Reboot? Remake? Sequel? How about all of the above?!
***** out of 5
Rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some teen drinking.
Article first published as Movie Review: Scream 4 on Blogcritics.
Having driven my wife crazy for (at least) months now, relief is probably the only word I could use to describe this passed weekend. An overgrowing excitement has been barely contained as I have slowly waited for the release of what was sure to be one of my favorite movies of the year. As my wife also told me, “Some people have “Star Wars,” others have “Lord of the Rings,” you have “Scream.”” While “Scream 4” is admittedly far from what one would ever call a “best picture,” it definitely succeeds on all counts for what it should. And in the realm of all the remakes, reboots, and never-ending cases of sequels, “Scream 4” has finally arrived to show everyone that it can still be done right.
Then “Scream 2” followed up almost exactly one year later in 1997 and set up its funhouse mirrors on sequels themselves. Unfortunately, by the time “Scream 3” arrived in February 2000, Williamson had departed and Ehren Kruger, in spite of a fitting last name, wound up bringing what should have been a spectacular close to a true trilogy, dragging its heels across the finish line. The arrival of cameos from Jay and Silent Bob will forever be the biggest sore spot no matter what any further sequel could bring. Finally, Craven and Williamson are back together as they belong to set the series right again.
With the latest murders rearing their heads and now-Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette) on the scene with bored-out-of-her-mind-after-ten-years-of-marriage Gale Weathers-Riley (Courteney Cox) on his heels, its all everyone can do to keep the new cast members from being cut into fish sticks. Who’s the new killer? Is it Kirby (Hayden Panettiere), Charlie (Rory Culkin), or Robbie (Erik Knudsen), the trio of horror aficionados of which the boys are heads of the local Cinema Club at Woodsboro High? Deputy Judy (Marley Shelton), former classmate to Sidney herself? Or could it once again be a case of the obvious: Jill’s ex-boyfriend Trevor (Nico Tortorella)?
But what would the slaughter be without the last eight letters of the word, right? Even if producers Weinstein thought Kruger being brought in for some script polishing was a good idea, at least this time you can’t really tell. “Scream 4” takes aim at all of the Platinum Dunes remakes (ranging from the better: “Friday the 13th,” the worst: “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning,” to the completely unnecessary: Wes Craven’s own “Nightmare on Elm Street”). They also find time to run the “Saw” series (aka “torture porn”) across the coals while bringing to light the latest trend of “found footage” which is really funny when you consider that Dimension Films next horror release is exactly that (“Apollo 18”). Let’s also not forget that live streaming, all things internet and the word “meta” get sent up and used at their own expense too
Photos courtesy Dimension Films