Scre4m brings us back to classic Slasher-ville and all goes thanks to Wes Craven, who shockingly presents us a "Don't screw with the original" theme done perfectly.
This, my friends, is the number one question: What makes a horror movie nowadays? "Scre4m" literally jumps in and solves this question for us throughout the entire movie. Is it the graphic, torturous killings? Or is the insanely large amount of female nudity? Scre4m brings us back to classic slasher-ville, consisting of simple stab wounds, and nothing extremely over-the-top.
That is exactly what this movie is, a big surprise. Thinking the entire time that this would be 2011's first flop turns out to be the first little surprise of the year. What makes Scre4m decent isn't the amount of gore or thrills, its that this one isn't as predictable as the other movies in the "Scream" franchise. While some of the twists can be pretty lame, they still shock you, which is the goal of a twist. Thinking through them logically might give you a headache, but they still make sense even if they are tremendously cheesy. That is what makes these movies fun though, isn't it?
The opening sequence to the film tops Drew Barrymore's from the first movie by a long shot. It takes a film within a film to the next level, opening very light and hysterical. In this opening, we learn that "Stab" has gone up all the way to a seventh installment, literally mocking the "Saw" films. In just ten minutes, we see a couple of different, gory openings (confused?). In these goofy spoofs, we have three hidden cameos of Anna Paquin (True Blood), Kristen Bell (Heroes, You Again), and Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars). I honestly recommend the movie just for the first ten minutes, because it was a sequence done perfectly.
Ten years have passed since the events of Scream 3. Since then, Sidney Prescott has written a self-seminar book that has helped her get through the tough years. On her last stop on her book tour, Sidney returns home to Woodsboro, coincidentally on the anniversary of her unfortunate past. A bit much on that part? Yes. There Sidney encounters her cousin, Jill, who reminds her much of herself when she was her age. After the murder of two teen girls (in which we see in one of the few opening sequences), Jill receives a phone call from the new Ghostface, and soon a new bloody massacre in Woodsboro begins. To the attention of Gale Weathers-Riley, the killings seem a bit too similar to the pattern of death from their first encounter with Ghostface years and years ago. What is this, a remake?!
That's just it! What is Scre4m? A reboot or a sequel? The script to the movie, even if filled with horrible dialog, is crafted out to perfection making us wonder if what we're watching is a sequel or remake. This factor to the film makes Scre4m different than not just the other films in the series, but other horror movies as well. I say kudos to Kevin Williamson for a twist to the horror sequel genre that I found to be very, very unique.
Like the other films in the series, its presented almost like a cold-case mystery -thriller type movie. We're introduced to the killer(s) in the movie as innocent characters, and its our job to guess at who the killer is before it is revealed in the end. They play out sort of like a Sherlock Holmes novel or "Scooby Doo! Where Are You?" episode, even if not thought out as brilliantly. While I wasn't happy with the characters found out to be the killers in the end, I was just happy with their intentions all along. If I had my way though, I would have picked other characters to be Ghostface in the end. The ones in this movie didn't really seem to fit the criteria and it was a tad confusing.
With the performances in the movie, they are obviously not great. With what horror film nowadays do we still get a perfect "Scream-queen"? In this movie, most of the victims didn't even bother to scream. Instead, we get cheesy, but still humorous lines that make us wonder if getting stabbed in the back even hurts. "You can't kill me though! I'm gay!" is only one of the few bad lines in a death scene. "Do it! Only if you have the guts!". Another prime example. Anyways, original starts such as Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courtney Cox (It must have been an awkward shoot for the last two) all return for this fourth installment, and don't even do the best in the movie. Instead, I was more happy with the film's new generation of teens, being Emma Roberts and Hayden Panettire, who both give the only decent performances out of the movie. As for other performances, they're goofy and sometimes hard to watch. You didn't think this whole review was going to be positive, did you?
Wes Craven is obviously the one in the director's chair for the film. After mishaps and flops for the past decade or so, I got to the point where I was fed up with any movie from Craven, especially after wasting my dollar on one of the worst pieces of cinema, I can hardly even call it that, from last year: "My Soul to Take". Scream 2 and 3 were not at all good movies, so I figured during the entire production of Scre4m that it'd be exactly the same. Surprisingly, Wes Craven presents a "Don't screw with originals" themed movie that really iced the cake for my liking of Scre4m. Congratulations Craven, maybe you haven't lost your touch after all.
"You forgot the first rule of remakes! Don't f*ck with the original!"- Sidney Prescott, Scre4m (2011)
Thanks for the read!