Scream 4 2011

Scream 4

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.

60%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 184

55%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 76,788

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Movie Info

It has been many years since the Ghostface Killer cut a deadly path through the town of Woodsboro. In order to get over the trauma of those horrific events, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) has written a self-help book. She returns to Woodsboro for her book tour, and reconnects with old friends Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette). However, Sidney's arrival also sparks the return of Ghostface, putting Sidney and everyone she loves in danger.

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Critic Reviews for Scream 4

All Critics (184) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (110) | Rotten (74)

  • "Scream 4" lacks the qualities that would make it a masterpiece, but it testifies to the cyclical nature of commercial storytelling in sharp, nearly timeless fashion.

    April 19, 2011

    Eric Kohn

    indieWire
    Top Critic
  • Scream 4 is fun, but more clever-clever than fiendishly ingenious.

    April 17, 2011 | Full Review…

    Philip French

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    April 17, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • 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

    April 15, 2011 | Full Review…

    Josh Levin

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

    April 15, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    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.

    April 15, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/4

Audience Reviews for Scream 4

  • Sep 24, 2015
    I decided to buy this movie on the cheap off eBay because I genuinely wanted to see it after seeing the original trilogy. While I had my problems with the trilogy, I still thought that the films were enjoyable, and would actually make for a really fun marathon. I also thought that with a decade separating Scream 3 from Scream 4, and all the technological advances in that time and how horror films was evolved from then, that it would be intriguing to see this film would incorporate all of those elements to make something that's modern yet still unmistakably Scream. Honestly, out of every sequel in this franchise, this would definitely be the best of them all. I know that some people think Scream 2 is the best of the franchise, but that film suffered from an insanely quick turnaround as it was released less than a year before the first movie. The movie's quality definitely suffered from that quick turnaround. And Scream 3 was sort of playing into what it originally mocked. Scream 4, while playing by the rules of reboot/remake, does sort of bring back new life to the franchise. It feels more like an actual Scream film than any of the other sequels felt. It plays with the horror tropes and cliches in a clever fashion, particularly with how important the internet, Facebook, and Twitter have influenced the modern day Ghostface and how the murders are now streamed online in order to give the villain(s) themselves new notoriety that they wouldn't have achieved in 1996. So I like how they play with that in a modern setting. It's obviously self-referential, probably more so than any of the sequels, but it also doesn't feel as overbearing as it might sound. It doesn't feel annoying, at least to me. It might bother some people, but it was perfectly fine in my book. I also liked how the villain(s) were approached because you're given various suspects and they're all viable suspects. That's the thing about Scream, anyone could be the murderer. If there's one thing I knew is that it definitely wasn't Jill's boyfriend because that would be repeating exactly what was done in the first film and one of themes is surpassing the original. Though they also do bring up how the unexpected is now the cliche and how the expected is now fresh again, so they could've gone with the boyfriend and it would've fit the film's themes. Though, with that said, it's almost as if Scream 2 and 3 don't even exist according to this film. It all alludes to the original's film events, nothing about Scream 2 or 3 is ever mentioned or hinted at. I guess it was for the best, since the film itself is a reboot and it'd only draw comparisons to the first film and not necessarily the other sequels. It's also a pretty bloody film, considerably bloodier than I was expecting. It's not like it's out of this world bloody and gory, but it's violent. Thankfully, too, since the third film toned down on the violence a lot. And, at the very least, the film has some solid characters so it's not just about seeing attractive and unlikable people meeting a violent demise. I digress, however, this is actually a real fun horror movie. It might not have been more than a good horror movie, but in this case, that's more than enough. I think Scream fans will find a lot to like here. I think more casual fans will also find something to enjoy here. It's a good horror movie and I, honestly, think that a marathon of all 4 films would be something really fun to do. I had fun watching this, I wouldn't recommend buying it unless you can get it for under $10, but it is an enjoyable horror movie. Thumbs up.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Apr 07, 2015
    Whilst Scream 4 or "Scre4m" is good, it's not necessarily a film that you'd remember. If you're stuck for choice, have seen and enjoyed the previous entries to the Scream series and/or just really enjoy slasher films then Scream 4 will probably be one you'll enjoy...if however you are looking for something with a little more substance, then you should probably steer clear of Scream 4. The film is so polished that it seems to have lost most of its edge along the years,its almost unrecognisable as is Courtney Cox. Some of the performances are quite good for example Hayden Panettiere who is always a joy to watch, but Cox, Campbell and Arquette all seem to be doing the exact same things they've done for the past decade - rooted firmly in their archetypes and doing nothing to surprise us. Scream 4 goes for semi-spoofing the 'reboot' phenomenon and seems deeply confusing most of the way through, is it satire, is it silly? No idea whatsoever.
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 25, 2012
    The Meta horror film element is just too much.
    Jason 123 D Super Reviewer
  • Sep 17, 2012
    The three previous <i>Scream</i> movies all began with self-referential jokery that came off as smugness, so why stop now? Once that's out of the way, <i>Scream 4</i> manages to string together a strong midsection with more actual scares than <i>Screams 1</i> and <i>3.</i> This time, Wes Craven aims his satiric eye at horror movie remakes and he, along with writer of all the <i>Scream</i> movies Kevin Williamson, offers some juicily scathing comments about the state of the mainstream horror film industry. The cast is filled with name actors, from Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox reprising their <i>Scream</i> roles to series newcomers Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, Marley Shelton, Emma Roberts, and Hayden Panettiere. I never watched <i>Heroes</i> so this was my first taste of Panettiere, and as Oliver Twist would say, "Please, can I have some more?" She gives the best performance and I can see her talent gaining her bigtime stardom, and on top of that she's a megawatt hottie - a megawottie. If she was a delicious candy bar, she's the 'fun size' model. Anyway, I've said several positive things but there are a lot of negatives that really signal that while it was kinda fun to return to Woodsboro, this should be the last visit. First, many of the new cast members I didn't mention above are annoying, lousy, or both. Second, all the characters in this do incredibly stupid things, even for a horror movie, and especially in a horror movie that ridicules characters from other horror movies for doing incredibly stupid things. Third, there are way too many 'jump' scares and false alarms, most of which are ineffective. Fourth, the music cues once again like in all the <i>Scream</i> movies are distracting - music in a scary movie should amplify tension and not make you acutely aware there is music playing over the scene. Last and most crucially fifth, the killer's identity and motivations are terribly weak. After the mask is lifted, I quickly lost interest and still had to sit through 20 more minutes and a couple predictable false endings. If indeed <i>Scream</i> has screamed for the final time (before the inevitable remakes beginning in, say, 2019?) here's how the series piles up: <i>Scream 2</i> <i>Scream 3</i> <i>Scream</i> <i>Scream 4</i>
    Doctor S Super Reviewer

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