Scream 4 is a 2011 horror movie distributed by Dimension Films. It stars David Arquette as Sheriff Dwight “Dewey” Riley, Courtney Cox Arquette as Gail Weathers Riley, Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott, Emma Roberts as Jill Roberts, and Hayden Panettiere as Kirby Reed. It’s written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven.
Marking the 15-year anniversary of the Woodsboro massacre perpetrated by Billy Loomis and Stu Macher, two more teens are brutally murdered at the hands of a new “Ghostface” killer. One of the survivors of the original massacre, Sidney Prescott, returns to town the next day to promote her new book. Sheriff “Dewey” Riley forces her to stay in town after some bloody evidence is found in the trunk of her rental car. She stays with her aunt and cousin Jill while Dewey attempts to solve the murders and find the killer. Meanwhile, several more victims are claimed as the killer reveals to Sidney that he is going to make her suffer through it before coming after her.
One underlying theme of all the Scream movies, including this one, is the typical way a horror movie and series progresses. For the first Scream, it was about the basic rules of surviving a horror movie like, for example, never having sex or doing drugs. The sequel was about the conventional rules of a horror movie sequel such as a higher body count and more “elaborate” death scenes. The third, and seemingly final sequel, was about the particulars governing the rare occurrence of “a concluding chapter of a trilogy” in a horror movie series, the most obvious being that the star, in this case Sidney Prescott, could be killed in the end. Now this new sequel plays on a popular stereotype of movies these days: remakes, or reboots as they are frequently called. These rules are partially taken from the original movie with some new things added in by the (usually) different writer. Although, in this particular case, Kevin Williamson, who wrote the first two Scream movies returned to write this one.
Another play off of commonly-held trends of horror movie series was also demonstrated here in Scream 4. This characteristic is the number of endless sequels, each new one declining in popularity from its predecessor. We see this mainly in the beginning of the film, where we get glimpses of the fictional movie series Stab. The first three Stabs had been based on the events of the first three Scream films, which were “actual” events from the book series written by Gail Weathers. She also wrote the next four stories, which were purely fiction. In addition, four more Stab movies were based on these books. The storylines, since they had been fiction, were based on the author’s imagination and were gradually declining in quality from the original three nonfiction books because of the lack of many new ideas, as the Stab films had been.
In the past, Scream movies were not known for having a lot of gore in them other than blood. But, in this film, there is a scene that seemed somewhat out of place in a film series of Scream’s notoriety. It was a scene in which a friend of Sidney’s cousin Jill is brutally murdered as she and her friends watch helplessly from next door. Upon reaching the scene, Sidney finds blood all over the walls of the room and the victim lying dead on her bed, her “insides on the outside.” Unlike in the first film where there were brief mentions of graphic murders like this one, we never actually saw the “guts” on screen.
To wrap, Scream 4 is a brilliant adaptation of horror movie trends, past and present. If you are a fan of the Scream franchise or are just a fan of “slasher” films, you will enjoy this film immensely!
Written by Kevin Dillehay
Source by Kevin Dillehay