Review: ‘Scream 4’ is a typical sequel thriller!

Last Updated: Apr 15, 2011, 16:44 PM IST

Spicezee Bureau

‘Screen 4’ is typically overdue sequel that comes after a long time of the previous film. ‘Scream 4’ attempts to reinforce its prequels. It has all the hallmarks of the series with all the characters albeit forced and dragged.

The next generation of Woodsboro catches up with Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) on the anniversary of the original murders. Kids have erected Ghostfaces all over the city street lamps. Killings start again, but it’s the young generation that interprets the rules now.

I totally realize that I’m too old for this movie. ‘Scream 4’ is for the internet generation, and I’ve kept up as best I could, but I am simply not the person a movie about webcam and found footage is for. That’s for them. So maybe this is the ‘Scream 1’ for a new generation.

I still think the statement is not a satire of the web generation, and they barely address what it means to the ‘Scream’ formula when everybody has their own personal cell phone. The film simply identifies their habits, but that’s not a commentary. Plus, webcam boys Robbie (Erik Knudsen) and Charlie (Rory Culkin) are no Randy.

The opening sequence manages to surprise the audience. It’s not organic to any kind of storytelling, but it’s adjusting the formula to a generation built on texting and apps so it’s fun. When they talk about torture porn and ‘Saw’ movies, I definitely feel like they don’t actually understand that genre like the screenwriter understood slasher movies. They just mention the talking points. Hard to know whether that’s Kevin Williamson or Ehren Kruger. And having the girls watch ‘Shaun of the Dead?’ No. Just no.

It’s still a mystery, which is a strength of sorts to keep telling stories and guessing games. They’ve got seven ‘Saws’ to compete with now though. A scene in the car introducing Jill (Emma Roberts), Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) and Olivia (Marielle Jaffe) is just blatant exposition, no matter how many references they drop in the dialogue. We do get to find out who directed ‘Stab’ so that’s funny.
There is an unintended meta effect about Gale (Courteney Cox) and Dewey (David Arquette). When Gale and Dewey have relationship conflict, it becomes really uncomfortable to watch. They can’t help that, but it’s a powerful unintentional comment on how the media affects our viewing.

It’s weird, thinking about ‘Scream 4’ intellectually, it feels like everything is right and it should work. I just know I wasn’t connecting. I actually liked ‘Scream 3’.

Rating: Two Cheers for this!