MOVIE: Scream 4 (2011)

This movie was exactly the flick I was expecting it to be — no more, no less.  It’s, you know, Scream 4.  ‘Nuff said, right? As a fan of the entire Scream series, I had a good time watching this one and actually thought it was marginally better than Scream 3.  But after this installment, I think it’s probably time to put ye olde Ghostface to bed — the two old men in charge of this franchise are, put simply, too old to be in charge of this franchise (more on this in a moment).

The set-up: Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell), who ought to win some kind of final girl award for having survived both the original AND its two sequels, is now all grown up.  After a decade of living in fear, she’s finally overcome her traumatic past and written a book about her experiences.  The final stop on her book tour?  Woodsboro, of course, and right around the anniversary of the original murders to boot.

Yeah, that oughta go well . . .

If you’ve seen the other three movies, you can pretty much take the plot, such as it is, from there.  Ghostface, Gail Weathers, and Dewey the dunderheaded cop are all back, and lots of really dumb teens get slashed in between scenes of sarcastic bantering about the nature of horror movie sequels and “reboots.”

Though I found this flick satisfying overall, I did have a few complaints.  The first was Courteney Cox’s face, which has been horribly marred by some plastic surgery procedure or another to the point where she looks so distractingly weird I couldn’t stop staring at her mouth instead of listening to what she was saying.  Jesus, ladies, what IS it you’re doing to yourselves that’s making you all start to look like Jack Nicholson’s Joker?   Whatever it is, it’s not doing you the favors you seem to think it’s doing and you should stop immediately.

The less-petty issues I had were with a few elements of the script.  First,  the dialogue sounds exactly like what it is:  lines written by a guy in his mid-40s (Kevin Williamson, author of Screams 1 and 2, way back when) who knows juuuuust enough about teen culture to be able to drop in a few semi-relevant keywords, but is no longer young enough himself to make any of it sound natural. Instead of portraying realistically casual use of social networking sites, texting, live-video-blogging, etc., everything gets pointed out directly and heavy-handedly (“I am going to post this on The Facebook right now!”  “The Facebook?  But The Twitter is so much more cooler, LOL!” “Something something JUSTIN BIEBER!  CHANNING TATUM!  TOP CHEF!” “Wait . . . Top Chef??”) (note: I just made all that up, but you get the picture).

This is the problem with trying to sound hipper than you actually are — Top friggin’ Chef, for pity’s sake.

The other weird thing about the script was that none of the teens in this movie appeared to have any empathy whatsoever.  Was that sly commentary on how our online lives are negatively impacting our ability to truly relate to others?  Or merely lame stereotyping of a population the writer no longer understands?  I’m guessing the latter.  And though there were also plenty of parts of the script that DID work, including a killer opening scene (pun intended) and some decent witty banter now and again, overall, I think Williamson and Craven are getting too old for the teen slasher genre.  (As if we didn’t know that already from Craven’s last feature, My Soul to Take, the only film in 2010 I walked out on due to INSANE BOREDOM.)

In any case, despite the fact it’s not brilliant, it’s still fun and definitely worth seeing if you’re a fan of the series.  You could probably wait for DVD, though I’m really going to miss movie theaters when they finally all go out of business because everybody keeps waiting for the DVD.  Sigh.  Que sera, etc.


[Prequeue at Netflix | View trailer]

Genre: Horror
Cast: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Anthony Anderson, Adam Brody, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell


6 Responses to “MOVIE: Scream 4 (2011)”

  1. alisaj29 Says:

    Haven’t seen this yet, but I’m sure I will via hubby. The thing other than Courtney’s face, that makes me not want to see it is, a scene I saw where two girls were in the kitchen and one girl was haveing a texting convo w/a stranger and then thought “hay it’s not weird that this guy is calling me while I’m texting him, and I didn’t give him my friend’s number.” I mean what kind of dumb-ass scene is that??

  2. megwood Says:

    Oh, even dumber than that — there’s a scene where Ghostface calls one character’s phone and it looks like it’s from another character’s phone. So that second character goes, “Hey, where IS my phone?” and her friend says, “Did you leave it in the car?” And she goes, “Oh, I must have. Let me go outside, to the car, IN THE DARK, BY MYSELF and see if my phone is in there. The phone that GHOSTFACE, who has killed FOUR OF MY FRIENDS, just used to call you!”

    Mrrrrruh?? You crazy.

  3. alisaj29 Says:

    I will probably laugh out loud and clap during that scene, then fb about it. HEHA

    The movies started out really smart, and just got progressively dumber, and the cast got prettier.

    I swear casting companies are just going over to the WB studio and picking people at random to act in horror movies. The horror movies in the 80’s weren’t Shakespeare, but they had decency to make the movies scary and rated R. Now it’s lets get that hot chick from that Tree show and that other hot chick from that vamp show, have them make-out, then kill them, and lets slap a PG-13 rating on this bitch and call it a day.

    No priorities I tell you, no priorities.

  4. Trip Says:

    Alisa – please tell me you know someone in Hollywood that can option your treatment and get you some points on the backend.

    Tree and Vamp: this summer is going to be….murder!

  5. Trip Says:

    Also, one of the two lead girls should be entirely rendered in CGI, and it’ll be in 3-D so we can see a slow-motion axe graze one of them on its way through the screen.


    Guaranteed $85 mil opening. We’ll put it at the tail end of August and take advantage of the transition to the autumn art house season.

  6. alisaj29 Says:

    I actually had a friend who used to be a casting director. LOL

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