What can I say about Scream 4? I won tickets to see the QLD premier, but I wasn't really sure I wanted to go. The original Scream was released when I was the ripe ol' age of 9, and was one of the classics of my childhood.
To be fair though, Scream is an excellent movie in it's own right. It is a brilliant sendup of the slasher genre, without resorting to cheap gags (unlike Scary Movie, which is just stupid). Scream 2 was entertaining, but I think it's safe to say it lost it's way; it focused too much on being a serious slasher flick without ditching the satire entirely, much to the movie's detriment. Scream 3... I'd rather not talk about. It was a hopeless mess of a movie, and has left a sour taste in the mouth of many Craven fans (myself included) for the last 10 years.
And so, a decade later, I approached the latest installment of the Ghostface saga with a sense of trepidation. And I have to say... I was blown away. While maybe not quite as good as the first Scream movie, it is easily superior to the second and third movies and goes right back to the roots; horror parody with a healthy dose of brutality.
Plot: Seriously, it's the 4th installment and you need a review of the plot? Sheeh... Sidney Prescott, survivor extraordinairre, returns to her hometown of Woodsboro to promote her new book. Dewey and Gale have married with Dewey taking the role of sheriff, but Gale is struggling with the small-town life after giving up reporting. Of course once Sidney returns the killings begin anew, and it's up to Sidney and the gang to stop them! Will they survive a fourth bout with the ghostface killer?
Script: I'm happy to say it's the highlight of the movie.
Gore: pretty brutal. The second and third movies were released in the aftermath of the Columbine shootings, and so there is noticeably less gore in those two as part of a general toning-down of movie violence. Thankfully that phase has passed, and what we receive in S4 are plenty of close-up stabbings, disembowlings, and a particularly memorable knife through the forehead (awesome: yes. Plausible? less so). This is Scream as it should be, and it doesn't pull any punches.
Acting: Neve Campbell kind
Overall: Fans of the franchise are going to froth over this one, and for good reason, but it isn't just the die-hard fans that'll love it. It's a quality movie in it's own right, carefully treading that fine line between comedy and horror without degenerating into silliness (too often)... and it's great to see a classic franchise back in form.