Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ten Statements About....SCREAM 4 (2011)

This should've been the movie called You, Again?
1) That four years Wes Craven took off where he taught school and railed against people cutting him out of the Freddie Kruger remake really did him well--this film (supposedly done so that the Weinstein Brothers wouldn't authorize a remake) can be seen as him giving Platinum Dunes a hearty 'Fuck y'all' for almost two hours, in a very entertaining fashion.

2) The casting director really hit the jackpot in casting Emma Roberts as Sidney's cousin...she looks exactly like Sidney if she was updated for a Caucasian Wankey Network approved remake, and is similar enough in looks to Neve Campbell that you believe they're family.

3) There is a great deal of energy and brightness in Williamson's script that's been sorely lacking in most proto-slashers of the last few years. There's never the sense that the film is on rails, and Williamson cleverly continues to introduce red herring after red herring that occupy our time as the true killer's plan reaches fruition.

"Noooooo, Hayden!  Don't kiss Sam Kinison!"
4) And speaking of energy and know, when Hayden Panettiere is allowed to joke and smile and have fun, she's a joy to watch--and when she does stop smiling and having fun, it gives that moment a hell of a lot more impact than four years of her as The Mopey Indestrucible Cheerleader.

5) As with the first two Scream films, the cast is chock full of some surprising good turns by some people you didn't expect to see in a slasher film. And the biggest surprise is how David Arquette seems to have discovered that being an actor doesn't involve mugging and silly voices. Of course, it's a pity that he's the one member of the original trio that doesn't seem to have a character arc....

6) Somehow, I don't think Rory Culkin (who looks like the unholy issue of his brother Macauley and Sam Kinison) and Erik Knudson will get the brief career boost that Jamie Kennedy got all those years ago. Knudson's part, in particular, is so wispy and relies so much on a single trope (he aims to upload his entire high school experience on the internet) that when he hits a punchline gag in the third act, it seems to come out of nowhere--even though it was set up about an hour prior.

Half the cast look into the trunk and find
what's left of Jamie Kennedy's career.

7) Craven spends the entire film trying to make Marley Shelton not look hot. He fails. On the other hand, middle age really seems to agree with Neve Campbell.

8) The ultimate identity of this film's Ghostface, and the explanation for why the murders happen. results in one of the more monstrous villains in Craven's ouevure--all the more so because those motivations sound not only reasonable, but sadly very possible.

9) This film does tackle the 'found footage' genre head-on--although it does so in a way that doesn't embarrassingly ape it like, let's say, Halloween: Resurrection. Similarly, Williamson and Craven take a few moments to give their views on torture porn and other developments in the horror genre since Scream 3....hell, a major plot development turns on the realization halfway through that this Ghostface is enacting not a sequel, but a reboot....

Ahhh, you know you were waiting for the gratuitous
Kristen Bell photo....

10) And since everyone is curious--yes, Kristen Bell is part of the opening set piece...but how she's a part of it (and the beginning of the third act) is the real surprise.

In short...I was extremely surprised at how much I enjoyed this film. Yes, it's Craven taking the modern horror film industry to task for not being creative, but he presents his point with a great deal of cleverness, fun and wit.

This time I took another trip to the Lowes Kips Bay. It's becoming almost depressing how badly the Atlas has degraded when I go to this theater, which is staffed by sunny people, the place looks well kept and everything runs smoothly. I finally got to see my theatrical trailer for Doctor Who Season Six, and while the actual trailers were so-so to annoying, I got my interest piqued by the one for Dylan Dog; given how the last time someone adapted the work of this particular comic book artist we got Cemetery Man, I'm planning on going.


  1. This makes me want to see the movie even more. Because if someone with your tastes liked it that lets me know I going to really enjoy it.

  2. While remaining spoiler free all I gonna say now is DAMN that was good. The opening sequence was a nice touch. I am surely gonna do a rewatch when this hits DVD.