Scream 4 (2011) Review: A Worthy Ending
“New decade. New rules.”
Synopsis: Ten years have passed, and Sidney Prescott, who has put herself back together thanks in part to her writing, is visited by the Ghostface Killer.
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Scream 4 is yet another solid example of a good sequel. Even with some 21st century updates, the sly but dark tone of the Scream movies is alive and well in this flick. In some ways, Scream 4 is better balanced between those qualities than its predecessors, making it a worthy end to an already better-than-average slasher series.
Ten years after the events of the original film, Sidney (Neve Campbell) returns to Woodsboro to hawk her book and visit her extended family, only to find herself once again targeted by Ghostface. Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette) and former reporter Gale (Courteney Cox), now married, fight over how to best catch the killer and return peace to Woodsboro. Meanwhile, Sidney’s niece Jill (Emma Roberts) and her friends (including Hayden Panettiere) get picked off one by one as this generation’s new meta film geeks present the rules of a reboot. (Hint: the twists have to be twistier.)
Scream 4 feels very similar to the original Scream. While it continues with the overly meta themes of the other movies, this one pulls back a bit from the distractingly over-the-top celebrity quotient and focuses more on what a new generation does when face-to-face with a killer from the town’s past. Sidney is also satisfyingly ass-kicking now, having no doubt spent the last 10 years studying martial arts.
The only real complaints I have about the final installment are: 1) unlike the other three, it doesn’t feature Nick Cave’s “Red Right Hand” and 2) the familiar gripe about Ghostface. As always, since Ghostface is a mantle worn by one or two very human killers, there’s often discrepancies between what the masked murder does and what the actual killer should be capable of pulling off. Scream 4 is better about avoiding continuity/physics errors than the other movies (I’m looking at you, Scream 2), but as always, Ghostface is frequently taller and stronger than seems appropriate when the actual culprit(s) are revealed.
Still, Wes Craven‘s Scream series is pretty solid all the way through, and definitely one of the better franchises. Even at its weakest (coughScream3cough), the series still rates top billing for a movie and popcorn night.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B
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