remember the characters in 'Scream 2' is because of the actors playing them.


Again what really lets this movie down apart from the ending is Wes Craven's direction. Everything is flat and very by the numbers. There is nothing new or surprising with it. In fact the only scene were I felt involved and captivated by what was happening is a direct homage to the opening scene of the first 'Scream'.

For a modern day horror movie, this was a lot of fun to watch.The characters (while sometimes making stupid decisions) were not foulmouthed assholes that you want to see die. Williamson also very cleverly makes fun of the state of modern horror movies with the torture porn and how being self-aware and meta is now a cliché that has been done to death. It is not as good as 'Scream' and 'Scream 2' but it is a big improvement over 'Scream 3' and would have been a great film if Wes Craven had been on form and the ending was tweaked a bit. Speaking of the ending though, let us talk about that right now so if you have not seen the film; just ignore whatever I have written in the paragraph below. You have been warned. 

S P O I L E R
This is the first time I add a little spoiler corner but I felt it was necessary here as the ending involves my biggest problem with the movie. Simply put, the hospital. Okay so what happens is, Jill and Charlie are the killers. While I do not buy that they were Ghostface as he was definitely taller than both of them throughout the film. Jill being the mastermind though is not only believable but if you re-watch the whole movie you really see it in Emma's performance - you will see that the seeds were planted since the very start. She was jealous over the attention Sidney had gotten and was now trying to fake a crime scene, making it look like she was the only survivor. The problem is though she made a lousy job of killing Sidney and then decides to just get rid of her once and for all in the ICU. The problem with that scene however is... where the hell are the doctors and nurses? Again, they are all in ICU, Jill should not have been able to do this. There is nothing else I can say about it though but this is a big problem with the film and the whole scene just becomes silly. 


6/10


- Lucas

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