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Scream 4 Review

Scream 4 - 10 years later

Image by bioxid via Flickr

The Scream trilogy changed history in the horror genre back when the first film was released in 1996. A new genre of film was born; the slasher film – a break off from original fantasy horror, centred around knife murdering from a particular killer, in this case, Ghostface . It has been 11 years since the trilogy wrapped up back in 2000, ending with a believable killer compared to the random psychopaths found in the second film of the series. The tale had a very fitting end and, unlike most gore movies, a moral to the story. I was a massive fan of Wes Craven’s directing in these jumpy, in-your-face, scary movies and therefore was jumping at the opportunity to see the fourth revamped version.

Wes Craven, also director of the original trilogy, and Kevin Williamson, writer, do well in following the roots that made the scream franchise take off in the late 90’s; using techniques such as dark comedy in, what is supposed to be, a scary film, along with the characters’ awareness of typical horror clichés, referring to their “real life” with such circumstances. The film follows Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell, who returns from the trilogy for one last scare. The fact that the film managed to bring back the main threesome from the first films; David Arquette as Dewey and Courtney Cox (Friends) as Gale Weathers now Riley, really wet my appetite. As mentioned in a previous post some sequels are ruined by bringing in new characters that had no relevance to the first films – look at the newer American Pie releases for example. Therefore this film already earned a few points in my book.

The film is writing to suit a modern audience. I praise the fact that Williamson has moved on with the times and modernised the film whilst sticking to the who’s-done-it style roots that made the film such a franchise. I found in the movie that the killings got a lot more realistic too, some scenes were quite intimate when the killer plunged in, knife into his victim; making the scene slightly disturbing but realistic. Again, I respected this as it added to the atmosphere of the film and doing this moved on the franchise a lot but didn’t overdo it to an unrecognisable point. The social lives of the characters were also brought into the film; Dewey and Gale’s strains from general life are shown, putting pressure on their relationship, therefore taking a side story to the main killer plot line.

Maybe I had raised expectations from the previous trilogy along with the build up press to the film, I was aware of it in huge advance, but it was a huge disappointment. Maybe I have seen so many films that I have a sixth sense for jumpy parts; but this film was ridiculously predictable. So many scenes, that could have been so good, were ruined due to predictable build up and obvious giveaways. The main problem is that Craven tries to vary away from the obvious plot so much that in turn it makes the scene as obvious. Unless you have a very unquestioning mind, this film will not please as much as other horrors released in 2011. As much as the franchise tries to move with the modern era, the main plot line is far-fetched.

Out of all the films, number two was my favourite; for the jumpy scenes and advanced storyline. That may be a bit controversial, as much as it can be on a blog, as the original made history, being the highest grossing horror slasher film in the Unites States. The one thing I did not particularly like about the second film was the killers. They both had poor motives that would not be true to life. I make this point as Craven has not learnt from this mistake! The Fourth sequel’s killer/s (I don’t want to spoil it for you) are as far-fetched as five people wanting to kill one person, oh wait…

Overall the film is stuck in a typical slasher style with extremely predictability. I admire that the writers have attempted to move the film on and there are good aspects from this point of view. However, in trying to make this film surprising, Craven has pushed the boat out a little too far.

iHartMovies Rating- 3 out of 5

By Ash Seward-Morris

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