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Scream 4 (2011)


Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 173
Fresh: 101 | Rotten: 72

Critics Consensus: The franchise is showing its age, but Scream 4 is undeniably an improvement over its predecessor, with just enough meta humor and clever kills.

Average Rating: 5.9/10
Critic Reviews: 37
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 16

Critics Consensus: The franchise is showing its age, but Scream 4 is undeniably an improvement over its predecessor, with just enough meta humor and clever kills.


Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 75,155


Movie Info

In Scream 4, Sidney Prescott, now the author of a self-help book, returns home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. There she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey and Gale, who are now married, as well as her cousin Jill (played by Emma Roberts) and her Aunt Kate (Mary McDonnell). Unfortunately Sidney's appearance also brings about the return of Ghostface, putting Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, along with Jill, her friends, and the whole town of Woodsboro in danger. -- (C) Dimension

R (for strong bloody violence, language and some teen drinking)
Mystery & Suspense , Horror
Directed By:
Written By:
Kevin Williamson
In Theaters:
Oct 4, 2011
Box Office:
The Weinstein Company/Dimension - Official Site



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Critic Reviews for Scream 4

All Critics (173) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (101) | Rotten (72) | DVD (7)

Scream's brand of horror, which lampooned the slasher genre while simultaneously embracing it, was fun and breezy in 1996. In 2011, it's about as fresh as the whiff of something stale and rank from a crypt.

Full Review… | April 17, 2011
Top Critic

Craven guides us expertly down a series of blind, bloody alleys, a journey that's more pleasurable than frustrating. On account of his steady hand, the last act is as good as could be expected: skillfully conceived and entertaining in its preposterousness.

Full Review… | April 15, 2011
Top Critic

Scream 4 is a total hoot. Assuming you can find the humor in knife stabbings.

Full Review… | April 15, 2011
Detroit News
Top Critic

Compared with so many of the rebooted slasher flicks, Scream 4 remains a cut above. No, that is not an intended pun.

Full Review… | April 15, 2011
Denver Post
Top Critic

On its own terms, Scre4m is pretty good.

Full Review… | April 15, 2011
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

A perfectly acceptable Friday night, Scream 4 delivers plenty of scares without consequences, murder without depth, and a flood of legacy laughs.

Full Review… | April 15, 2011
Top Critic

Easily rises up its peers in the genre and is a suspenseful sequel worth screaming about.

Full Review… | June 30, 2013
Big Hollywood

Weak plot, half-assed performances and lacking any originality make this a lame and uninspired film.

Full Review… | April 21, 2013
We Got This Covered

Fails at chills, stumbles as satire. Tired. Played out.

Full Review… | January 15, 2013
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Everybody is still a suspect and everybody is still a victim, but narrowing down our Ghostface has become easier than ever.

Full Review… | October 2, 2012
Gordon and the Whale

Returning horror fans should enjoy Scream 4. The series remains smartly unapologetic in toying with meta-references and horror-film expectations.

Full Review… | October 2, 2012

Brutal? Funny? Clever? You get the feeling that maybe, just maybe, Randy would have approved after all.

Full Review… | September 28, 2012

"Scream 4" continues to show that the series has passed its prime.

Full Review… | September 20, 2012

As a commentary on the ongoing (d)evolution of horror cinema and infotainment culture since the last film, it's sharp, perceptive, and funny.

Full Review… | January 30, 2012

If you only watch Scream 4 once, it might prove satisfying. But the film fails to hold any value beyond its first screening, largely thanks to a sloppy script that feels like a rough draft.

Full Review… | January 29, 2012

... Basically back to the same old, same old. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing in this age of endless "Saw" sequels.

Full Review… | November 5, 2011
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

The characters grapple with the 'rules of horror' films, but the number one rule that I am sure everyone involved with 'Scream 4' knew but refused to say: The fourth installment always and forever sucks.

Full Review… | October 20, 2011

Scream 4 bucks the horror trend by retaining a level of quality rarely seen this many sequels in to a series.

Full Review… | October 11, 2011
The Standard

even more self-regardingly postmodern than the earlier films, although Williamson is smart enough to include a gripping whodunnit frame to prevent viewers from becoming totally lost in his hall of mirrors.

Full Review… | August 22, 2011
Eye for Film

It's great fun.

Full Review… | July 14, 2011
Digital Spy

Why do teenage boys like to watch pretty girls get eviscerated and why do the would-be victims get off on watching their proxies get butchered?

Full Review… | June 28, 2011
The Ooh Tray

Made more for fans of the original than for new audiences, this installment has plenty of fun and horror goodness to please them while possibly picking up a handful of new converts.

Full Review… | June 9, 2011
Cinema Sight

The Scream movies are generally thought of as horror-comedies, but one of the things that makes them such fun is the fact that they're also mysteries.

Full Review… | May 27, 2011

Like its predecessors, it's the horror movie for people who don't want to be on the edge of their seats throughout the whole film.

Full Review… | May 24, 2011

This fourth instalment will please the older fans of the series and should make some new ones amongst the audience who were too young to catch Scream on its first go round.

Full Review… | May 16, 2011

Craven happily treading water, exploding the clichés he exploded so successfully 16 years ago. Result is a brain-dead brainteaser, a mirror reflection of a mirror reflection.

Full Review… | May 4, 2011

Audience Reviews for Scream 4

For a film that continues to discuss other horror films and the horror genre in general, it beggars belief that it adds absolutely nothing to said genre! It points out stereotypes in the genre, overused structures and cliches and then shows us nothing we haven't already seen before, in the Scream franchise no less. It's unbelievably dumb, the regular actors look tired and embarrassed to be part of it and so they should.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

A lot has changed since the original 1996 "Scream," and this fourth installment in the franchise is apt to point every one of those changes out time and again. Original director Wes Craven and original screenwriter Kevin Williamson come back for more, and do so with the willingness of an entirely new cast and the old one, an unprecedented feat seeing as how the last film was made eleven years prior. The original film celebrated the diverse inclinations of the horror genre, while also poking fun at it thanks to veteran director Craven helming the vehicle. What was great about the original was that it knew what it was (Meta) and nearly broke the fourth wall time and again by addressing itself over and over. More than its cheekiness though was that "Scream" simply was an amazing horror movie: it utilized new technologies for ingenious kills, had two manic and yet unsuspecting killers, and had thoughtfully written and entertaining characters. This sequel does willingly give itself make to Meta, and with gusto, bringing in an entirely new cast to replace the archetypes of the original and jumpstarting the original's breadth of knowledge on horror films. The horror film obsessed generation that we're introduced to in this version though are not enjoyably familiar, only agitating and crass. The original cast, in conjunction, only mirrors some of their more prominent characteristics, including Gale's tenacity, Dewey's slovenly ineptitude, and Sidney's propensity for being a victim. The film does not reboot itself, does not do much that's new in the way of kills, and doesn't distract from two killers, only makes us wait until they're eventually unmasked. I will say that the ending, with its distractions and climactic turns, was unprecedented and did something many reboots are too cowardly to do. That's what's great about the "Scream" franchise, and after the bitter taste of the third, this is a great retelling of an age old story. Though I don't think it's an unnecessary sequel, I do agree with a quote from the last moments of the film: "You forgot the first rule of remakes. Don't fuck with the original!"

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

If Kevin McCallister were in Scream franchise, the Ghostface killer was already in prison.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer


What could have been just a trilogy became a quadrilogy... and possibly more if they don't leave it alone. Scream 4 (or Scre4m) covers much of the same territory as the previous films. To me just it's slightly better than the second film while also being so much better than the third. Not that the film is perfect, but it's actually the best sequel. I have problems with it, of course. There are several character dynamics that are hinted at but never explored, or paid off if you will. The main one is that Dewey might have a possible romantic attachment to his deputy and in one scene in particular, to Sidney. In the latter, they share this very longing look at each other before uncomfortably seperating, and it's never mentioned or explored again afterwards, which is a shame. The movie's also full of extraneous characters that don't really go anywhere and act merely as red herrings to the plot. The acting is ok, but Emma Roberts is absolutely atrocious, and I couldn't get past her terrible line delivery. As for the leads, Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox seemed to be bored and don't seem to have very much to do. David Arquette's character actually has a little more depth, probably more so than any of them. He started out as a bumbling deputy in the original but is now a take-charge sheriff who you can no longer laugh at. I like that, and it gives at least one returning character a reason to be here. Personally, I think this could have been made without Sidney Prescott and Gale Weathers, as neither of them add any real value to the plotline and are simply here because the series demands it. They do almost nothing in the film until the third act and the focus is on the new characters and not them. I would've actually like to have seen them go in a different direction with the series and just started out fresh with just the new characters. It might've worked, and even if it didn't, it would at least be a little more interesting and didn't feel like it was recycling old ideas (another Woodsborough murders book???). Scream fans will enjoy it, I'm sure, but I'm not a die-hard fan of this series and even though I enjoyed it for the most part, it's plagued with problems and feels tired.

Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

Scream 4 Quotes

Charlie Walker: What about Sidney? Gale Weathers: What about Sidney? Robbie Mercer: Hey, you know her, right? I am, you're friends with her? Charlie Walker: No offense, but that'd be a big deal for Cinema Club. A visit by Sidney Prescott, I mean, she's the star. Gale Weathers: Ooh... Yes, she's Daniel Radcliffe to my J.K. Rowling.
– Submitted by Rawballs B (15 months ago)
Charlie Walker: What about Sidney? Gale Weathers: What about Sidney? Robbie Mercer: Hey, you know her, right? I am, you're friends with her? Charlie Walker: No offense, but that'd be a big deal for Cinema Club. A visit by Sidney Prescott, I mean she?s the star. Gale Weathers: Ooh? Yes, she's Daniel Radcliffe to my J.K. Rowling.
– Submitted by Rawballs B (15 months ago)
Gale Weathers: What if we could catch the killer by working together? Two generations of cutting-edge journalists intertwining our passions for media? What would you say? Robbie Mercer: I love you. Gale Weathers: Very good, now, if you give me your expertise on the gore geek scene at Woodsboro High, and maybe I could give you something in return. Say a celebrity visit to your Cinema Club? By me.
– Submitted by Rawballs B (15 months ago)
Gale Weathers: So, you two are the boys that run the movie club at Woodsboro High, huh? Robbie Mercer: Oh, Charlie, rents it. I'm just VP, in case he takes a bullet. Charlie Walker: It's called Cinema Club. Gale Weathers: So you must have a very unique insight into the movie buffs at your school? Charlie Walker: Maybe.
– Submitted by Rawballs B (17 months ago)
Gale Weathers-Riley: Excuse me, are you recording with that thing? Charlie Walker: My video blog upload. He's webcasting right now. Gale Weathers-Riley: Mind turning it off? A little old school off the record? Robbie Mercer: Can't owe it to my audience. Gale Weathers-Riley: Turn that fucking thing off.
– Submitted by Rawballs B (17 months ago)
Rachel: Fucking kidding me. Chloe: What? Rachel: That was so fucking stupid. Pure horse shit. A death of horror right in front of us! Chloe: I jumped. It scared me. Rachel: A fucking Facebook killer? You're kidding me right? Chloe: I guess now it would be Twitter. That'd make more sense.
– Submitted by Rawballs B (18 months ago)

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