Despite the lack of enthusiasm in the area, I was SUPER excited to catch horror icon, Wes Craven's, newest bloodbath, Scream 4 (2011)—along with only seven other Scream enthusiasts who made up the pathetic turn out at the 5:30 showing on opening day. In this self-satirical sequel of the highly popular Scream franchise, Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell), with completion of her most recent self-help book, is in the midst of wrapping up her nationwide book tour. Final stop—Woodsborro. Here she is once again greeted by familiar faces—Dewey (David Arquette), Gale (Courtney Cox), and of course, Ghost Face. But, amongst these veterans, you'll see some young, fresh faces including Emma Roberts as Sydney's teenage cousin, Jill, and Hayden Panetiere as Jill's sassy best friend and horror buff, Kirby. The fact that Craven chose ACTUAL teenagers for the fourth installment truly provides an interesting tone to the film. If we think back to the original Scream, the "teen" ensemble included a cast of full-grown adults PLAYING teens. Neve Campbell was 23 when she took on the role as 17-year-old Sydney Prescott. But because our protagonist, Sydney, has grown into a strong, mature, almost motherly female figure, we have to identify with her this way. We have walked through the four-part narrative in her shoes, and Craven's choice of younger casting only reminds us of how old we've grown with the Scream story. 15 years! It's a nostalgic feeling. Now, this is a great idea
in theory. However, there was still something keeping me from appreciating the new characters (almost a "what do they know" feeling; they're only kids!). Sexuality remains a huge part of the horror genre and in terms of this particular film; I could not recognize the young cast as "sexual" or even "desirable" beings. This installment probably involves the least amount of hyper-sexual teens ever depicted in Scream—maybe even slasher movies in general. Sex does NOT sell in this case. What Scream 4 DOES sell is intelligent humor and brilliant predatory scenarios—what the Scream story has always sincerely given us. Though the story's grown old, the content certainly hasn't. In Scream tradition, we assume we know all the tricks and trades of the horror genre, but this sequel's fresh shockers teach us otherwise. Scream 4 tastefully utilizes traditional elements in combination with creative slaughter surprises. Ones that may or may not make you pee yourself, but will ultimately deliver a guaranteed great time. Although, I must say, I'm still a little impartial about the ending. Everything builds up so well in terms of plot, but the last half hour, one might feel a tad let down. It's an original ending, and certainly not a cop out, but it just seems like it doesn't fit. It just does not represent what the Scream franchise is all about—you'll know what I'm talking about after seeing it. Perhaps the DVD will provide alternate endings! Hey, a girl can dream
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