The are certain rules one must abide by in order to successfully write a good and interesting review of a “Scream” film :
1) It cannot be filled all the cliches that everyone uses when talking about Scream…so that’s none of the “redefined the genre” or “made horror cool”…leave all those up to The Sun’s review pages.
2) You cannot and must not ever reveal too much about who the killer is.
3) and last but by no means least, you cannot ever make lists like the ones made by Randy in order to list “the rules”…
And so, Scream 4 hit cinemas recently. It’s been 11 years since we were last in the cinematic presence of Ghost-face and it’s been quite a wait. The story seemed all wrapped up. We’d been from the boyfriend Billy and pal Stu on the rampage for revenge against Sidney for her mother and his father, through to Billy’s mum helped by Sidney’s schoolfriend on a revenge hunt for her killing killer Billy, and finally to Sidney’s long lost brother, the mastermind behind everything from day one…so where could the franchise possibly end up?
Well fast forward to today and Sidney returns to Woodsboro on the anniversary of the original film’s events and you just know things ain’t going to turn out too well. Deputy Dewey has now been promoted to Sheriff Dewey, in charge of the Woodsboro police department. He is now also married to Gail Weathers, in and odd twist of life/art being awkward following the fact that David Arquette and Courtney Cox were going through a real life divorce whilst filming this film.
Gail is the jealous type, and has a vendetta against cute blonde Officer Hicks who seems to be showing Dewey too much attention lately. But could that lead to murder?
After a couple of girls are brutally murdered (following a really clever and funny scene involving the latest “Stab” films) and the evidence turns up in Sidney’s rental car, our triple-movie heroine is told she is unable to leave Woodsboro whilst the investigation takes place…and the ride then begins.
Plenty of new characters are introduced, including the two movie geeks (well, there has to be someone to point out the rules), and the women they are lusting after, one of which is played by the stunningly beautiful Hayden Panettiere. Also thrown into the mix is Sidney’s cousin Jill Roberts and her mum, Sidney’s aunt who Sidney moves in with whilst under investigation.
The film is set up fantastically. It’s not overly scary, but there are a few jumps in there and plenty of the scenes where you can see things coming a mile off and see Ghost-face advancing from behind. It stays true to the previous films, and Wes Craven’s direction added to returning writer Kevin Williamson’s brilliant script adds up to something special again. Would you “get it” if you hadn’t seen the previous three? Probably not. Should you see if you have seen it’s predecessors? 100%
It’s fun, jumpy, spooky in parts and the final reveal and scenes are some of the best in the entire series.
Go see Ghost-face!