Sabbath Reviews: Scream 4 (2011)

Directed by: Wes Craven
Written by: Kevin Williamson

In 1996, Wes Craven directed Scream and attempted to breakdown the horror film genre while delivering the scares. Most importantly, he took on the slasher genre which at the time was dead. The greatest killers of the slasher genres all started in the late 1970s and the 1980s. Jason, Freddy, Michael … they were all part of franchises that were being driven into the ground by the time the 90s rolled around and new new challengers stepped up to the plate until Ghostface.

I wasn’t an intense fan of the Scream series when they came about in the ’90s, but I enjoyed them. I enjoyed them enough that even though it ended on a sour note with Scream 3 — which was at best all right, and at worst pretty shitty by the series standards — when a 4th installment was announced I’d knew I’d be in the theaters to see it. I’m a sucker. You deliver me a sequel a decade later, and I’m going to be curious to see what you can do with it. In some cases, it worked. I find Rocky Balboa to be one of the best installments in the series. On the end hand, I found the last Rambo to be pretty fucking mindless. Would Scream 4 stack up? Who could be the killer this time around?

So, I watched Scream 4 knowing it could either be a pleasant surprise or a complete dud.

IMDb gives Scream 4 a 7.1, just shy of Scream’s 7.2 and way ahead of Scream 2’s 5.9 or Scream 3’s 5.3

Has the world gone fucking mad?

It’s been a decade since we’ve last seen these characters. At one time we knew them, at one time we gave a shit about them, but at some point they forgot they need to make us care about them again. Again. Because it HAS been ten years. I’m getting ahead of myself though.

Scream 4 opens up on the traditional scene. Phone call. Killer in the house. But wait! Fakeout! It was a movie. Two girls sitting on a couch, talking about the movie. One bitches about how predictable it is … she gets stabbed! Fakeout again! That was a movie within a movie, and now we’re in the real movie and … this pretty much sets the stage for what Scream 4 is going to be about. Meta. Meta on top of meta on top of meta. Where the original trilogy tried to disassemble the slasher movie cliches, this one’s bread-and-butter is metareferencing and basically going all the way back to the beginning … which, yes, is what the third one was about, but this is going back to the beginning in a different way.

This is remaking the movie.

And failing at every corner. So, of course we get to meet up with the characters again. Dewey is the Sheriff and he’s … dopey. He’s his character from the Scary Movie franchise. A joke, completely incompetent, and not helpful at all to the plot. Gale is retired but still a bitch, which is nice to see, and yes, they’re married. Honestly, Gale is probably the only one of the original series to get any kind of soul in her character and the only one I gave two shits about the whole movie. What about Sid? Wooden as the posts they crucified your savior with. Zero character development, zero heart in the acting … I couldn’t care less about her throughout the entire movie and this was a character we’ve had THREE movies to grow attached to.

The new characters include Sid’s … niece? Cousin? I think cousin, but I’m not going to bother looking it up because that would mean researching this movie and it doesn’t deserve it. She’s the Sid of this movie. Her friends start dying one by one, etc. etc. Hayden Panettiere plays Kirby, the only friend you’ll care about in this movie and I’ve got to say Hayden was impressive in this movie. Not usually a big fan and I found her sometimes annoying on Heroes, but I give her props here.

We’ve also got two nerds to replace the superior nerd Randy who was killed off already in the franchise and —

Did I mention most of this movie takes place in about two locations? They’re under house arrest most of the movie, so we get to see the interior of Sid’s cousin’s house most of the movie. Truly … boring. Also, while under house arrest, they’re watched by a total of two cops who have failed to protect them and their friends ONCE while under house arrest, yet security is never amped up. Fucking convenient.

You want to know who the killer is? No, you don’t — and not because it’s a spoiler, but because the logic and spin they put on it is the dumbest fucking reveal I’ve ever seen in any kind of horror or suspense movie. They must have written the script without a killer in mind and at the end tried to concoct something, because that’s how it seemed. I was floored by how uninspired the killer’s motives were. It was like I was being mocked. “You really think we had anything left in our tank? Are you retarded?”.

I was literally blown away by how pathetic the ending was, by how boring the entire story was leading up to it, and by how much they shit on the souls of the characters they spent three movies developing. Poor Dewey … poor, pitiful Dewey. He was always a dork, but now he’s just a caricature. Sid? She picked up a few martial arts moves from a self-defense class, but came across as a complete mouth breathing, soulless jackass up until the climax.

And as I walked out of the theater and I turned to the two people I was with and asked them what they thought … they both told me they loved it.

I’m starting to believe it. Wes Craven is just a hack who managed to hit a couple of balls out of the park with some random swings. If you actually consider this a good installment, a good movie, or deserving of it’s 7.1 on IMDb, I don’t even know what to say to you. I would rather watch Scream 3 100x consecutively than take in this piece of garbage ever again.

Sidney said it best in Scream 4. “You forgot the first rule of remakes: don’t fuck with the original.”

I had more I wanted to say, I think. I don’t know. I got so mad thinking about the movie all over again that a fuse blew. Call me in 10 years when you’ll make Scream 5 so I can be a little bitch ass and put myself back in the seats because like all horror fans, I never learn. I’m like the little boy who put his hand on a hot stove, then sat on it. Don’t. Fucking. Learn.

— Sabbath


4 Responses to “Sabbath Reviews: Scream 4 (2011)”

  1. Wow. I really wanted to see this and then something at the last moment said STAY AWAY. From everything I’ve heard, and especially this, I’m glad I did. Not like I want to watch my darling Annie from Community get killed anyway.

    And, I’ve been saying for years that Craven is a hack that got lucky. Even his good stuff has been remade better or is overrated. Only Scream has stood the test of time and I give more credit to Williamson than Craven on that one.

    • chainsawcheerleader Says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more about Craven, which is sad because I really do like some of his films. A Nightmare on Elm Street and The People Under the Stairs were awesome but crap like this just adds to his long list of crap.

  2. chainsawcheerleader Says:

    Its crap like this that prevents me from going to the theater and the sad thing is is that I actually want to go to the theater. I want to hand over my money to see a good movie on the big screen. I am more then willing to give them my money but its like they are saying, “No, thank you we don’t want it.” when they release shit like this. I always thought the whole point of making films for Hollywood was to make money but I guess not.

  3. Amen. This movie pissed me off. I couldn’t wait to see it. For some reason I expected this to be a reinventing…and a revitalizing…of a franchise who’s first film was so fucking good..that it’s kept me coming back each time. Well I’m an idiot. There was no reason for this movie to even be made. It accomplished nothing. I guess the big innovation was “hey we can stream shit online now”. But Craven didn’t do shit with it. I hate this movie for all the reasons you stated and more. Ugh..I’m mad just writing this.

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