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October 11, 2011
Review - " Scream 4 "  -  (on DVD) By Roland Hansen
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Scream 4
Directed by: Wes Craven

Scream 4 continues the Wes Craven legacy, despite his last film – a
dismal box office outing and generic horror release, My Soul to Take.
The fourth Scream follows 10 years later, in which Sidney Prescott
(Campbell) returns home to promote her new book, detailing her blood-
spattered past and story of survival. The local legend is met by a sick
reunion of sorts, in which the town’s folk are celebrating her fateful day
as if it were Halloween – making it a perfect time for the Ghostface
Killer to return.

The first Scream movie was a fresh, fun and thrilling slasher that
invented its own sub-genre with enough references to satisfy horror
movie buffs, good-looking teenagers and bloody thrills to wow
disenchanted horror moviegoers. The series delivered more of the
same in Scream 2 and then more of the same in Scream 3.

The more-of-the-same formula worked for parts 2 and 3, which,
although less competent – never really overcame the crisp novelty of
the original.  Scream 4 has taken the easy road with, you guessed it…
more-of-the-same, although it’s a welcome return for most moviegoers
who, until now, have had to endure a series of flimsy Scary Movie

Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette and voice artist Roger
Jackson all return for Scream 4. It just wouldn’t be Scream without the
original survivors in Sidney Prescott, Gail Weathers, Dewey Riley or
even the Ghostface Killer. It’s a 50/50 – where you could easily criticize
Wes Craven for simply recycling the franchise or praise him for sticking to his guns.

The same town, the same story, the same characters… the only thing that ever really changes is the killer. This is where
Scream 4 has gone wrong. Part of the fun in watching the series is trying to figure out who’s killing who, followed by a Ten
Little Indians moment when someone isn’t quite dead or has to feign innocence to the police by going all Psycho on

It is Scream’s dedication to formula that gives each film momentum while keeping it stagnant. The predictability may be a
reassurance for jaded slasher fans, but a reboot calls for something different, and casting Heather Graham as Drew
Barrymore in Stab doesn’t exactly set the screen alight. Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere and
Marley Shelton may add some eye candy, but it just doesn’t seem to be enough to break the film’s feeling of familiarity and

Scream 4 is just what you were
expecting… and you can’t
really give it too much grief for
being competent. The
production values are good,
the film geeks add a nice touch,
there’s plenty of blood and the
performances are consistent
for the most part. All in all it’s
nothing special, a dull surprise…
one that’s entertaining enough
to sit through and forgettable
enough to blend into your hazy
collection of classic Scream

Scream 4's not essential
viewing, despite your need to
complete the series by seeing
the reboot. It may be slightly
fresher than simply watching
Scream again.