I’ve decided that since it’s raining and I have a headache, that I shouldn’t sit around being completely useless all day. So after a lovely lunch with my platonic boyfriend Ryan, and a delicious latte beside me, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the film Scream 4 which released her last night.
As with any of my reviews, I try to not spoil anything pertinent or integral to the plot, but just incase you are absolutely certain you don’t want to know anything at all about this film until you see it, then it’s probably wise to not read on.
First off, I wanted to say that when we went to see this film, we went to see it in the VIP theatres. For those who haven’t been to one, or have one nearby, or have no idea what I’m talking about – I’ll explain. These are special theatres (part of the cineplex chain of theatres), that have “luxury” seating and accommodations for those over the age of 19, and are willing to pay a few extra dollars. You get larger seats, more leg room, the option to purchase alcohol, and servers who will take your food order from your seats and deliver it to you. If anyone has the chance to see a film in one of these theatres, I’d really recommend trying it at least once, especially if it’s a film you are really anticipating. I have to say, it was nice to see a horror film I was excited for in a theatre without annoying, screaming, 15 year olds (no offence to 15 year olds out there).
I really don’t want to say too much about Scream 4 because what I love about this series is how developed the plot is. Unlike films like Hallowe’en, or Friday the 13th, these slasher flicks are really just very gorey murder mysteries. That’s precisely what I adore about them. And unlike the two others films I mentioned, all of the sequels actually relate to each other without it having to be a mythical, unstoppable killer who keeps somehow coming back. In each film, Ghostface (as named because of the get-up the killer wears in each film) is a different person (or people depending on which film you’re talking about). There isn’t an unkillable murderer, it’s always a person with a motive (whether it be a good one or not). The fourth installment doesn’t stray from this style, which is why I enjoyed it so much.
The basic plot of the film, without going into pretty much any details at all, is that Sidney Prescott, the victim from the first three films, has returned to her hometown of Woodsboro as the first stop in her book tour, detailing her struggles with her past and how she is determined to redefine herself as a survivor and not as a victim. And like all Scream films, murders start occurring. I can’t say too much else, because if I start describing who dies and who doesn’t, it’ll be easier to ruin the ending of the film.
I can tell you why I enjoyed this film though. Like I already said, I love the Scream series. Now some could argue that this would give me a positive bias going in to the film, which I suppose is partially true, however, as a fan, it would have been much easier for me to be disappointed this film than any other film-goer. I had a lot expectations for this film, mostly because the other films gave me stories that were intricate, characters that were well-developed, and sequels that actually worked off of the original film. The film took a lot of doubts I had about the new film, and made jokes about them. One thing I feel safe talking about is the opening sequence. For those of you who haven’t seen a Scream film, the beginning sequence of these films involve a character (or characters) we don’t know (except in the case of the third film), that end up dying a brutal, bloody death, and is the start of the killing spree of the killers. I figured that the fourth film could never have a decent opening sequence because it had three films preceding it that did it well beforehand. I thought it may be stupid or contrived. Basically, the film did about three fake-outs before actually getting on with the real opening sequence. I loved this, I love how the filmmakers can make jokes about their own franchise, know the expectations of their fans, and can play off those expectations in a humorous way, and somehow still find a way to make it work.
Another reason I really enjoyed this film was the acting. I’m not very familiar with a lot of the up-and-coming actors that are in Hollywood right now, and being as how I’m stubborn and spiteful, I couldn’t really care about them. Why should I give them a chance? They should prove to me how awesome they are before I decide if I like them or not. Yes, I am totally that much of a movie bitch sometimes. Anyways, there were a lot of unfamiliar faces to me, or ones I sort of recognized but haven’t really seen them from anything that memorable. However, all the younger actors (by younger I mean my age…) did a really great job, and I for one really enjoyed their characters. Of course, I still adored the three main actors, Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, and David Arquette – they brought the same life to the characters the fans have grown to love, but showed us how they’ve changed, and grown up through the ten-year span that we didn’t see them. I have to say, I was probably the happiest with Dewey’s character (Arquette), because usually he’s a fumbling, hero-like character, who means well and has a big heart, but ends up getting stabbed in the back or being more of a hindrance than a help. However, the character has obviously grown up and become a much stronger person, and it was refreshing to see that for once.
The writing for this film again was great. I thought it had a nice balance of suspense as well as some really humorous bits. The ending surprised me, maybe because I was too busy trying to guess “who-dunnit”, but overall I really enjoyed it. Without spoiling who the killer is, all I can say is you can pretty much suspect anyone, and I loved that. My friends and I were commenting on how no one seemed to stay in the room for more than a few minutes, so anyone who left the room could’ve been the killer, DUN DUN DUNNNNN. Sorry – I got a little excited there. Overall, Scream 4 was a great reboot of a popular series, and was a wonderful homage to the first film. I think it is a more successful reboot of this franchise because in reality, it is only “sort of” a reboot. While it starts a new (possible) trilogy, it still comes all back to the first film. It doesn’t remake the films, it dusts them off, and adds something new to it. It brings the series to this generation, and hopefully if they make more sequels, they will still be part of the familiar storyline. Scream 4 didn’t deviate from what worked in the previous films, and instead just adds to what works to make it better and fresh.
So in my opinion, Scream 4 was a very good film. Sure, it wasn’t “oscar-worthy”, but it was extremely entertaining, well-written, well-acted and overall a very well-made film. Fans of the franchise will at least be entertained, if not impressed, and those who haven’t seen these films would be able to find something to like about it. I’m glad my over-hyped expectations did hinder my enjoyment of this film, and that the filmmakers actually wanted to make a decent film, instead of just pumping out yet-another horror genre remake as an easy cash-grab.
Overall Movie Rating: 4.5/5