Scream 4 Blu Ray Review
Released by Roadshow
"What's your favourite scary movie?"
15 years ago, one horror film reinvented the slasher genre and made it fresh, smart and frightening. Now, the franchise is back - with a new film expected to be the start of a fresh franchise of fear and slaughter.
On the anniversary of the first killings in Woodsboro, Sidney Prescott (the ever luminous Neve Campbell) heads back into town to promote her self help book. But her arrival heralds a new round of mayhem perpetrated by Ghostface - and soon, her friends, family and everyone in Woodsboro is a new target.
It starts with a phone ringing - and a very smart analysis of opening scenes from the Scream films (it's difficult to talk too much without giving spoilers so forgive vagueries) and the initial fake outs throw you off guard before the real action begins to take place. It's this self awareness which pervades the film - and makes it more entertaining than the two sequels which preceded it.
That said, the latest entrant seems a little muted compared to what we've become used to.
David Arquette is mightily impressive as doofus Dewey the sheriff; Courtney Cox is bitter and angry as Gail, the would be writer who's now trapped in small town Woodsboro; and Campbell really brings the psychological plight of a victim/ survivor to the fore. Throw in a new group (a next generation if you will) of teens (Hayden Panettiere, Emma Roberts as Sid's cousin, two new film geeks) and there's a veritable pot pourri of characters on show.
There's a lack of suspense at times to be frank - and if you're after a blood spattered night out, this isn't the film for you.
Granted the scenes of teens/ adults being stabbed are actually quite horrifying, but they're muted in comparison to the over the top death scenes of the previous two films - and that's what impresses.
The final sequences are overlong and drawn out - and the revelations of ultimately who's behind it make reasonable sense (partly because they spend an inordinate amount of time explaining why they're doing it.)
Sure, there's plenty of running up stairs when going out the front door may have been best; there's dark and deserted parking lots, shadows of things moving by windows, but all in all this Screemake (or Screequel as the characters call them) isn't a bad entrant into the franchise. As one line says :"You do a remake to outdo the original"; certainly Scre4m (to give it its marketing title) brings some new aspects to the genre, but the over peppering of the script with commentary on the films and horror franchises may lead some to feel this latest is a little flat and lacking in requisite suspense in places.