Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Scream 4



Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 58% (Critics) / 56% (Audience)
Directed By: Wes Craven
Written By: Kevin Williamson
Starring: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin and David Arquette
Studio: The Weinstein Company/Dimension

Synopsis: In Scream 4, Sidney Prescott, now the author of a self-help book, returns home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. There she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey and Gale, who are now married, as well as her cousin Jill (played by Emma Roberts) and her Aunt Kate (Mary McDonnell). Unfortunately Sidney’s appearance also brings about the return of Ghostface, putting Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, along with Jill, her friends, and the whole town of Woodsboro in danger. (Source)

The Good:
The opening sequence was smart and original with the two fake outs before going into the de rigueur opening Ghost Face murders.
I also got a nice little wave of nostalgia seeing, Sidney, Gail and Dewey in action once again. These characters hold a special place in my horror loving heart and the ten year absence had proven to make me miss them more than I figured I did. I was also impressed by most of the newcomers to the franchise but none more than Hayden Panettiere’s Kirby. She was like a hot little amalgamation of dearly departed characters Tatum and Randy.
The killer reveal was also pretty snazzy too…while I had one of them figured out I was genuinely shocked by the identity of the other.

The Bad:
The movie had the opportunity to be absolutely fearless and create a new take on the slasher horror genre with the star of the next film in the relaunched series being the murderer but instead SCREAM 4 punked out. As much as I love the original surviving characters I went into this movie prepared to see them all die grisly deaths. Leaving them alive did nothing to serve the story of SCREAM 4 or to make me want to see the next chapter of this story.
And that ending was an absolute disastrous example of clichéd hackery.

The Ugly:
The shoddy treatment of my beloved President Roslin was uncool.

Final Verdict: SCREAM 4 began strongly and maintained a nice level of consistency throughout the majority of the film but it lost its way as things went on and showed a distinct lack of bravery when it came to pulling the trigger on making big moves. That lack of fearlessness took what could have been an amazing entry into the annals of horrordom and made it just an entertaining diversion for diehard horror fans. C+

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