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  • Justin Louallen

Scream 4 (Written Review) *NO SPOILERS*

Wow. I cant believe it's been so long since they've come out with a new Scream movie. I remember when I was little and I saw the first Scream and it really drew me in with it's suspense and it's self-referential humor. Okay, let me give you a little history about the Scream series. Going back to 1996 was the year that director Wes Craven (the director of the first Nightmare On Elm Street and the original Hills Have Eyes) had given us a new generation of scary movies where in this case, the characters in the movie are self-aware and know the outcome on how to survive a horror movie, as quoted by Randy from the first movie. This idea was a very great concept on adding humor to the Scream franchise and basically satirizing all the clichés in slasher films. To me, that was really great because at the time Scream came out, all the slasher movies in the past including the Friday The 13th and Halloween series were using the standard horror movie cliches including hiding in the shadows, high body count, ignorant characters, and teenagers always having sex and drinking and then getting killed by a killer. Each Scream movie had a recurring theme present on what it was doing with it's satirical horror. The first film was about knowing how to survive in a horror movie establishing rules for the characters and getting out of tight situations. Scream 2 was about trying to survive in sequels. And Scream 3 was about surviving in a trilogy as the final chapter, (which at the time Scream 3 came out, Wes Craven originally ended the franchise with the door closed). And now with Scream 4, 11 years after the 3rd one, it's at this point where the audience knows the outcome of the situation going on with the characters. Anyway, the movie Scream 4 has actually done alot of improvements to its predecessors. As the tagline suggests, there are new rules present in this one for a new generation of characters. The most notable being that this movie's theme is trying to survive in a horror remake. Because the referential humor present in the film establishes that there have been a number of sequels to the film-within-film called Stab over the past ten years and it's becoming stale with it's audience within the movie who know the predictable outcomes of the killer's presence. What I like the most about the referential jokes that are in this one is that it really does try to be clever with the characters who come across the Ghost-Face Killer (who still has a pretty bad-ass voice by Roger L. Jackson who's played him in every movie as the voice). Once again there's a killer in a ghost-face costume who goes around killing people that are connected to Sydney Prescott, the main survivor from all 4 movies. And this time, Sydney has moved back to her old town Woodsboro and she's written a book about her life. Now, I've always been a really great fan of Neve Campbell, ever since she starred in that movie Wild Things, and here she's back with David Arquette and Courtney Cox again after 10 years and they've still got their characters right. And it's kind of ironic cause David and Courtney got married in real life after Scream 2 and in Scream 4, their characters are married. And in the movie, David's character Dewey is the sheriff now and he's married to Courtney's character Gail. Anyway, back to Scream 4. Now, I can imagine that there's people out there that are divided with the whole scream franchise, whether they dont like the self-reference jokes or they just don't find it scary enough, me, I've always seen them as great fun slasher films that try to be original (and I use that term very loosely) with its premise present and the idea of keeping the killer's identity a secret. I really enjoyed this film. I felt that it was just as good as the original Scream and I think it's up there with Scream 2, better than 3. Now, there are some flaws present with the movie though. I'm not going to spoil anything because I hate when people always tell who the killer is, so, all I'm gonna say is that I kind of wish this one had some more original deaths. Don't get me wrong, it's always cool seeing different ways the killer uses a knife, I just thought that the killer would do something that wasn't seen before. But other than that, I liked the principal cast including David Arquette, Courtney, and Neve are charming as ever. And I even liked Marley Shelton who plays David's deputy in the movie. And I'm also really glad Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson teamed back up again after Scream 2 cause the last one didnt have Williamson's script. Craven still has the talent in the horror genre. I must say, he still has it in there with his movies. I mean, the opening scene is really clever and I'm glad they still had some suspense for the franchise cause you wouldn't ever guess who the killer is. According to Craven, the cast weren't allowed to read past page 70 in the script because Wes didn't want them to know how the killer is. So, in my opinion, this one really holds up a lot. I had a really fun time watching it in a large crowded theater and the people that were there they laughed at a lot of stuff happening and I did too. In fact, this was actually the second Scream movie I've watched in theaters. The first one I watched was Scream 3 back in 2000 when I was only 7 years old. It was pretty scary when I watched it. And I have to admit, I did jump a lot in this one cause they still have some great scare moments. So overall, I'd say if you're a really big fan of the previous movies, check it out. It does have some great humor and it still has the scare factors that Wes Craven is good at. And I'm glad that they had something fresh for the horror genre nowadays because with all the countless remakes and gore fest movies that have come out (Saw, Hostel, etc.), this one really stands out and becomes it's own taste. On a scale of 1-10, I give this one a 8.5. With the originals, I give the 1st a 9/10, 2nd a 9.5/10, and 3rd a 7.5/10. So, check it out, have a good time, and to quote Ghostface: "What's Your Favorite Scary Movie?", I think I just found mine.

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