Seriously, can we switch their hairstyles? I’m equally confused and annoyed.

Theatrical Release Date: 04/15/2011
Director: Wes Craven
Cast: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Erik Knudsen, Marley Shelton, Alison Brie, Anthony Anderson, Adam Brody, Marielle Jaffe, Mary McDonnell
Rated: R for strong bloody violence, language and some teen drinking.
Runtime: 1 hour, 51 minutes


What do you mean we’re not the stars of the movie?

15 years ago (Oh, Lord, I am soooo old), “Scream” came out. It was fairly fresh and original, with its irreverent tongue in cheek attitude, mockery of the basic “rules” of slasher films, and two-killer format. The victims, while archetypal, left some sort of impression on you before they died. The killers were fun, and Matthew Lillard’s combination of zany and sociopathic was actually a bit unsettling.

Oops. Spoiler alert.

I remember walking out of the theater in 1996 satisfied. Not scared, but at least amused.

So, despite the lackluster sequels, I was actually cautiously optimistic about this one. Wes Craven promised to utilize the social networking advancements made in the last decade to once again give us something fresh. At the very least it would be an hour and a half of good wholesome carnage, right?

Nope. Sigh.

In “Scream 4″, our old pal Sidney Prescott (Campbell) heads back to Woodsboro on a book signing tour. She reconnects with her old friends/ fellow survivors sheriff Dewey Riley (Arquette) and retired reporter Gale Weathers-Riley (Cox), as well as her aunt (McDonnell) and cousin Jill (Roberts). Unfortunately, her return also starts a new wave of Ghostface killings, and once again Sidney must find the killer before she loses everyone one she loves.

This film is unoriginal, predictable, and redundant. The returning characters wore out their welcome long ago, and at this point Cox and Arquette are pretty much phoning it in. Most of the new characters are largely 2-dimensional; a few of the actors try hard, but they aren’t given much to work with. Every twist is telegraphed well in advance, and even the final reveal is a rehashing of the previous endings in many ways. The clever lines of dialogue are few and far between, and while the body count is reasonably high the deaths are pretty commonplace.

There is little promise in the technological department, either; after a brief nod to Facebook, a few cell phone calls is all you get. It feels as if they just extended the pre-credits kills further into the movie. The themes that once felt new and different have turned into a rigid formula that the filmmakers seem loath to challenge.

All in all, this film isn’t offensive or poorly made. It’s just kind of boring and unnecessary. At the end of the film, everyone had an idea of which scene the film should have ended with. My response? The film should have ended at the last film. Or the first one.

So there you have it. I give “Scream 4″ a 2 out of 5, because if you are in the mood for an extraordinarily average film, this one is tailor made for you.


2 out of 5