Scream 4. Probably the last one in the franchise. Scream popularized the whole "meta, self-aware, postmodern" horror genre. Basically every horror movie that came out there for a while was a total Scream clone. Basically came out and defined the genre. Literally did this in the flick even. Scream 2 came alone and did the same thing for sequels. Then with Scream 3 we sort of get that with trilogies but maybe not so convincingly. Now we get this one that attempts to do the same thing with reboots. And though it generally didn't get the best reviews, it totally works. All that negative ink is a bunch of bullshit because Scream 4 is the great movie of all time.
Rotten Tomato Consensus: The franchise is showing its age, but Scream 4 is undeniably an improvement over its predecessor, with just enough meta humor and clever kills.
Pros: Wes Craven directed. His last picture. Great cast. Maybe the best of the franchise (though the first one had a pretty great one as well). Also some pretty ladies. Do a really good job of world building/character development. Though we've seen this same setup in this same time, it totally throws you for a loop with it's originality.
Cons: More brutal than the previous movies, which is quite the dubious achievement. The killers' motivations/whole murder plan is pretty bonkers.
|Remember that chick?|
|Alison Brie. Me-yow|
A few scenes that stuck out... One, the whole Stabathon that the high school AV club hosts where Gale puts these hidden cameras all over the place. Before they have it, Gale and Sid are visiting these HS kids and they float the idea of the two of them showing up to the film fest. The two of them are like, "this is in extremely poor taste, so how about no and you not do this." The kids respond with, "lame, we doing it" and then Gale ends up coming incognito anyway. She is wearing a mask so it isn't a "hello, fellow students situation," but it is pretty close. It is like the first movie where they have the hidden cameras all over the place and they can see the killer coming after one of the main characters. In this one, they damn near get Gale (and Sid later in the movie) but of course they live on in the Screamverse. But the scene is memorably tense and drawn out with a bunch of that the-killer-is-behind-you goodness.
The MVP of the flick has to be Emma Roberts. This flick elevated her to scream queen status and even got her a staring role in the television series Scream Queens which I found to be pretty solid as well American Horror Story. Her final girl status in the film is pretty mind bending. A unique take that turns what the expected upside-down. The shocking reveal at the end illustrates how far people will go to become reality stars, a pretty solid social critique of the Kim Kardashian/Paris Hilton model for fame as well as our collective obsession with serial killers and mass murderers. The performance is super solid and the character totally believable.
And that was the franchise. With that I guess I should rank them... IMO it goes Scream, Scream 4, Scream 2, and Scream 3. Can't beat an instant classic in the original which completely changed horror for the next decade and saved the dying genre. Though it doesn't get the credit, Scream 4 popularized the soft reboot in ways that went beyond horror, much like the first one did with teen movies and meta, self-awareness in film. If you are going to do a soft reboot, don't just tell the same story and don't completely reimagine it either. Give the people the movie they liked but take it in unexpected places--with a mind blowing twist, basically. See Star Wars: Episode VII, Mad Max: Fury Road, Jurassic World, and Terminator Genisys. All follow this model. Before that, it was all hard reboots like Halloween, Spiderman, and Star Trek which just shit on everything that came before and retold the same story. Next we've got Scream 2 which sort of defined the rules for sequels. A lot like the first one, it laid out the tropes and knocked them down to make for a super solid followup. Scream 3 tries to do that same shit with trilogies but is sort of all over the place and somewhat fails as the plot makes a little less sense and the shtick gets a little old. So yeah, 1, 4, 2, 3. In that order. Guess I should go back and do Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th as well, so look forward to that.