For ten years, I’ve been been wrong on Scream 4

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Emma Roberts and Ghostface.
Photo: Dimension Films

It took me thirty minutes to recall the killers in Scream 4. That’s how long since I saw it, let’s just think about it.

I’m a fan of the franchise Scream, you see. Tens of times I saw the first three films. Ask me for these murderers and I would spout it off: Stu, Billy, the mother of Billy, Mickey, Roman! Scream 4, however? I’ve been watching until everything clicked in with fresh eyes. These fresh eyes may be a great reason why I’m ready to say this on 15 April to mark its 10th anniversary.

Scream 4, I was wrong. I thought it’s totally forgettable all this time when it’s fucking terrific in reality.

In this heart change, I think those 10 years play a major role. The social media was obviously a big thing when Scream 4 — directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson— was released in 2011. However, it’s gotten larger since then than anyone might ever have imagined. So, now it seems appallingly plausible to watch a movie about an assassin who hopes to kill and to lie down and become famous online. Ten years ago? Ten years ago. Perhaps a bit less so. Fame was a little less accessible at the time than playing Twitch video games, eating food on TikTok, or opening boxes on YouTube. Now, children want to be known for doing nothing, because so many of them could do it.

(If you don’t remember who Scream 4 murderers are like me, just go and watch them and get back, because I have to talk to them.)

This “spoiler alert” right there could have been Scream 4’s largest downfall. It is a film, which is built in the last 20 minutes the largest part of what makes it so unique and interesting. Especially when it was released, for fear of spoiling the movie for everyone you didn’t want to talk about those 20 minutes. So many of the most juicy bits probably have been somewhat overlooked or understated. The fact is that the killers are film Nerd Charlie (Rory Culkin) and Jill (Emma Roberts), who is cousin to Sidney Prescott, the original Scream survivor (Neve Campbell).

Jill explains that it was hard for a family member to grow up to be so infamous (for being an object of the murderous rampage that became the popular Stab movies books) and realizes that she wanted some of the fame and attention. She wanted some of this. She doesn’t want to work for it, however. She decides to team up with Charlie to carry out a series of killings that resemble the killings of the first film. She was not the killer but the supervivor especially if people thought. The hero. Hero. The Sydney. The Sydney.

Cousins.
Photo: Dimension Films

After that, Scream 4 takes stuff up. Jill kills Charlie deliberately and says people prefer a “solitary survivor,” and the final moves to the hospital, from the house where the first Scream ended. Jill’s going to get all the fame she’d ever had a small problem with. She didn’t kill Sidnes. She, Courteney Cox’s Gale, David Arquette’s Dewey, and Marley Shelton’s Judy’s Deputy heroically worked together to defeat her. she didn’t kill Sidney. The film ends on Jill’s heroism by bringing the “killer” down (she framed her boyfriend) unknowingly that Jill’s death and story has grown bigger upstairs from where they stood. Though she will be more famous dead than alive in order to be fair.

When the film ended there, Williamson and Craven left Scream 4 on a much more complex note than the previous three films, with Jill’s death, a misinformed medium and no real respite for the true heroes. It’s true that both the characters and the audience have to take into account; the story isn’t entirely finished, we do not know the next thing about sydney or Woodsboro, and we cannot tell how everyone will react if the true truth is true. Now we have to admit that if this is true, we’re fascinated and obsessed with Jill just as she would like, although she’s evil and we shouldn’t be. On us, this is a mirror. A layered, deceptive short ending, which stands out not only from many common film endings, but particularly from horror film endings. It’s very good.

It’s also interesting to notice that Scream 4 came out 11 years after Scream 3 while we’re now talking about the ten years of that film (with the Scream 5 en route). Like in this case, the ten years of waiting probably affected the reception of the film. At the box office, Scream 4 was OK, but not almost the hit of the first three. The franchise was only partially killed (though it came alive again on TV), as all unattainable expectations had been built in the 10 years between movies. It was difficult to judge Scream 4 on its own and as a part of the bigger franchise for myself, at least for me.

Because, you can see, here I bring to this review my own scream-worthy meta-turn. In the past, I have written a few cheap plugs, as opposed to other Retro reviews (Contact, The Last Starfighter and Close Encounters!)) Scream 4 is my first film which I reviewed when I was released. On my previous show at /Film, I wrote about it almost exactly ten years ago. I can’t say it’s a review, but there is, and at the time it gives a unique view into my thoughts. I am particularly proud of it.

Gross.
Photo: Dimension Films

The main ideas were: “It must be frightening.” Scream movies were rarely “scary” (and here I’m thinking about myself 10 years ago). They were intense and made you jump out of your seat sometimes, but that never was the main aim. It was about distracting the genres of horror by making them a hotbed and using tropes from other horror films against the audience. Too much, perhaps.

It begins with not one but two fake excerpts from the traditional Scream intros before you get to the current one. This is largely a review of the first two. The main character, Jill, is also a new twist – although you must take her place into account it is a little more crucial to suspend disbelief in this sequela. However, that’s all right. Making your partner the nerd Charlie movie, a callback for Scream 2, not only obvious, makes sure that he cannot be a killer. There is also the entire background thread of the Stab film franchise that is being overlaid. Moreover, the Scream 4 shows that almost everyone could be the murderer more than in the previous two films. Well, except maybe Dewey who is playing catchy all the time so hilariously, you can’t help, but love him all the time.

You might have forgotten how imposing and enormous the cast is, too. Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell are among the openings. Two cops are played by Adam Brody and Anthony Anderson. Allison Brie’s a slippery advertiser. Naturally, the three main characters return (Cox is really good in the film, particularly) and children are wonderful throughout, in particular Hayden Panettiere, who spent many years with Screams and heroes on the very rare Nushville series. It’d be nice to see her again in this realm.

However, there are some knocks in my original review. As it is the fourth film, there are almost no jump scares here. The person is also hilarious about what happens around him, but in this installment the killings are definitely grosser (you really go to this film festival with a murderer at a loose level?). Furthermore, these children are fans of book-based movies, which are just a movie for us, the audience. It’s almost difficult to watch the whole thing at times, because so much is happening. But it’s quite refreshing, actually.

Don’t kiss him Hayden!
Photo: Dimension Films

Finally, in the Scream Ranking after the 10-year revision, I believe I would probably move Scream 4 into either my second or third slot. The originality of the first one will never be affected, but Craven and Williamson really stepped up here to make a movie not only worthy of the franchise but also an evolution. It is obviously unfortunate that it was finally Craven’s final film as a director. However, it gives me a nice feeling that the last film I’ve spent the last ten years thinking that it wasn’t the mediocre waste. In fact, it’s an enormously entertaining, wildly intelligent and way ahead of its time, a breaking point for an unfulfilled future. Scream 5 has enormous filling shoes.

Scream 4 does not stream to any service currently (although it pops on or off every couple of months), but can be downloaded and rented digitally from anywhere else.