Scream 4 Reviews

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Super Reviewer
October 10, 2010
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!"
Super Reviewer
June 20, 2012
If Kevin McCallister were in Scream franchise, the Ghostface killer was already in prison.
Super Reviewer
½ February 22, 2012
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.
Super Reviewer
January 24, 2012
Wes haven't missed a beat. But if you didn't like the first're not gonna like this. And if you like them and not this...I don't know what you were watching...I'm usually not a fan of movies that involves facebook and stuff like that in to the story. But the scream series does's very present...It was in the 90's...and it still is today. Emma Roberts did a good job. And congratulations to Hayden for your Martin Award
Super Reviewer
March 11, 2011
Not too shabby- definitely better than than the third installment.
Super Reviewer
October 12, 2009
Ten years after the events of Scream 3, in which Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courteney Cox return to Woodsboro to be stalked, once again, by Ghostface, that was good to see the old cast reunited again like in the memories of their old characters.
This sets up a new cast (standous are Hayden Panettiere's gorgeous geek, and Emma Roberts, as Campbell's intense cousin), and there some bunkum about new rules. However, that's speedily dumped so that Wes Craven can have tons of fun with new kills.
The final 25 minutes is killer, with an "oh no, not that character!" death to rival Randy in Scream 2. Plus, the most interesting Ghostface thus far is on show, and Scream 4 also is the funniest of the series, by a mile. Shame it flopped - Scream 5 could have been interesting.
Super Reviewer
½ April 13, 2011
The best since the original, but that's not saying much. Scream 4 trys WAY to hard to be clever and ends up being very silly. And for the record Thirteen Women (1932), The Lodger (1927) and And Then There Were None (1939) all pre-date Peeping Tom as the first slasher.

And if you want to argue that the "modern slasher" was popularized by Peeping Tom, well you'd also be wrong. Peeping Tom was released for only a few short weeks in 1960 in the UK and was promptly banned. It didn't see the light of day again until the 70's. Psycho was released in 1960 and was a world wide sensation. Way to do your research Kevin!
Super Reviewer
October 29, 2011
Horrifically eerie, tense, and sent me through the roof, well when I wasn't cowering away behind the chair in front, so, Wes, mission accomplished.
Super Reviewer
December 16, 2010
Cast: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Anthony Anderson, Alison Brie, Adam Brody, Anna Paquin, Lucy Hale, Kristen Bell

Director: Wes Craven

Summary: Perennial survivor Sidney Prescott, now a successful self-help author, returns to her home town of Woodsboro in the fourth act of director Wes Craven's Scream franchise. Sidney's homecoming, however, coincides with a slew of unsettling new murders.

My Thoughts: "The film has the same feel of the previous three. It was like time hadn't passed. I enjoyed the story but was a bit disappointed. Where were the scares, the jumps, the 'screams'. I enjoyed it for what it was and the story was really interesting but I missed the anticipation of being scared. I was expecting to be scared not predict every scare. I will admit the twist in the film is pretty great. In the end I think they did a good job with bringing the series back. I'm looking forward to a much better 5Th installment."
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
October 13, 2011
What do you do when your satiric self-aware take on pop culture becomes the MO for a generation? Back in 1996, Scream was a breath of fresh air by sending up dusty horror staples and having highly literate characters, with exceptional vocabularies, deconstruct genre elements while ironically falling victim to them as well. In 2011, Scream 4, an obvious paycheck grab, is showing its age. After a rather nifty series of opening fake-outs, which gave me hope that returning writer Kevin Williamson was going to finely skewer the conventions of horror since Scream last went dormant in 2000, I realized sadly this is not the case. "New decade, new rules," one character says, but it's all so much of the same. People run, they get stabbed, only the locations are truly different. There are a few witty jabs about the obsession with reboots and remakes, and Williamson does secretly work a crafty symmetry to the first film as far as characters go. The body count is much higher but the scare quotient is low. And then brining back the original cast (Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courtney Cox) seems like a waste if they cede almost all screen time to a bunch of fresh-faced high school kids who were learning to walk when Campbell was learning to run for her life. The satirical elements feel so lazy; if you're going to introduce technology-obsessed characters and the narcissism of social media, then do something with it. Don't introduce an element like a webcam and then barely use it. The scares are about as flimsy as the commentary. The reveal of the killer(s) is stupid enough, as is the cracked motivation, but the ending just piles one absurdity onto another. It doesn't know when to stop, and Scream 4 flirts with some daring possibilities to wrap up its bloodshed. Scream 4 is a drifting vehicle, wasting potential at every opportunity. The weight of all those red herrings, genre riffs, ironic twists, and self-aware characters has gotten to be too much. The Scream franchise has morphed into what it once parodied.

Nate's Grade: C
Super Reviewer
½ October 28, 2010
"You can't save them. All you can do is watch."

Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to Woodsboro to promote her new book, and to absolutely no one's surprise, there's a new killer waiting there for her. This new Ghostface seems intent on "remaking" the original Woodsboro Murders and topping them in every way.

Scream 4 is my favorite of the bunch. Keep in mind, this isn't coming from a Scream mega-fan. I've only seen the series for the first time in the past year. But to me, the fourth one is the movie that best works as both a slasher and a clever look at the current state of the genre.

The surviving members of the cast return, and they're joined by a young cast of potential knife fodder like Alison Brie, Lucy Hale, Hayden Panettiere and Emma Roberts. I thought Panettiere was the best new addition, with her horror buff character taking a similar role to what Jaime Kennedy's character played in previous Scream's.

With all that said, Scream 4 almost completely falls apart at the end. Dear Lord, what a ham-fisted finale. I was enjoying the ride up until then, but wow did things go downhill fast in the last 20 minutes or so. I won't say that the entirety of the movie was ruined by how it ended, and I understand what was being attempted, but my suspension of disbelief was stretched about as far as it can go.

Still, Scream 4 was better than I expected. Your mileage may vary, I thought it was a good time.
Super Reviewer
½ October 10, 2011
This franchise was on life support. What a shame Craven tried to resuscitate it. The outcome is depressing to watch.
Super Reviewer
October 7, 2011
Has the time froze for Wes Craven? If kids were the targets audience, I wonder if they've been successful in satisfying them. I mean, after all even I found it highly disappointing!!! Given that, expecting even the kids to like it would be asking for too much. And if you've not watched any of Craven's previous films, this is surely not the right film to introduce him to yourself!!!

Scream 4 is a huge let-down that needs to be avoided at any cost, but that's my opinion. However, looking at IMDb Rating (6.5/10 when this is being written), I can already imagine some fans Scream 4 Scream 5.
Super Reviewer
½ April 15, 2011
After Wes Craven's abomination My Soul to Take, I wasn't sure that Scre4m would cut it for me. However, the film surprised me, and it definitely redeemed Craven's slip up with My Soul to Take. Scream 4 is the best entry in the franchise since the first film. Many people have said so, and I myself agree. 12 years has past since the release of Scream 3, lots has changed in the horror landscape. Studios are obsessed with remaking timeless horror classics. Luckily, Scre4m manages to be a breath of fresh in terms of a horror film and Slasher film. Using the same rules that have applied to every Scream film before such as the use of horror clichés in a creative manner to elevate a films plot are present. Scre4m is a perfect final to an entertaining series. The series itself reestablished horror into public consciousness and made horror fun again. Scre4m is a wonderful fourth film in the series, and it is the best since the first film. The cast do a wonderful job, and it's great to see some of the original cast here. The kill scenes are effective and intense. One thing that surprised me was how much Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette have changed over the years, however they were able to reprise their roles, as if nothing has changed. Scre4m is a fine installment and is a must see for Scream fans. After 12 years since the third part, it's great to see that there was still enough creativity left to craft a fourth film in this flawed but enjoyable series. This fourth entry is a solid and impressive film, and it exceeded my expectations. While the second, I felt was the weakest one, and the third was an improvement, this film reinvents the rules, and stays true to the original while using current elements of the genre (remakes) to create a whole new set of rules. A pleasant surprise and my favorite since the first. Welcome back Wes!
Super Reviewer
September 21, 2011
If there is something that the Scream movies have taught us, its that horror movies need to have a sense of humour about themselves and there is not one negative thing you can say about any of the movies that the films don't ridicule about themselves. Suffice to say this film was as predictable as it was inevitable.
Super Reviewer
April 11, 2011
Shock, horror. a 4th movie in a series that doesn't suck! I had grave fears for this one from the opening ............SPOILERS...........................................................................................
About three false starts, the first one was amusing, the second one annoying, by the third, seemed this was trying way too hard to be clever. There are some good early cameos here such as Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin, Have to admit I didn't actually recognise either, though, and they are quite brief.
Initially I did not like the "new" faces too much - an overtanned Hayden Panettiere with a horrible haircut and Emma Roberts - kind of underwhelming and couldn't imagine caring about either enough to sit and watch a whole movie about them. Luckily the "old" faces saved the day - Courtney Cox and David Arquette - Neve Campbell to a lesser effect, also new character, Deputy Hicks, played by Marley Shelton act rings around the younger cast.
By the end this comes across as a movie everyone had a lot of fun with and is quite clever in it's cynical way. I also though Rory Culkin does quite well here as the movie geek, and i had warmed to Emma Roberts by the end, although Hayden never did grow on me here!
A welcome fourth instalment, but I hope they have the sense to leave it here, or it really will end up like the "Stab" franchise they keep sending up!
Super Reviewer
½ September 10, 2011
Scream 4 is a worthy sequel, a thrilling psycho slasher film with a clever premise. Highly entertaining.
Super Reviewer
½ April 19, 2011
Well folks, the most neglected film of the year thus far has arrived and I couldn't be more surprised by it myself. Months of trailers, clips, and terribly crafted posters have been torture for us movie-buffs, but are those the intentions of Scream 4? Walking into this movie with a frown quickly escalated to a smile. It might be over-the-top here and there, but if your stuffing a buttery bag of popcorn into your face you'll be thrilled by this movie. Wes Craven's fourth installment of the "Scream" series is the ultimate killer of a thriller and I absolutely recommend it just for the laughs!

This, my friends, is the number one question: What makes a horror movie nowadays? "Scre4m" literally jumps in and solves this question for us throughout the entire movie. Is it the graphic, torturous killings? Or is the insanely large amount of female nudity? Scre4m brings us back to classic slasher-ville, consisting of simple stab wounds, and nothing extremely over-the-top.

Surprise! :

That is exactly what this movie is, a big surprise. Thinking the entire time that this would be 2011's first flop turns out to be the first little surprise of the year. What makes Scre4m decent isn't the amount of gore or thrills, its that this one isn't as predictable as the other movies in the "Scream" franchise. While some of the twists can be pretty lame, they still shock you, which is the goal of a twist. Thinking through them logically might give you a headache, but they still make sense even if they are tremendously cheesy. That is what makes these movies fun though, isn't it?

The opening sequence to the film tops Drew Barrymore's from the first movie by a long shot. It takes a film within a film to the next level, opening very light and hysterical. In this opening, we learn that "Stab" has gone up all the way to a seventh installment, literally mocking the "Saw" films. In just ten minutes, we see a couple of different, gory openings (confused?). In these goofy spoofs, we have three hidden cameos of Anna Paquin (True Blood), Kristen Bell (Heroes, You Again), and Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars). I honestly recommend the movie just for the first ten minutes, because it was a sequence done perfectly.

Ten years have passed since the events of Scream 3. Since then, Sidney Prescott has written a self-seminar book that has helped her get through the tough years. On her last stop on her book tour, Sidney returns home to Woodsboro, coincidentally on the anniversary of her unfortunate past. A bit much on that part? Yes. There Sidney encounters her cousin, Jill, who reminds her much of herself when she was her age. After the murder of two teen girls (in which we see in one of the few opening sequences), Jill receives a phone call from the new Ghostface, and soon a new bloody massacre in Woodsboro begins. To the attention of Gale Weathers-Riley, the killings seem a bit too similar to the pattern of death from their first encounter with Ghostface years and years ago. What is this, a remake?!

That's just it! What is Scre4m? A reboot or a sequel? The script to the movie, even if filled with horrible dialog, is crafted out to perfection making us wonder if what we're watching is a sequel or remake. This factor to the film makes Scre4m different than not just the other films in the series, but other horror movies as well. I say kudos to Kevin Williamson for a twist to the horror sequel genre that I found to be very, very unique.

Like the other films in the series, its presented almost like a cold-case mystery -thriller type movie. We're introduced to the killer(s) in the movie as innocent characters, and its our job to guess at who the killer is before it is revealed in the end. They play out sort of like a Sherlock Holmes novel or "Scooby Doo! Where Are You?" episode, even if not thought out as brilliantly. While I wasn't happy with the characters found out to be the killers in the end, I was just happy with their intentions all along. If I had my way though, I would have picked other characters to be Ghostface in the end. The ones in this movie didn't really seem to fit the criteria and it was a tad confusing.

With the performances in the movie, they are obviously not great. With what horror film nowadays do we still get a perfect "Scream-queen"? In this movie, most of the victims didn't even bother to scream. Instead, we get cheesy, but still humorous lines that make us wonder if getting stabbed in the back even hurts. "You can't kill me though! I'm gay!" is only one of the few bad lines in a death scene. "Do it! Only if you have the guts!". Another prime example. Anyways, original starts such as Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courtney Cox (It must have been an awkward shoot for the last two) all return for this fourth installment, and don't even do the best in the movie. Instead, I was more happy with the film's new generation of teens, being Emma Roberts and Hayden Panettire, who both give the only decent performances out of the movie. As for other performances, they're goofy and sometimes hard to watch. You didn't think this whole review was going to be positive, did you?

Wes Craven is obviously the one in the director's chair for the film. After mishaps and flops for the past decade or so, I got to the point where I was fed up with any movie from Craven, especially after wasting my dollar on one of the worst pieces of cinema, I can hardly even call it that, from last year: "My Soul to Take". Scream 2 and 3 were not at all good movies, so I figured during the entire production of Scre4m that it'd be exactly the same. Surprisingly, Wes Craven presents a "Don't screw with originals" themed movie that really iced the cake for my liking of Scre4m. Congratulations Craven, maybe you haven't lost your touch after all.

"You forgot the first rule of remakes! Don't f*ck with the original!"- Sidney Prescott, Scre4m (2011)
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2011
It's another scream movie, not bad, not great. Decent kills and lots of blood. Only real problem is that none of the new cast are either interesting or likeable. The oldies still do it justice though. Watch it but wouldn't buy it.
BG Movie Reviews
Super Reviewer
August 11, 2011
I had previously heard of the Scream series when I was a kid and people were chasing me with Ghostface masks that oozed blood, but then for a long time I forgot what it was. Recently, with the release of Scream 4, I decided I needed to watch all the other Scream films first, before I watched Scream 4. And I have to say, they were all very tense, well observed and creepy films. So, when I finally went down to the cinema to watch this film I had high hopes, and they were fulfilled!

The Scream franchise has been based around various killers who donned a white ghost mask and has gone by the name Ghostface, and murder specific people in violent manners for specific reasons. The reasons for the people killing were relatively acceptable. Scream 1 worked, Scream 2 was sort of dodgy and Scream 3 was very odd and out of the blue. Scream 4 seemed to go back to the beginning of that cycle with an ending and a motive that worked for the film in a realistic manner.

As with all the previous Scream films, there is a set of rules devised so that the characters, and the audience, know what they need to avoid doing and what they have to do. Unfortunately, there are essences of the rules from the original film in the fourth film, causing confusion and controversy over whether the rules from the first film apply or not.

The other thing it shares with the previous Scream films is the unrealistic survivals. Let's just say there are some moments where people seem to be dead, but then just come back for a second attack when it doesn't seem possible.

With some ridiculously unexpected twists and turns from the start, Scream 4 is a great film, with some dark humour, that I would highly recommend watching.
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