“Scream 4”
a review by Darby O’Gill

The movie that changed the face of horror is back, and this time with a whole new set of rules. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since the first Scream movie came out, and just a little over 10 years now since Scream 3. One would even wonder if we needed a fourth installment to the Scream franchise, especially when three already seemed like one too many. But luckily for us, screenwriter Kevin Williamson has also returned this time around, and has brought a bit of that old fun creativity back with him. The one thing that made the original Scream so amazing was its outstanding writing. Sure, it wasn’t Shakespeare. But, there’s no denying that it was the writing that made that movie the classic it is today. And with Facebook, Twitter, and a whole new style of horror movies emerging in the last 10 years, Williamson had an opportunity play with some new ideas.

In Scream 4, Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell, has finally written a book that tells her side of the story, and is somehow talked into finishing her national book tour in Woodsboro, on the anniversary of the first killing. With the return of Sidney, the anniversary, and yet another installment of the popular Stab movie series, wouldn’t you know someone else wants to try their hand at being the Ghostface Killer. Dewey, played by David Arquette, and Gale Weathers, played by Courteney Cox, are now married and currently living in Woodsboro, where Dewey is the town Sheriff. They also introduced a new generation of teens, along with the idea that the killer might not be playing by the rules of a sequel this time around, and might actually be looking for a 21st Century reboot!

I’ve got to say, I enjoyed Scream 4 more than the last two sequels, but I still think they could have taken it a little bit further. Although, having Kevin Williamson back in the screenwriter’s chair is a big help, they did have a few opportunities in this script to take the franchise in a whole new direction, but in the end, they ultimately ended up sticking to the same old format. Well, that’s not completely fair. There is a new twist to Scream 4, and not one that I think most people will see coming, but I think the biggest problem the Scream series has always had to deal with is the fact that the killer, or killers, have always clearly died at the end of each movie. The other big problem is that the movie isn’t about the Ghostface Killer, it’s about Sidney, Dewey, and Gale! With Freddy, Michael, and Jason, the movies are always about them, the rest of the cast is replaceable. It’s easy to bring back the unstoppable killing machine once they’ve been established, and at one point in Scream 4 (without giving anything away) they could have easily done that. I’m not saying that it would have been a good thing for the series, but it would have at least been different, and maybe even a new direction you didn’t see coming this time around. Scream 4 manages to keep the audience guessing, and has more red herrings than you can shake a stick at, but it is definitely a welcomed addition to the series.