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SCREAM 4 .... in case anybody is curious

Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 8:21 pm
by Darth Tanner
Since our resident reviewer gave us fair warning recently that he was sitting this one out, I decided to take up the reins since I saw it. I know this series is not very popular with some folks on here. But I hadn't seen any good horror lately and was yearning for something away from the endless slew of remakes and torture porn that have dominated the market for the past several years. Plus I was curious to see how the formula played out today since the teen-horror fad pretty much died down ages ago.

I will start out by saying that I'm not a huge fan of the SCREAM series. I thought the first film was decent enough but was somewhat let down with the second and third entries. My biggest problem was not with the movies themselves, but the fact that every damned movie that came out for the next five years copied the concept to the point that everybody got sick of it. In fact I had not seen any of the films since their release until seeing the first one last year for the first time in over a decade. So I walked into this movie not expecting a whole lot.

As for the actual movie in question.......

I have to agree with the general consensus that SCREAM 4 was completely unnecessary. My biggest guess is that it came about because Wes Craven's last two efforts failed miserably and he wanted to go back to something "tried and true". I still thought that the movie did have a few things going for it. The plot seems to focus more on the events in the earlier films than the hip references to slashers that dominated the first film. But there are a few clever jabs made at remakes/sequels as well as the recent fad of torture porn (my favorite though was the reference to SHAUN OF THE DEAD). Also other current trends such as Facebook and online video blogging are given their due. But the plot is basically nothing more than a rehash of the first SCREAM (with a few key scenes blatantly copied). I honestly couldn't tell though if this was meant to be a straight horror film or a parody since a few scenes looked like something from one of the SCARY MOVIE films. However there were a few jump scares that played off well with me.

The cast in this entry is fairly decent if not too memorable. David Arquette, Courtney Cox and Neve Campbell are all back and manage to perform their roles adequately. I also enjoyed the addition of Marley Shelton and Anthony Anderson as deputies. The opening scenes with Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell and Shenae Grimes did manage to get a few chuckles out of me. The younger stars Hayden Panettiere and Emma Roberts also manage to do well in rather limited roles. The writing in this one didn't grate my nerves as badly as CURSED or URBAN LEGEND, but I still thought the script could have used a little more polish. The revealation of the killer in this one was interesting but at the same time a bit far-fetched (which in turn led to an needlessly extended climax).

I have to confess that I liked SCREAM 4 a lot better than CURSED (still haven't seen MY SOUL TO TAKE), but not enough to be a daysaver in what is starting to look like a lousy year for horror. The movie managed to lose the top spot to RIO, but it still came in at #2 with a decent take. So I have a feeling that those rumors about this entry being the start of a new trilogy may come true. But there is honestly nowhere left for this series to go so this should really be the end as far as I'm concerned. I'd recommend seeing it at least once as a matinee or a rental.

The best part about the movie though was seeing the trailer for SUPER 8 (which I would recommend checking out if you haven't already done so). Is anyone else as excited about that one as I am? After seeing CLOVERFIELD and the STAR TREK reboot, I don't think J.J. Abrams can do no wrong and I have high hopes for SUPER 8.

Re: SCREAM 4 .... in case anybody is curious

Posted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:17 pm
by Remo D
Thank you very much for giving this one the acknowledgement I wasn't willing to. I do believe you've confirmed my suspicion (that this is one I'd never pay to see).

Now, did Craven's last two films really both fail miserably? I believe RED EYE came between CURSED and MY SOUL TO TAKE, and that one scored both a good review from me and a successful box office take. I never gave up on Craven--his major accomplishments will never be erased and he still has what it takes to deliver the goods... EXCEPT when he's blatantly trying to create a cult-cash-cow AHEAD of time as opposed to letting an audience truly TAKE to something.

It's just that the last Craven film I saw was the aforementioned SOUL--and the last Craven/Williamson team-up I saw was CURSED (both of which won my "worst of year" dishonors--and had I been reviewing here when SCREAM 2 came out, that would have made it a triple play). With that in mind, I gave SCREAM 4 as wide a berth as possible. Apparently, Williamson scored in television land yet again with THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, but I never saw it... I repeat my wish that he'd go back to Dawson's Creek and never, ever, ever bother us again...

Re: SCREAM 4 .... in case anybody is curious

Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:38 am
by Darth Tanner
Remo D wrote:Now, did Craven's last two films really both fail miserably? I believe RED EYE came between CURSED and MY SOUL TO TAKE, and that one scored both a good review from me and a successful box office take.

Crap, I forgot all about RED EYE and actually thought that one was decent as well. But I don't know how much it could be considered a horror film aside from the Craven name and a killer with a distorted voice in the climax. When I wrote that sentence in my write-up I was thinking of CURSED and MY SOUL TO TAKE. I guess I should have reworded that to state that his last two "horror" efforts failed miserably.

I still don't blame you Remo for skipping on this one, but there are certainly worse movies out there. Hopefully someone will pay your way or you'll catch up to it on DVD. In any event I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on SCREAM 4 when/if you do get to see it. Hopefully it will still find it's way into your year-end roundup:)

Re: SCREAM 4 .... in case anybody is curious

Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:18 pm
by Remo D
Fantasies come true, and sometimes demands are met...

It happened. I did NOT have to PAY to see SCREAM 4... it came my way in the form of a Video Watchdog assignment and a free Blu-Ray. Now, of course, that means that my paid review will show up in print sometime down the line, but since some folks were hoping for my reaction during the year in question, I will allow this much...

In the lineup of SCREAM sequels, I'll go so far as to acknowledge this one as the best of the batch--a good, long intermission made me more receptive. It was a perfectly watchable film and it only made me wince a couple of times (yes, a couple of badly-placed jokes that went for the laugh at the most inappropriate of moments--for example, I guess Williamson simply couldn't resist the "gay" bit). And what could have been a perfect ending was shot down by an additional fifteen minutes that the film should have had the guts to shrug off.

Still, it was much, much better than MY SOUL TO TAKE and it won't land in my "worst of the year" section, so there's that.