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Scream 4 Throwback Film Review


Directed by: Wes Craven

Written by: Kevin Williamson

Starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, Rory Culkin. and David Arquette

Film Review by: Rachel Pullen


Scream 4 (2011) Film Review

Courtney Cox holding the infamous mask in Scream 4
Courtney Cox holding the infamous mask in Scream 4

We are on the brink of something, something that since 1996 seemed like it would never happen, and that thing is we are about to have the release of the first Scream film in the franchise that is not directed by the late and great filmmaker Wes Craven.

I hope it is a success, that's for sure, for the Scream franchise has really held its own in the long list of horror films that have well...a franchise to their name, but I'm not here to talk about Scream 5, oh no, we have a film podcast dedicated to that! No, I'm here to go back in time, not to the start because I'm sure a million other film critics have dipped their long finger-like toes into that pond, no I'm talking about Scream 4.

Why you may wonder? Well, the answer is simple...Rory Culkin, yes my fav of the Culkin brothers, his massive hair and adorable blue eyes enchant me, but that aside he actually has done a number of sterling movies, with consistent and applaudable acting, in fact, he has carved himself a credible career away from the shadow of his brother's former time in the limelight.

Scream 4 opens in the most annoying fashion, it's a film, inside a film, inside a film where people talk about how dumb people are in horror films, and I wanna die already, and of course, talk about the film within, scream, stab, and while this is annoying we are introduced to our ladies of the flick, the ones we are ready to watch get chewed up and well..stabbed by Mr Ghost Face, and we all point at the screen and go ''Hey is that the actress from t.v series Heroes?'' and the answer is yes, but we don't care about her after that really.

They all go to high school, where we also meet some so-called cool guys, who are horror movie fans, like Randy from Scream 1 and 2 (why did they kill him off? He was legit one of the best characters) who are into filming their loves by having cameras strapped to their heads...I mean if you think that's gonna get you the ladies then go for it, but really they look like cheap budget versions of the Terminator.

One of them is Sidney's niece, and oh look Sidney is back in town and is staying with her, I would get 50ft away from Sidney because she seems to be bad karma but hey, family am I right? No...I'm not, get away from me Sidney...and surprise surprise, I'm right, as shortly after she arrives, the killing begins all over again...just go home, Sidney.

The gang battle with the annoying phone calls and comical ghost face bumbling around the town as they try to figure out who is behind the mask, and if there is 12 of them this time...come on Scream you play the 2 killer card all the time, I wanna see a cult of them come out the woodworks.

So there's a party and of course, that's where the showdown takes place, maybe ghost face never gets invited to cool teen parties and this is the only way he can feel part of the crew, either way, he starts to rampage harder and it's not long before we find out that it's none other than Sidney's cousin....oh and the film nerd Rory Culkin.

By this point I'm so bored, everything we are seeing has been played out over and over, and even with the family ties element and the sudden is-Sidney-dead-or-not ending, whereby she is sadly still alive, there is not a lot that makes this movie stand out from the others, in fact, I would say of all the scream movies, number 4 uses the same tropes and storyline structure of the first one more than any of the others.

And on top of that they seem to have applied some odd glowing filter to the whole movie, kind of like it has been shot at the golden hour of sunsets but it's fake, like all the time, the whole movie wants to be at sunset...why I ask? And while this aesthetic can be nice in certain scenes, its consistency in this film is just off-putting.

So what's my point? Well, my point is this; I pray for something more from Scream 5, maybe this was Wes Craven's last Scream movie, and maybe that would have been for the best, for it certainly felt like it had run its course in regards to keeping the storyline fresh, but with Mr Craven's passing and a fresh set of eyes cast upon the franchise, you have to hope we are going to get something that does not feel like a retelling of all the Scream films we have been exposed to in the past.

So what have we learned?

  • It can't always be sunset

  • Sidney Prescott is a death curse

  • And Rory Culkin's hair is the only reason to watch this Scream 4, like really it's amazing, so much poofy body.



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