Scream 4 (2011)

Something I’ve been wanting for awhile now, and I wasn’t disappointed. Love when that happens!

Perennial survivor Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), now a successful self-help author, returns to her home town of Woodsboro. Sidney’s homecoming, however, coincides with a slew of unsettling new murders.

I have and always will be a huge fan of the Scream franchise. Scream was awesome, Scream 2 was almost even better, and although Scream 3 wasn’t as good as either, it still wasn’t terrible. Thankfully that this is just about in between all of them.

So finally about 15 years since the original, director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson got back together and did what they do best, make funny effective horror films. Williamson keeps a lot of that self-referential talk here about the constant horror movie cliches, and what to do and what not to do, but there were also some great moments of actual comedy. I have always laughed at the Scream movies, but here I was actually “LOLing” all over the place much to my surprise. I won’t lie some of this smart talk does seem a little bit dated, because it has been done three more times, including this, and it may get annoying for some viewers. But for me, I had a ball with all this talk, and it really did assure me that Williamson hasn’t lost that touch.

Craven also brings back his horror hand back, and even though the times have changed since 1996, he still shows that he can go along with them. Craven does a great job of keeping the suspense with this story alive the whole time, and guessing just who the killer really is. In the first one, I had no idea but in the later two, I knew right away so it was a real treat to keep on guessing just who Ghostface really was. I must say you will be shocked by this twist, but it’s all thanks to Craven who actually made us guessing. It’s less scary as it is actually insanely suspenseful, but still works none the less.

The one thing about this film that really had me happy was that it seemed so much smarter than any other horror film has been in the past 10 years. The usage of cell phones and the internet works well here because it gives us more chilling and suspenseful moments, and keeps us on the edge of our seats the whole time. I’m not going to say that i could see any horror film actually happening, but this one is actually kind of believable with the things that happen. These characters know what to expect next, so sometimes they make a smart decision and live, others make a dumb decision and die, and then sadly others make smart decisions and still die. As the body count goes up, so does the blood and gore, and I must say that Craven hasn’t lost his knack for that either.

It was also good to see some of the old crew back together, even though it was only three of the original cast members. Neve Campbell still looks stunning, and can hold the role of Sidney Prescott like no other. David Arquette is still awesome as Dewey even though he is getting older, and looking creepier with that stash, but didn’t he have a limp in the third and fourth? Courtney Cox is also still sexy as Gale Weathers, and it’s such a shame to see her and Arquette’s marriage fall apart since they were the real heart of these films. But then again, I guess if you name your kid Cocco, you don’t have much luck anyway.

The rest of the uber young cast is solid too. Emma Roberts is still that spunky, little girl and isn’t fully grown-up yet to take these roles yet, but with what she’s given, she does her best. Hayden Panettiere is actually very smart and witty as Kirby, Rory Culkin as Charlie also has some good lines, and Erik Knudsen is also very funny. But let’s not forget the awesome Adam Brody and Anthony Anderson as the two bumbling coppers here, who literally have the best lines in this film, and I’m still laughing about one line, but I can’t say which one. Have to go and see for yourself.

Consensus: Scream 4 may have it’s fair share of annoying self-referential language, but the scares are well done, the suspense ins numbing sometimes, and the script is funny enough to keep you laughing. Overall, I’m just glad to see the franchise back, and glad to see it keeping me fully entertained.



  1. This film definitely felt like a guilty pleasure – I felt that it’s the best in the series (the first would have that if it wasn’t for the fact that I want to throw things at Matthew Lillard all through the film – why was Sid friends with that offensive idiot?). I thought the gore content was pretty mild – there are a couple of wincing moments – is headwound a vague enough reference? – and actually felt that the only messy moment was the intestines on someone’s bed which didn’t add to the film at all, except possibly to raise the rating.

    I suspect the reason that some people are being sniffy about this film is that they are reviewing it as a horror film – it’s not, it’s a thriller/whodunit with some clever scares.
    If you liked the first film, see this at once.

    Great review

    • It’s definitely more of a mystery/whodunit rather than an actual scary movie, but it jumps still work and the suspense kept me glued the whole time. Thanks!

  2. Great review. Glad you liked it as much as I did! They’re already talking about doing a 5th.. not too sure how I feel about that!

  3. My god! It was rory-SIGNS-culkin! Its such a shame this doesn’t replace SCREAM 3… and you can tell the script is all Williason. Opposed to Ehren kruger who wrote SCREAM 3

  4. Great review, I have to say that the landscape for the horror genre is changing and in many respects the things that freightened audiences in the past need to change the same way technology does. I think that is part of the appeal here with Scream 4, pulling in the IM and cell phone usage and making it integral to the suspense of the film. I completely agree, nice time at the theater.

  5. I had an enthusiastic review as well, glad you liked it, I did too! I felt Emma Roberts could have been a bit better [it was originally supposed to be Ashley Greene], but still pretty good. Loved the humor, kinda wish there were more jabs taken at Saw and Remakes, but still very funny in the beginning. Great entry in the series. Kinda mad they cut the fountain scene from the trailer, but that’s what DVDs are for I guess.

  6. I just felt that they did this to cash in on the new generation. It is the same movie. No surprises. It was funny and fun. But I liked the original so much better. (Recall Sydney’s last zinger at the end of 4. Amen.)

  7. I agree completely with this review. A surprisingly good sequel, even if nothings ever going to touch the original.

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