Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to Woodsboro on the 10th anniversary of the original. Before long teenagers are dropping like flies.
Scream is back. Woo! Ticker-tape parade. Let’s go have a picnic and then run around in just our pants. We mean, really, how exciting is it to have a new entry in a franchise that stopped being good after the first one. Whilst Scream 2 did have some shocks, its resolution was so left-field, it was laughable. And Scream 3 was just unbearable. So, where does that leave us with Scream 4?
In the opening sting, we are treated to two ‘it’s really a film-within-a-film’ jokes, before the eventual ‘oh look, it’s her! Oh no, she’s a dead’un now’ run of the mill death scene. Scream 4 tries so damn hard to be meta-fictional, we’re even treated to Gale Weathers telling us that it’s meta-fictional. Kevin Williamson introduces a new line of potential knife fodder, all deliberately reflecting the trilogy’s original Scooby gang, and even acknowledging that they are the new Sidney, Randy, Gale etc. It’s this kind of self-knowing bullshit that makes the film unbearably smug.
When it’s not winking with the full force of Anne Robinson, the characters reference so many other horror films, it’s as if it’s trying to out-parody the orignal’s vein of parody. The words ‘Michael Myers’, ‘Reboot’ and ‘This is a remake’ are thrown around like so much feces in a monkey cage.
Are there any scares? Well, it depends if you consider violent violin chords being played at every appearance of the world and its mother.
There’s a cat! SCREEEECH!
Four piece dinner set! SCREEEEEEECH!
What’s in the fridge? We got OJ, purple stuff, soda… Sunny D?! SCREEEEEE-FUCKING-EECH!!!
If we haven’t already emphasised it enough, Scream 4 is a terrible film and does more to hinder the original than its original lackluster sequels ever will. Our protest will be about as useful as a fly fart in defense of a hurricane. However, if we all wish really hard, this franchise may get shot in the head like so many of its previous antagonists. If you’re going to watch a film that plays with horror movie conventions then make it 2010’s Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil.
Scream 4? More like… Scream Poor! Yeah, word play.