“The unexpected is the new cliché”

So as I was in my kitchen actually utilizing it for a change earlier today, my roommate suggested that I write about Wes Craven’s Scre4m, which I saw at its midnight debut last night. Except I’m beginning to realize that I’m actually really awful at writing reviews.I feel like I’m stuck somewhere between academic writing and just throwing my unadulterated opinions out there, no matter how obnoxious, unorganized or meaningless they may be. This, I believe, is partially because I find the actual process of having to summarize the plot of a film slightly mundane. Kind of like the synopses I had to write for my thesis. I wanted to skip over them and go straight to the analysis. Then there’s the pesky little detail of having to walk the fine line of explaining what’s worthwhile (or not) about a film, but being careful not to accidentally divulge too much and give something away. And here I am, a paragraph in, and completely digressing, which proves my point I guess.

So Scream 4. When I first heard that there would be another film in the series over a decade after the last, I thought it was fairly insane. In retrospect, I almost wish I would have had a marathon of the first three or such before watching this one because my memories are definitely hazy. What I remember about the original is the cast, which included Drew Barrymore and Rose McGowan, as well as Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox, who also play in this one, as well as Sidney Prescott (Campbell) asking her boyfriend if he’d settle for the PG-13 version. That’s about it. In fact, now that I think about it, I’m not even sure that I ever watched the second and third films. But anyways, back to the present. I was skeptical, but intrigued enough to go last night after I found an e-mail upon getting home from work telling me that that was indeed the plan. And I ended up being pleasantly surprised, as I found Scre4m to be hysterical—what I considered just about the right blend of slasher flick, humor and horror film commentary. And the film within the film within the film scenario.

Sidney returns to Woodsboro for her book tour, coincidentally just in time for the anniversary of the killings ten years ago. This naturally sparks a new wave of murders by the Ghostface Killer, and now Sidney’s cousin, Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts), and her friends are in danger. I did like that it’s still the same actors playing the main characters. I hate sequels that have a new main cast. Despite how long it’s been, Gale Weathers wouldn’t be the same if she wasn’t portrayed by Cox, and so on. I was also probably a little overly excited for the, albeit rather short, participation of Adam Brody, whom I absolutely adore, as Detective Hoss.

Here, I have to stop for a moment and fixate on a point in the film that everyone else probably found fairly insignificant, and that’s the relationship, or semi-lack thereof between one of Jill’s friends, Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) and Charlie Walker (Rory Culkin), who runs the cinema club at the high school with Robbie Mercer (Erik Knudsen). No wonder he’s upset. Four years of school and NOW Kirby notices him. And what, may I ask, took her so long? Because she should have taken that opportunity the first chance she got. It’s not like she could say she didn’t know he was head over heels for her because it was fairly obvious. She just chose not to take notice for an extended period of time. “Stupid bitch.” In Charlie’s and my personal opinion. Because if I would have known him in high school I would have dated him. Just saying. But that’s just a side note.

Overall, I was highly entertained by this movie. Absolutely more than I thought I would be. As someone who loves horror films minus the torture porn, (which coincidentally I will be watching next week regardless), I appreciated the balance between the repeated multiple stabbings and other filmic elements to ease the tension, like the Peeping Tom reference, for example, and the absurdity of Rebecca Walters (Alison Brie). Peter Travers claims that the murders get repetitive to the point of tiresome, but I would have to disagree this time. I was engaged until the conclusion I didn’t see coming.

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