director: Wes Craven
writer: Kevin Williamson
starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Emma Roberts
released: April 14, 2011 (Australia & Greece), April 15, 2011 (U.S.)
What I hate more than useless sequels are sequels that further a franchise beyond its end point. Franchises like "the Terminator" and many others have had this problem because of studios quest for money. Of course the Hollywood studio system has no brain in these matters and prefers rushing movie projects into production when there is no demand for the product and when there is no time to do it correctly. 'Scream 4' isn't a hideous mess, its just too late, too silly and not good enough to stand up to its predecessors legacy.
The fourth film of the franchise finds the dynamic trio of Sid, Dewie and Gale to be happy and living their normal lives once again. Sidney (Neve Campbell) seems to be completely over her demons and on a book tour, Dewie (David Arquette) is now Sheriff of Woodsboro with his wife Gale by his side. Only Gale (Courteney Cox) cant feel the same like Sid and Dewie in being happy because of giving up her journalism career to be by Dewie's side. The trio wont live these good times for long with bloodier times around the corner with a new Ghostface killer on the loose. This time Sid, Gale and Dewie are not the only ones targeted in the new killers game. This time he's also after the teenagers of Woodsboro in attempt to replicate the original Woodsboro murders and make the new murders seem as a movie remake at work.
The biggest issue I have with the film is Hollywood's need to go back and continue finished franchises and in the process doing a sloppy job. I can understand the reason (money) behind it all, but wish at least the process could be better done. Some films have managed to make their respective franchises come back with a bang, others on a more silent note and then in 'Scream 4' case as a sh**storm. The film isn't preposterous all together but it follows the pattern of the previous films to the letter (especially the first) and repeats itself with the whole horror book rule game. It was fine the first time as it hadn't been done before but when you've beat it to the ground it does get annoying. I know that's what the 'Scream' films are about but I'm personally tired of it. I loved the first film, and liked the second and was okay with the third. But now it just seems all too late and far fetched now.
The problem isn't only that the plot is a tad far-fetched as with 'Scream 3', but that the film blurs the line between horror and comedy and who is the starring cast. Instead, of making the film feel as a rehash of the first film, with traces of a remake they should have just either had new characters altogether or rebooted the series all together. I personally cared about the original trio and loved their quirks and character traits. Its sad to see them sacrificed to have a younger and sexier cast so the film can sell to a younger crowd.
And to whine some more about it, I wish that at least the only saving grace of the film was at least the kills, the bloodshed and the intensity of it. But, not even that is on par with the previous films. The kills are sporadic, fast, and oddly executed. Some have too much blood, others less and same goes with the intensity of the scenes. Sadly to say the kills lack imagination, realism, and there isn't real emotion or suspense to the kill/chase scenes. The only admirable factor that this film has is its actors. Not only do the original trio do a great job and our still true to their characters (even though they are not the only main characters), but also the new young cast especially in Hayden Patteneire and Emma Roberts that do a remarkable job with their impressive performances proving that they will be names to pay attention to in the future.
What used to be a charming horror trilogy, now has a lousy sequel to make it end on an even more on a sour note. Like so many other franchises before it, 'Scream' should have been left in peace and I would have preferred a new cast with no ties to the original characters instead of the mix mash that we got in the end. I would advise fans of the franchise to lower their expectations substantially and horror fans to except a tame horror ride. If people thought 'Scream 3' was a piece of crap then they should give it another shot and then check out how much worse 'Scream 4' is in comparison.