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“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.



“Trick ‘r Treat”
a review by Darby O’Gill

It’s Halloween night, a night full of tricks and treats. Well, mostly tricks. But, the real treat is finally getting Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat released. I know it’s not the theatrical release we were all hoping for, but it is finally out on DVD. In the spirit of Creepshow, Trick ‘r Treat takes four tales from one Halloween night and intertwines them into one fantastic story. It’s like Robert Altman and Wes Craven had a baby, and named it Trick ‘r Treat. Take a high school principal moonlighting as serial killer, a young woman searching for the perfect date, a childish prank that ends with disastrous consequences, and an old man that learns the true meaning of trick-or –treat, and what you have is one hell of a ride. Trick ‘r Treat was made in 2007, and spent two years just trying to get into theatres. It was receiving rave reviews at all the horror festivals, but for some reason Warner Brothers just didn’t believe in it enough to put it in theatres. It’s sad really. Great movies like this have to fight to see the light of day, but pieces of shit like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, have no problem finding their way into theatres. You know, there was another little horror film that was made in 2007 that couldn’t seem to find distribution. It was a little movie called Paranormal Activity. Ever hear of it? Maybe this will finally make Hollywood wake up. Most likely not, but it would be nice if other little movies like these would finally be given the chance they deserve, and not have to fight for two years just to see the light of day. I know. I know. It’s never going to happen. But, let’s get back to subject at hand. Trick ‘r Treat is a must see. With an amazing story, some brilliant cinematography, and fantastic performances, Trick ‘r Treat is a guaranteed Halloween classic. Oh, I haven’t even mentioned little Sam, the trick-or-treater demon that oversees the night’s events. He is a greatly welcomed addition to the Freddy and Jason’s of the horror community. I really hope they make more of these. I can’t wait to see Trick ‘r Treat 2! I just hope next time it’ll be in theatres on Halloween night, and not just a straight to DVD blow-off. Warner Brothers is sitting on a goldmine. They could make a new Trick ‘r Treat movie every year like the Saw franchise, but I guess we’ll just have to wait for them to realize that on their own. Until then, we’ll just have to keep fighting the good fight.

5 Little People

DVD Special Features:

Sadly, that’s it. One bonus feature, if you can call it that. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool to see the animation short that became this movie, but come on! This movie had an incredible journey for two years, and you’re not going to do a commentary track for the feature film?! How about some behind the scenes footage, or maybe some deleted scenes? Hell, I’d be happy with even a trailer at this point! My only guess is that Warner Brothers was really on the fence about putting it in theatres, but at the last minute pushed it to DVD, and wanted to get it out before Halloween. If that is the case, we’ll hopefully get a Special Edition DVD at some point, but until then it’ just sad.

DVD Special Features Rating:
1 Little People

“Saw VI”
a review by Darby O’Gill

Well, it’s that time of year again. No, not Halloween, it’s time for another installment of the Saw series. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Darby, do we really need six of these movies? And the answer… These are not really movies. Okay, I know I can’t see you reading this, but I’m willing to bet most of you have a puzzled look on your face right now. Let me explain. The Saw movies are more like a TV show. Instead of getting twenty – four one hour episodes over the course of a year, you get one two hour movie every year around Halloween. Believe me, I wish that were the case for a few TV series out there. Now, the first Saw movie was fantastic! And, Saw II… Well, that one was a train wreck. But luckily Saw III was able to save the series, and it also started the ongoing storyline that is now the Saw franchise. The only problem with that is, if you haven’t seen the previous installments, you may be a little lost on who’s who. In the interest of full disclosure, I must tell you that I personally know the writers that took over the series from Saw IV to Saw VI. So, with that being said, I will not be pulling any punches; but this was my favorite of their three installments. I think the most impressive thing about their writing, is their ability to write movies for a main character that died three movies ago. Sorry if I ruined it for you, but come on it’s the sixth movie! It’s been six years, why haven’t you watched these movies yet? Getting back to comparing Saw to a TV series, I think the best comparison would be LOST. Much like LOST, the storyline is always being moved forward by telling you about things from the past you didn’t know before. That style of story telling definitely sets the Saw series apart from the other slasher flicks out there. Also, they  have stepped up the gore over the years. A friend of mine was saying last weekend, that the thing he liked most about the first Saw movie, was that they didn’t really show the gore. You thought they were going to, but it was the thought of it that seemed to bother you the most. In the later installments they just seem to show you more and more, leaving less to the imagination. With all of this said, I think the Saw series still works. I’m not sure how much longer they’re going to be able stretch this series out. If I didn’t know that Saw VII was already written, I might have thought this could have been the last one, but I guess we’re just going to have to wait and see what’s next.

3.5 Little People