‘Scream 4’ is a bloody good time

By Glenn Battishill

In 1996, famous horror director Wes Craven (“Nightmare on Elm Street”) decided he wanted to try and kill off the entire slasher genre with a movie called “Scream.”

“Scream” is about a bunch of archetypal teenagers as they begin to get killed off by a horror film fanatic.

Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson crafted a film that both honored and played off of the horror film stereotypes that viewers have grown accustomed to.

The film was followed by two sequels, which both play on the stereotypes of endless horror sequels, and by the end of “Scream 3” the franchise had revitalized the franchise it tried so hard to kill off.

Finally Craven and Williamson reunited to create “Scream 4,” a self-aware movie that plays off the current trend in Hollywood to remake and reboot older franchises.

The film takes place fifteen years after the original “Scream” survivor of the original trilogy Sidney Prescott, played once again by Neve Campbell and the now married pairing of Dewey Riley and Gale Weathers Riley, still played by David Arquette and Courtney Cox respectively.

Following Prescott’s return to Woodsboro to promote her self-help survival book, a new Ghostface is cutting his way through Woodsboro High School’s next generation of horror fans, with each character playing an updated version of the original characters.

Emma Roberts plays Jill Roberts, Prescott’s teenage cousin who is at the center of the new killings.

Roberts is sympathetic and also angry towards her now-famous cousin but is also terrified that her friends are being killed off one by one.

The film has a huge ensemble cast who seem to all be enjoying their roles; the returning cast from the original plays well against the much younger leads, who become a joke themselves and play off the trend of bringing in the original leads in remakes.

The film is good fun and plays off of partially being a reboot with characters pointing out the similarities and differences from the original.

While the film is enjoyable and entertaining it lacks flair; Ghostface stabs his way through the main cast without much creativity and the characters fall victim to the stereotypes that they are making fun of.

Nevertheless the movie is hilarious thanks to an awesome supporting cast that includes: Mary McDonnell as Jill’s mother, Hayden Panettiere is Jill’s best friend, Rory Culkin as a nonchalant movie nerd, Marley Shelton as a Deputy with something of a crush on the sheriff, Alison Brie as Prescott’s publicist, and Adam Brody and Anthony Anderson as Sheriff deputies.

From its tongue-in-cheek opening sequence to its callbacks, to other films and its surprising conclusion, “Scream 4” is an amusing and silly slasher that can be enjoyed by fans, old and new.