Monday, April 25, 2011

100th: Review: Scream 4

It's been 10 years since the original Scream trilogy ended and after years of speculation of whether or not another one would happen, Scream 4 doesn't totally disappoint.

Following the release of her new self-help book, Sidney Prescott returns to her hometown of Woodsboro, California to end a very successful book tour. Before she can even reunite with old friends, a brand new string of murders slowly starts to decrease the population of Woodsboro. This time around, the murders seem to follow the pattern of the original killings as the new Ghost Face seems hellbent on bringing the same terror to a new generation.

With the exception of the third one, Scream has always been a satirical slasher. The smart, self-referencial wit that writer Kevin Williamson brought to the first two films is back again. This time around, Williamson addresses the total landscape shift in the horror genre since the original trilogy ended.

Williamson pokes fun at "torture porn" franchises like Saw or Hostel by overdoing the death scenes. He also makes fun of horror remakes through popculture savvy characters and addresses how cliche their attempts to outdo the originals have become, while at the same time, making Scream 4 kind of a remake; therein lies its iconic, self-referencial humor.

And there is a lot of it. Like I said earlier: Scream has always been a satirical slasher, but it's always been a slasher. Scream 4 is so jampacked with self-referential humor and witty puns that it feels more like a parody of the slasher genre instead of a pastiche. Had this movie taken itself a little more serious and had it actually been scarry, I would have been able to take it more seriously.

Even though we've seen this exact formula over and over again, even from this franchise, Scream 4 is a breath of fresh air for the horror genre. It has a lot to say and it says it with such fluent diction that I cannot help but be impressed.


  1. I agree, a very enjoyable movie and the the series' best since the original. The new characters felt real and actually got some development which helped me get a bit more invested in the film. Plus, Craven had a decade of new horror films to parody so Scream 4 felt like a worthy successor to the original, rather than just a cash grab.

  2. well done on 100th review fellow lamber!

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