You just knew it was gonna suck, right? Us too. Wes Craven's been on a weak roll with his films as of late (My Soul to Take, Cursed), it's the 4th installment of a slasher series, and it's a Hollywood horror picture, which let's face it, means that it's most likely going to be glossy and lame. So we weren't too hyped up to see it, although we were admittedly curious about it all...
But, ha! It didn't suck! In fact, it was pretty damned good.
The Scream movies have always been a fun, tongue in cheek love letter for the horror genre, by the horror genre. The first one worked so well back in 1996 because it was self aware, and it told us that it was alright to love it, even with all of it's cliches and flaws. The first one was great, and the sequels were decent enough, but all critiques aside, they were fun slasher flicks, and that's that. Not to mention that the first Scream single-handedly breathed life into a DEAD horror genre in the late 90's. Go to Wikipedia and look up horror films: 1990's... Some gems can be found here and there, but for the most part it was slim pickin's as far as quality goes.
So 15 years later, here comes Uncle Wes once again bringing us back to Woodsboro for another go around with Ghostface.
It's the same basic story as the previews two sequels; Sidney returns home for some reason or another, and she's all nervous to be there but coping with her past, Gale's still a bitch, Dewey is still a loveable dork, only he's sheriff now... you know the drill. Smart, self-aware in-jokes fly like left and right like a flock of flaming birds, the smart Jamie Kennedy-ish film geeks break down the new rules for us, and everyone is made to look suspicious, to keep us guessing as to who is doing the killing this time. Oh, and Ghostface still really wants to terrorize Sidney, which is really the point of it all.
And man it was like seeing old friends.
Emma Roberts is the new blood in part 4, playing Sidney's cousin who ends up being the focal point of the movie for the most part. She's a great actress and adds a lot to the movie, probably because she's also a great hottie. Sidney get's her share of the spotlight too, of course, and the best part about her character in this one is the fact that she's kinda ballsy and tough, which made for a few good fight scenes. Oh yes, she breaks out some Krav Maga on Ghostface and goes all Fright Club on his ass. See what I did there? Fright Club... like Fight Club, because there's fighting and it's scary... never mind.
The big question everyone seems to have regarding part 4 is "Does Sidney die at the end, or is it revealed that she is the killer this time?" We aren't going to spoil anything that big of course, but we will say that while you might see the ending coming a bit before it arrives, it's pretty cool. We actually found ourselves surprised when certain people got knocked off by Ghostface, because we were just sure it was them. These movies have always been fun little guessing games, and this one is no different.
Of course the real star of these movies is Ghostface him/her/their self. The iconic killer is back in a big way in scream 4, slicing and dicing loads of kids up in creative ways, and just being all kinds of anti-hero bad-ass. I known, he's no hero, but don't tell me some people don't cheer for him! Ghostface seems for pissed off and menacing in this one, and his theatrics are just as good as they've been in any of the Scream movies.
The Good- The sheer amount of hotties crammed into the cast; Sidney's tough new attitude and karate skills; Ghostface's Venom; Emma Roberts showing off her acting awesomeness; Rory Culkin proving once again that he's probably the best actor in all of the Culkin clan; Hayden Panetierre and her horror-smart hotness; Anthony Anderson playing it with very little humor, and being pretty good at it; "I'm in the closet"; the blood; the kills; and basically the overall feel of the movie.
The Bad- Dewey's bumbling can be annoying; Gale's anything; Why couldn't Anthony Anderson have lived? We like him; Not enough time was spent on Sidney's character, because the ensemble was big... she/Neve was great in this, and deserved more to do.
The Downright Horrendous- Hayden Panetierre's hair... what the hell? Let it grow back girl!
A This is one of those horror flicks that we all need to get our tails to the theater and support, because it was great. Not perfect, but great none the less. If you love the Scream movies, and especially the first one, then you'll love number 4 as well, because it's jsut about as good as the 1996 original. It's great to see Wes Craven and Ghostface back in good form, and we are not opposed to the idea of Scr5am. Scre5m? Screa5? Oh hell, a part 5!
Yeah, we just asked for another sequel. Make it happen, Wes.