JD Reviews SCREAM 4!

First off, I was a HUGE fan of the first Scream. It gave me all sorts of giggles to see characters on screen in a horror movie, referencing the fact that they were basically in a horror movie, and having the same conversations I was having with my horror-movie buddies. I was just tickled by it. Then I enjoyed most of Scream 2, until the killer(s) were revealed. Making your eyes really really wide doesn’t make you scary or insane. FYI. And I was actually angered by Scream 3 and by 15 minutes into it, I was begging Sidney Prescott to DIE! DIE! DIE! Sadly, she did not. Neither did Deputy Duey, or Gail Weathers. I was so bummed. At least then, part 3 would have had a reason to exist.

That brings us to Scream 4, or SCRE4M. As a freelance graphic designer, and a lifelong horror fan, I have to say that the logo treatment is the most clever part of this film. Yup, this film’s creative ceiling is the fact that the A in Scream is a 4.

That being said, was this film worth watching? Yes, if you enjoyed the first 3 Screams, this is more of the same. More pretty people rattling off horror movie rules and getting stabbed in their body parts by knives. At times people in this film get stabbed in the stomach and their life-switch automatically clicks off, other times they live just long enough for the person doing the stabbing to reference how it takes longer to die “than it does in the movies”. Most of the killings in the middle of this movie are completely interchangeable with any of the others in the franchise, while the beginning and the ending sequences are where this installment shines. However, by shines, I suppose I mean “at least kept my attention”.  The intro was cute, and the ending actually caught me partly off-guard.

And cute is definitely the right word here. This film was cute. The filmmakers just kept nudging me in the ribs with how cute they were being. “Look at all these references! See there? See what we did there? Clever, right? One of the officers is named Perkins. Anthony Perkins. Get it!? Never mind the script, pay no attention to that. Look at all these actors that you recognize! You’re having fun!” And I’ll give them that, actually. There are a LOT of faces in this movie that I enjoyed seeing, and they all did a great job being recognizable faces in a cute “horror” movie.

While the constant referencing in the original Scream felt fresh and new, and absolutely made me laugh with the characters, here it feels forced and desperate. There are some quality funnybits, to be sure, but nothing we haven’t seen before. This would all be fine if the film wasn’t looking down on other slasher movies. If you’re going to reference all the bad decisions victims make in other horror films, you have to make sure your characters make better decisions. You can’t scoff at the other films and then do the exact same thing.

This installment is way better than the last one, so at least they are ending on a semi-high note, but that doesn’t keep me from wanting them to just END, all the same.

Johnny Destructo can be found hosting the PopTards Podcast, drawing a weekly webcomic, discussing movies, comics and other flimflam over at www.poptardsgo.com, graphically designing/illustrating/inking for a living, and Booking his Face off over here. Follow his twitter @poptardsgo

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2 Comments to “JD Reviews SCREAM 4!”

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  1. nightpete says:

    sorry to hear t’was such a disappointment. i will continue to not care that this movie was made in the first place!

  2. jaydee says:

    Yeah, I was hoping that this would be a return to the quality of the first one…sadly, no.
    :) but hey, i got a PopShots strip out of it!

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