December 20th 1996, I was only fourteen years old and I was about to witness the new franchise from master of horror Wes Craven entitled Scream. Little did I know as a young horror fan that I was about to be apart of horror history and was going to be viewing a film that would end up bringing the horror genre to a mainstream level and giving birth to the next generation of teen slashers and a never ending onslaught of films using its teen formula in hopes of cashing in on the Scream craze.
Now in 2011 we return to the small town of Woodsboro where Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) has arrived to promote her best selling novel “Out of Darkness”. What was meant to be a peaceful homecoming soon takes a familiar turn for the worse when murders similar to those that occurred so long ago in Woodsboro start happening once again reuniting Sidney Prescott with Dewey Riley (David Arquette) who is now the towns sheriff and now wife and ex reporter Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) along with series new comers Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere), Charlie Walker (Rory Culkin), Robbie Mercer (Erik Knudsen), Trevor Sheldon (Nico Tortorella), and Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts) the teen cousin of Sidney.
I’m not going to lie going into Scream 4 I had very little faith in it being any good after the terrible sequels that came before it but now I find myself having to remove my foot from my mouth and admit that this is not your run of the mill quick profit sequel, instead we are given a very clever return of the franchise that comes off feeling like a strange remake/sequel hybrid that is sure to keep you entertained and engrossed for its entire running time.
One of my favorite things about the first Scream film was its ability to poke fun at itself and other genre films while maintaining a serious enough plot to keep things tense. Scream 4 returns to this formula and is full of both laughs and stressful high-tension moments making it a real treat for old-school fans of the series that were hoping for a return to the franchises roots.
Scream 4 is a genre geeks wet dream come true with so many pop horror references that I can’t wait to re-watch this film to make sure I did not miss any comments or nods to legendary genre films of the past. The first Scream laid out all the rules of what it takes to be a survivor in a horror film and now Scream 4 has updated those rules for a new generation of fans in a era where a lot has changed with the explosion of remakes and completely new sub genres and does so in very ingenious ways.
One thing that really blew me away was the level of blood and gore in this installment; they really amped up the gore factor in this one a much-appreciated choice in the eyes of this avid gore hound. There are some truly brutal kill scenes in Scream 4 a franchise that I did not remember being so violent and blood soaked. Without giving away anything my favorite kill in this film has to be one involving someone getting stabbed directly in the forehead in a ultra gritty and vicious fashion.
If you have been on the fence about throwing down your hard earned dollars on a trip to the theatre to see Scream 4 take my word on this and do so. Scream 4 has everything it takes to create a memorable movie experience and is a much needed return to Wes Cravens roots of blending humor and horror in a seamless manner and has restored my faith in the legendary horror icon leaving me looking forward to what he has in store for audiences next.