Movie poster for Scream 4

Movie poster for Scream 4

I’m going to be the first to admit that I’m typically not a fan of the slasher film genre. I don’t really care for gore or blood for the sake of having them in a movie. However, I’m willing to make exceptions. And with the latest installment of the Scream franchise, I pretty much had to.

In order to fully, or at least partially understand this film, I had to watch the predecessors. Or, in my case, the first two. It definitely helped as, obviously, this film relied a lot on what came before, moreso the first as it takes place back in Sidney Prescott’s (Neve Campbell) hometown of Woodsboro, 15 years after the original string of murders took place. Sidney is back to promote her new self-help book. While there, she stays with her younger cousin Jill (Emma Roberts), whom she didn’t know very well, and her mom’s sister, Sidney’s aunt Kate (Mary McDonnell). During a book signing, she catches up with former journalist Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) and her husband, now-sheriff Dewey Riley (David Arquette). Of course, things immediately start to go down.

Scream 4 plays on the predictability of the entire slasher genre, as well as its own franchise, by incorporating its own slasher, gory film franchise of its own for the entertainment of the characters. Stab is in its seventh installment at this point and is the basis for what is now expected of the killers for this movie. As Charlie (Rory Culkin) and Robbie (Erik Knudson) explain, the rules have changed. What makes Scream 4 as fun as it is is that it completely pokes fun at the genre and at itself. It’s predictable but in a very non-predictable way. You know someone is going to get killed, it’s just a matter of when and how. You know Ghostface is going to show up, but who’s his next target? How is Gale going to escape whatever situations she finds herself in? And the most suspenseful question, what’s the twist at the end going to be?

Courtney Cox was my favourite part of this Scream movie. After seeing her for years as Monica on Friends, and other various roles that were silly but still rather believable, she has taken herself to a whole new level of campiness here and it’s great that she can pull it off and play Gale so well. I feel like this is an example where the supporting role is the one that earns the cult following.

The camp value for the film itself reached a new height near the end of this one as the level of ridiculousness got to a new high. The ending might take you for a surprise though it’s the beginning that wins out for me. This movie was very fun to watch. It has a wonderful sense of humour and as entertainment, it is top notch. I’m new to the whole idea of Scream and I thought it was fun. I can only imagine how longtime fans feel about this first Scream movie in over ten years! It holds the name of Scream very well and should please fans, old and new. Screaming and applause is deserved. Four stars

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