Rewatched Jul 26, 2012
Josh Keown’s review:
“You forgot the first rule of remakes. Don't fuck with the original!”
-Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell)
Part 4 of the Scream Quartet Quest!
Wes Craven is back.
Scream 4 not only revitalises the franchise, which looked to be slipping into its death throes after the third entry, but proves Craven still possesses the magic touch. After his last outing, My Soul To Take (Which was very, very average), expectations were dampened somewhat for Scream’s comeback.
We return to lovely little Woodsboro, California, ten years after the first notorious murders by costumed maniac Ghostface (Quite like the 11 years in reality since the last instalment to the series). The tagline, ‘New Decade. New Rules.’ could not be more accurate. Much has changed in the past decade, both socially and technologically, but Craven manages to adapt excellently, transferring the formula that made his original so great and reapplying it to a modern audience. Indeed, there is loads here both for newcomers to the franchise and old fans.
It’s great to see all the cast returning, largely unchanged in their respective roles. These are characters that you’ve grown to know and love throughout the series. They’re a believable bunch that you genuinely care about. The new additions are terrific too, Emma Roberts gets her chance to shine as Sidney’s cousin Jill, Hayden Panettiere is surprisingly great as her friend Kirby, and the other Culkin Rory is pretty good as film fanatic Charlie.
With Kevin Williamson back on board as scriptwriter (Yay!), the references and sly witticism in the screenplay are as good as they ever had been. Like Scream and Scream 2, the movie opens with a brilliant bang (as opposed to the fizzle of the third), an awesome film within a film within a film to shoot off the story. It’s an excellent reintroduction to Craven’s early creative style, and both he and Williamson are on outstanding form.
VERDICT; A tremendous yet humble return to its predecessors roots. Scre4m falls short of the first, as it lacks originality, but is easily the best of the sequels. Insane and often ridiculous, yet also hilariously enjoyable. Another tasty slice of Craven-genius pie, which will provide entertainment for fans old and new.
3.5/5 or 7/10
(Oh, and just to conclude, I’m not entirely sure quartet was the right word. Quadrology? Quadriligy? Quadron? Hell, I don’t even know what the right word is. Maybe just ‘trilogy, plus the other one’ or ‘Fourfilmfranchise’.)