Sidney Prescott, 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 and her Aunt Kate. 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.Written by
The UK version contains re-dubbed/additional dialogue compared to the US version. Both cuts are identical in terms of visual content, but there are approximately 30 aural differences between the two. See more »
Written by Jesse Laz
Performed by Locksley
Courtesy of Feature Records
License Arranged by Fine Gold Music LLC. See more »
A worthwhile watch for any fans of horror, or the Scream franchise.
I only semi-recently started to familiarize myself with the Scream franchise, but I loved it instantly. Creating genuine scares by avoiding all the clichés of horror movies, and turning the genre on its head with its self-mocking humor, and also by turning the killer not into a born psychopath with an elaborate back story or a supernatural, but someone dressed in a mask and robe, who uses his love of horror movies as his weapon against his victims. This helped create the mystery factor for the films, leaving you guessing til the end.
Unfortunately, as great as the franchise as a whole is, the sequels that followed the superb original did not live up to the same revelation in the end. The killer(s) was/were, if not predictable, then just the opposite to the point where you realize they didn't build up to it at all, leaving it to be a bit anti-climactic.
I'm happy to report that this is not the case with Scream 4. Even after an eleven year absence, Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson prove that they are still at the top of their game, and intelligent and original horror can still exist, even in these dark times full of repetitive sequels and remakes, something that the film comments on heavily.
The basic premise of the film is that Sidney Prescott returns to Woodsboro after ten years to publicize her new book on her experience with the killer. As soon as she returns, the killings begin again, and her cousin Jill begins to step into Sidney's shoes.
Where Scream 2 and 3 fail, this one succeeds. While I appreciated how they tried to put the premise of the first film in a different environment, it mostly felt like they were trying to live off the original, rather than build off it. While Scream 4 is constantly aware that it is repeating aspects from the original, making this impossible to be seen as a standalone, it does what any good sequel should do. It manages to take the premise of the original, and up the ante. Speaking of which, another thing that is upped besides the stakes is the body count and gore level. While the deaths for the most part are not nearly as elaborate as the original, they don't feel like the repetitive stab cycles in the 2 and 3. They are more brutal, and certainly show that violence in horror films has certainly gone up.
If there was any one weak aspect in this film, it would be the character development, or lack thereof. The three veteran actors from the trilogy, Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courtney Cox reprising their roles as Sidney, Dewey, and Gale Weathers respectively, play their roles very well, even amongst all the younger stars who more often then not, are in the spotlight, and it feels like they've definitely changed since the events in Scream 3. However, in this film itself, it felt as if they were just there as devices to the plot, and given no real character arcs. However at the same time, there wasn't much they could really do, since a lot of the focus had to be on the younger cast members, who actually put up some pretty good performances, though cannot be compared the cast of the original, but still fare a mile better than the characters introduced in the previous sequels.
I really liked how the actors from the two generations interacted, adding to the commentary on how not just horror movies have changed over the years, but our culture as well. With all that said, I suppose this is more of a character based movie than a character development one. Interesting how that works.
I felt this was the only one of the sequels to truly stay with the spirit of the original, while still making it work for today's audiences. The best example of it having the impact of the original has got to be the ending, which I will not elaborate on. All I'll say is that this is the only one since the original where the revelation of the killer(s) surprised me, as opposed to the "it was I, the butler!" conclusions of 2 and 3.
To sum it up, no fans of Scream or horror films could be disappointed.
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