Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Movie Review: Scream 4

The horror franchise expands into the long-running tradition of moving a scary movie series past the status of trilogy. This movie delves into reboots, remakes, and the plethora of sequels that in the current cinema atmosphere. The new decade has not strayed away from reviving old properties and Scream 4 takes that head on with the meta Stab series pushing for a seventh installment with previous versions having increasingly outrageous plots like time-travel and sillier cliches and more gruesome deaths.

Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns as a successful author revisiting her hometown of Woodsboro on her book tour. Dewey Riley (David Arquette) is the sheriff of the small town now and his wife Gale Weather (Courtney Cox) is struggling to find anything interested to write about in this simple life. Wes Craven knows his formula so he starts with young women getting murdered by the ghost-faced killer that sparks a new mystery.

There are a new set of young characters that supply the suspects and victims. In relation to Sydney is her cousin Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts) who has a creepy boyfriend Trever (Nico Tortorella). Her friends Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) and Olivia (Marielle Jaffe) are stuck in the middle with her. Two film geeks Robbie (Erik Knudsen) and Charlie (Rory Culkin) lay out the rules and host the movie marathon party at which the killer takes the chance to attack. There are also vulnerable police officers including Anthony Anderson. 

The movie doesn't go much further with the murders or gore, supplying many rehashes in the killing paying homage to the original film. The twist, while not predictable, feels forced to the point of creating a shock and not add anything new. Family is usually an easy way to follow motives and they don't stray away from reciting the plans to Sydney once the masks finally come off.

This film looks to end the Scream films as it has transcended this platform and switched formats to television. I'll be getting into the finale of the second season of the show on MTV tonight. It's a subtle testament to how fans have changed their viewing habits in the recent decade. The films were a good bit of fun for the slasher genre and still stand way above many imitators that popped up in the wake of the original's success. Modern horror has come a long way but still there are plenty of tropes that scream pulled out and ridiculed all while using them effectively. This is my fond farewell to Wes Craven and the series. 

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