Directed By: Wes Craven
Genre: Horror, Mystery & Suspense
Runtime: 110 Minutes
Amazingly bright and a heap of thrilling excitement, “Scream 4” improves its self after the 10 year gap since its predecessor and completely revitalises the franchise one last time (not guaranteed). The good thing about it is we may have parts of the old “Scream” formula, but in the most deja-vu splendid way. Wes Craven did a reasonable job in making another "Scream" film that at first, to me seemed a bad idea, but what a good thing it became. Some elements of the film are repetitive and redundant, but that does not stop this film being good.
Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), now the author of a self-help book, returns home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. There she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey and Gale, who are now married, as well as her cousin Jill (played by Emma Roberts) and her Aunt Kate (Mary McDonnell). Unfortunately, Sidney's appearance also brings about the return of Ghostface, putting Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, along with Jill, her friends, and the whole town of Woodsboro in danger.
The plot twist is fantastically intricate and has a deja-vu homage feeling that is hard to explain. I will not explain it for their good of the review, but you will be thrilled right up until the film is over in the film’s final 30 minutes. You will get it when the film is over.
Once more Craven has implemented little homages and film references all over the place, making it littered with trivia. Again, we have a film nerd, who is called Charlie (Rory Culkin). The film also has talks of remakes which will be extremely interesting to film buffs and adds to the film franchises whole self-conscious thing, which has seemed to be some sort of motif for the franchise.
The most entertaining aspect of the film is that it succeeds in being a good thriller film. While not being wit scaring, it has you on edge and can be a whole heap of fun. Writer (and producer here) returned to write the story and the quality is from him partly. As both writer and producer of the film, he is much a part of it as Craven. Perhaps the film recycled many things and rejuvenated it, but I think film buffs and fans are going to like this more than the general audience because of the self-conscious status the franchise has.
The film constantly has surprises on your first viewing and you don’t know where it is going to go next. However, the film does not have much re-watch value but the first viewing is very exhilarating. For a modern horror film, this is one of the best to have popped up in a while. I recent years, horror is quite dead, boring and predictable, but this film exceeds that in a self-conscious way. At the end, you end up exhausted from all the finger pointing and “whodunit” situations.
I have seen that critics have been quite hard on this film, and I have to disagree. “Scream 4” may be once more using the formula, that seems like it is not bringing anything new, but it uses this formula to its strength and makes a thrilling film that lives in the memory of the former films. It can be seen as lazy, bad and uncreative, but I cannot deny that the film has good entertainment factor and plenty of good thrilling moments. Craven’s fourth instalment may have a redundant scheme, and even repeats itself in some ways, but the film is still thoroughly enjoyable.
You can actually consider this film to be a prequel-sequel because of how history repeats itself in some form that “Scream” fans will recognise greatly, and I think that is what boosts the films rating. It reminds the film fans of how great it was 15 years ago when the first “Scream” film did all this great plot twisting fun but also adds some more mayhem. The fourth here is an improvement of the third film and is a great piece of modern horror. “Scream 4” is ultimately a great slasher flick that will not disappoint, especially for those Scream fans. But in all honesty, let’s hope this is the last of the franchise.
My Rating: 7.5/10