Director: Wes Craven
Screenwriter: Kevin Williamson
Starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox Arquette, David Arquette, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettierre, Rory Culkin
Scream 4 is finally here eleven years after Scream 3 was released. Ten years have passed since Sidney Prescott (Campbell), Gale Weathers (Cox), and Dewey Riley (Arquette) thought they had finally defeated Ghostface. Sidney has written a book “Out of Darkness” describing her ordeal, conquering her troubled past, and moving on. She returns to her hometown of Woodsboro (setting of the original Scream) as part of her book tour. Dewey and Gale are now married. Dewey has been promoted to sheriff of Woodsboro, and Gale has given up her career as a hard-hitting tabloid journalist. Sidney arrives back in Woodsboro on the anniversary of the original murders. Unfortunately, Ghostface is back as well to get revenge on Sidney. Ghostface will stop at nothing to get to Sidney. Everybody is a potential target to Ghostface including her cousin (Roberts) and aunt (Mary McDonnell).
Gale can’t resist the urge to get back into her investigative roots to find Ghostface and kill him. She enlists the help of members of the cinema club at Woodsboro High (Culkin, Erik Knudsen) to help track down Ghostface. According to them, there are new rules to surviving a horror movie and tracking the path of the killer.
Kevin Williamson has written a wonderful script that brings back the humor, scares, and pop culture references that made the first one iconic. Between the writing, acting, setting, and score, it feels like a Scream movie. Campbell, Cox, and Arquette have aged their characters appropriately but still retain their characters core essence and personalities. I never once felt like I was watching them play them as their teenage characters or so old that they weren’t the characters we all know and love.
I would love to go on and describe all of the reasons why I loved this movie, but I would end up divulging too much about the movie. If you know the other movies inside and out like I do, the more you will enjoy this one. The original Scream paved the way for a new generation of horror. It celebrated the horror movies of the past by commenting on them, spoofing it, and giving the viewers special nods to them throughout the movie. Scream 4 does the same. It comments on the generation of horror movies that came after Scream. A new decade of rules based on all of the sequels, remakes, reboots, and torture porn that followed. Scream 4 fits right at home with a decade old trilogy while feeling fresh and new. It’s far better than most of the “horror” movies out these days.
Rating: **** (4 out of 5 stars)