Scream 4 (15)

Film

Horror films

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Thu Apr 14 2011

Wes Craven’s old school re-boot of the ‘Scream’ franchise tries hard to recapture the fresh, clever self-referentiality of the 1996 original, but co-creator Kevin Williamson’s over-cooked script (with unacknowledged tweaks by ‘Scream 3’ scribe Ehren Kruger) is forced to acknowledge that much has changed in the horror genre in the past decade and a half.

So much so that a teenage girl, while watching one of the film-within-a-film ‘Stab’ movies spun off from TV anchorwoman Gale Weathers’s opportunistic books about the Woodsboro murders, openly expresses her disdain for ‘all that post modern, self-aware, meta-shit.’ Nevertheless, the self-conscious Chinese box structure has been retained, together with the copious verbal and visual references to modern and old horror movies: ‘Shaun of the Dead’, ‘Peeping Tom’ and Dario Argento’s giallo slashers.

On the tenth anniversary of Ghostface’s last murder spree, Woodsboro survivor turned self-help author Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns for a book-signing; but no sooner has she emerged ‘Out of Darkness’ than she is plunged back in again. Genre-savvy high school students are once again ‘kids to the slaughter’, each slaying prefaced by a spooky phone call from the masked killer. While Sheriff Dewey Riley (David Arquette) and his perky, flirtatious deputy Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton) investigate, Dewey’s wife Gail tries to break her writer’s block by teaming up with permanently filming live-blog nerd Robbie (Eric Knudsen). Sidney, meanwhile, worries about the safety of her young cousin Jill (Emma Roberts) and her gorgeous female friends.

Concessions are made to modern technological developments, but the name-checking of Facebook and Twitter only draws attention to how old fashioned the whole enterprise seems. Ditto the side-swipes at more recent horror trends – ‘torture porn’, real-time ‘shaky-cam’ chillers – which are never properly integrated into the film’s baggy formal strategies, and which miserably fail to interrogate those films’ peculiar generic conventions.

Critics were forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement before seeing ‘Scream 4’, so suffice it to say that there are few surprises, and I defy anyone not to predict who is alive at the end of the final reel. There is a moment near the end when the film edges up to a bleak, incisive ending – one which intelligently addresses the important, zeitgeisty issue of a debased ‘victim culture’ that turns tragedy survivors into secular saints and their vicarious readers/viewers into slavering disciples. Sadly, this one moment of promise is cruelly and almost immediately snatched away.

Ultimately, ‘Scream 4’ lacks the courage of its potentially subversive, game-changing convictions and dissipates into a fractured series of stabs in the dark.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Apr 15, 2011

Duration:

110 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.1 / 5

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  • 4 star:1
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LiveReviews|12
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saba

when I watch it it was really scary why do he kill people and he make up prank calls kill Sidney and the police come for looking scream 4 he what he said hang up and I will kill you

saba

when I watch it it was really scary why do he kill people and he make up prank calls kill Sidney and the police come for looking scream 4 he what he said hang up and I will kill you

Thomas Noctor

Very disappointing movie, repeated it's gag twice at the start (clever, not). For an hour and 10 mins this film was dire, the ending was good but overall, not funny, not shocking, no jumps, just cringing boredom.

Thomas Noctor

Very disappointing movie, repeated it's gag twice at the start (clever, not). For an hour and 10 mins this film was dire, the ending was good but overall, not funny, not shocking, no jumps, just cringing boredom.

Marsellus

If you've seen the other Scream films you'll know what to expect. Witty lines, twists, pop-culture references etc... The film is hardly Oscar winning but it is better than the comedic 3rd instalment - although not a patch on 1 or 2. Courtney Cox still looks hot but has clearly had some work done (hello pouty fish lips). On the flip side, Hayden Pantyliner is some proper decent clunge so I didn't care what happened when she was on screen. This film gets an extra star because of her.

Marsellus

If you've seen the other Scream films you'll know what to expect. Witty lines, twists, pop-culture references etc... The film is hardly Oscar winning but it is better than the comedic 3rd instalment - although not a patch on 1 or 2. Courtney Cox still looks hot but has clearly had some work done (hello pouty fish lips). On the flip side, Hayden Pantyliner is some proper decent clunge so I didn't care what happened when she was on screen. This film gets an extra star because of her.

Jules T-Smith

This is one of the cleverest, funniest, scariest horror films to come out since the original movie in 1996! This isn't a reboot, it is a direct sequel but with a very modern and current feel to it that makes it accessible to a new audience while also delighting the fans of the original. We have a fantastic returning cast of Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette and also the re-teaming of Craven and Williamson who made the originals (let's forget Scooby Doo Scream 3)! The new cast are fantastic- Hayden Panieteirre a stand out brilliant new addition as the wise-cracking movie geek Kirby. This film is full of all the things that made Scream great. It's incredibly post-modern (or 'meta' if you're going by the new post modern term for post modernism) referencing how sequels and reboots never quite live up to the original and how you can get so caught up with being clever that the final reveal can be incoherent. It also has a great comment on society- a world that has changed dramatically since the original movie. Emma Robert's Jill in the film says 'we live our lives in the public- how are we meant to achieve fame?'. This is very true and a subject that Scream 4 handles perfectly. The critics who say this film is just another awful part 4 are not seeing the genius of Williamson's writing and have missed the point entirely. The way that Scream 4 is constructed is so smart- they subvert expectations but also satisfy and play with structure so you really don't know what's going to happen next. The killer/or ers reveal is masterly done- Craven throwing red herrings at the audience right from the get go so when you do learn who has been donning the Ghostface mask and hacking and slashing there is a genuine gasp of surprise. What makes this film possibly the best sequel since the original is that where the first film benefitted from the teens being aware of the classic slashers of the 70s and 80s, these teens are completely aware of the 'Stab' series and live in the same world that we do- we know who Ghostface is and so do they and the fact that they have become flippant about it just adds to the realism. I am a massive fan of the original and was very prepared to be disappointed with this instalment but I have to say I loved every minute- from the clever (and very funny) opening right until the end credits- this is a must see for anyone who enjoyed the original and just wants a roller-coaster ride of a film. Try and see it in the cinema with a packed audience - that's how these films should be seen and prepare to cheer at the end- cos it's a SCREAM BABY!

Jules T-Smith

This is one of the cleverest, funniest, scariest horror films to come out since the original movie in 1996! This isn't a reboot, it is a direct sequel but with a very modern and current feel to it that makes it accessible to a new audience while also delighting the fans of the original. We have a fantastic returning cast of Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette and also the re-teaming of Craven and Williamson who made the originals (let's forget Scooby Doo Scream 3)! The new cast are fantastic- Hayden Panieteirre a stand out brilliant new addition as the wise-cracking movie geek Kirby. This film is full of all the things that made Scream great. It's incredibly post-modern (or 'meta' if you're going by the new post modern term for post modernism) referencing how sequels and reboots never quite live up to the original and how you can get so caught up with being clever that the final reveal can be incoherent. It also has a great comment on society- a world that has changed dramatically since the original movie. Emma Robert's Jill in the film says 'we live our lives in the public- how are we meant to achieve fame?'. This is very true and a subject that Scream 4 handles perfectly. The critics who say this film is just another awful part 4 are not seeing the genius of Williamson's writing and have missed the point entirely. The way that Scream 4 is constructed is so smart- they subvert expectations but also satisfy and play with structure so you really don't know what's going to happen next. The killer/or ers reveal is masterly done- Craven throwing red herrings at the audience right from the get go so when you do learn who has been donning the Ghostface mask and hacking and slashing there is a genuine gasp of surprise. What makes this film possibly the best sequel since the original is that where the first film benefitted from the teens being aware of the classic slashers of the 70s and 80s, these teens are completely aware of the 'Stab' series and live in the same world that we do- we know who Ghostface is and so do they and the fact that they have become flippant about it just adds to the realism. I am a massive fan of the original and was very prepared to be disappointed with this instalment but I have to say I loved every minute- from the clever (and very funny) opening right until the end credits- this is a must see for anyone who enjoyed the original and just wants a roller-coaster ride of a film. Try and see it in the cinema with a packed audience - that's how these films should be seen and prepare to cheer at the end- cos it's a SCREAM BABY!

ed

This is probably faint praise but this is possibly the BEST fourth installment in a Horroe series of all time. I remember Part 3 being redundant and turgid but this is a return to form imo. The old school, Neve Campbell, David Arquette & Courteney Cox are largely redundant, but I liked the new additions to the cast and I was mostly bamboozled by the i.d. of ghost face (I guessed the killer in Red Riding Hood) but I only guessed Scre4m's killers sceonds before the unmasking.. heh! The comedy elements were somewhat poor, why Anthony Anderson? Mostly enjoyable, and the intro with Anna Paquin in was brilliant... Also I think this was gorier with as many victims as the last 3 films put together. Shame there was no stunt / genre casting like when David Warner / Henry Winkler or Lance Henriksen showed up in the first 3... Enjoyable and loads of people (teenage girls) were screaming their hards off. So it must be doing something right. best sequel of the year so far...

ed

This is probably faint praise but this is possibly the BEST fourth installment in a Horroe series of all time. I remember Part 3 being redundant and turgid but this is a return to form imo. The old school, Neve Campbell, David Arquette & Courteney Cox are largely redundant, but I liked the new additions to the cast and I was mostly bamboozled by the i.d. of ghost face (I guessed the killer in Red Riding Hood) but I only guessed Scre4m's killers sceonds before the unmasking.. heh! The comedy elements were somewhat poor, why Anthony Anderson? Mostly enjoyable, and the intro with Anna Paquin in was brilliant... Also I think this was gorier with as many victims as the last 3 films put together. Shame there was no stunt / genre casting like when David Warner / Henry Winkler or Lance Henriksen showed up in the first 3... Enjoyable and loads of people (teenage girls) were screaming their hards off. So it must be doing something right. best sequel of the year so far...