Eleven years after Scream 3, the conclusion of a trilogy I really love, comes a hot new Hollywood trend:- ‘the tack on fourth installment.’ Like Indiana Jones, Terminator, Pirates and Rambo, Scream 4 is trying to cash in on the former glories of a trilogy that everyone truly thought was over.
Sidney (Neve Campbell) returns to her home of Woodsborough for the launch of her new self help book. Dewey and Gale live boring lives as the local sheriff and the local sheriff’s wife. Gale is a far cry from the go getting, best selling novelist shew was a decade ago. This is where we find our heroes at the opening. Then, before you can say Stab 7, Ghostface is on the loose again, offing good looking teens.
The film has a few laughs and a few good jumps, but after a decade of next generation horror films like the Saw franchise and the Final Destination films, this film is too 90’s, too stuck in a box with the first three movies. The story is just not fresh enough, it’s simply exactly what it says on the box, a fourth Scream movie, and nothing more. One tagline for the film read ‘New Decade. new Rules’, where it really should have just read ‘New Decade, Same Rules.’ It is very sad since the franchise beagn as a clever, witty, post modern, self referencial looks at slasher movies.
After such a long break, Craven and Williamson needed to shake us up, to mess with our minds and make us forget what we thought we knew about everything and everyone. Without giving too much away, let me simply say that they don’t. They don’t reinvent and they don’t push the envelope in the film making medium, the gore, or the narrative.
None of the characters offer much in the way of surprise and development, and when the final reveal of the killer / killers is made, it is simply another case of more psychos with more motives. Craven and Williamson had eleven years and this is the best they could do. Hollywood has truly lost it’s originality… but then again, we all knew that already, didn’t we.