SCREAM 4 (2011)
Okay slash fans, we’re here to round out the Scream ‘quadrilogy’ with SCREAM 4. What is it about the Scream films and Kevin Williamson getting the short end of it? Scream 2 had to be rewritten at the 11th hour due to spoiler leaks. Scream 3, Williamson had to bow out early due to other projects and Ehren Kruger was brought on board to help do some rewrites/punch ups…not to mention the unfortunate Columbine incident that forced initial rewrites (this is mentioned in the Scream 3 review). Scream 4 had Williamson at odds with the Weinsteins over script issues and his script was supposed to kick off a new trilogy and alas, we know how that turned out. But taken on its own, Scream 4 actually worked as well as it could. We didn’t know if the main crew would take a backseat to the obligatory ‘new, younger’ cast but they mixed in the old with the new pretty decently. Of course, the younger cast isn’t as memorable. We had the ‘Randy/geek’ clone, a female Dewey, the blonde friend, and eccentric outcast. They at least gave the newer cast their own personalities so they weren’t all completely interchangeable. However, I’d say the biggest strength to the script is how relevant the reveal is to the times we live in. While some people might not like the big reveal, it did a decent job in trying a different sort of motivation. After Scream 3 tied up loose ends, I was wondering where they would go and kudos for the social commentary they tied into it. Where the script needed work? Fleshing out a few of the newer cast a bit better, as I couldn’t tell you their names (except for Kirby) without looking them up. Also, more easter eggs/throwbacks to the original trilogy would have been nice, even if just a few more lines about events or previous characters. As it is, the sequel that was 1) supposed to jumpstart a new trilogy 2) got chopped in the editing room (again) and 3) underperformed at the box office, stands on its own two feet pretty well. Always nice to see old favorites and they get enough screen time to justify a 4th entry. One can only hope when Scream 5 debuts next year there are still enough tricks and surprises left…and our old favorites get their fair share of time to shine and aren’t consigned to background cameos. However, the movie gets docked a half point for a certain kill that is more at home in the Scary Movie franchise than a Scream movie. Yes, I said it.
SLASH SCALE: 3.5/5