Wednesday, 27 April 2011

SCRE4M (Scream 4) Film Review

I have been very excited for this new Scream reboot, nervous for it as it could go pear-shaped but now that I've seen it, it is phenomenal as a reboot, in bringing back the themes of the original into the modern day and establishing itself once again in the satirical horror niche.

Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to Woodsburo on her book tour when tragic killings happen once more, on the anniversary when she was first attacked fifteen years ago. With evidence discovered in her car, she becomes a suspect and is forced to stay in Woodsburo.

Giving up life as a reporter for love, Gale (Courtney Cox) craves to investigate the case with husband Dewey (David Arquette) now sheriff of Woodsburo, but when he objects, Gale goes rogue, teaming up with high school students and movie club presidents, Robbie and Charlie, to explore the new rules to the recent Ghostface killings.

The movie begun with a phone ring and the merciless killing of innocent blondes, instantly making fun of social networking and mobile technology that boomed since the last film, with references to SAW and excessive gore introducing the style of murder which would play out in this movie: videotaping and lots of blood.

Whilst the pace was rather slow for the first half with a few tense moments when Ghostface shows up and hacking unimportant characters to death, most of this is used to set up and develop the original characters, with the new ones left to remain shallow. However, the movie definitely picks up past the halfway point and builds up to an exciting, jumpy and shocking climax which keeps you at the edge of your seat all the way till the end.

Throughout the movie, key sequences are brought back from the first movie which gives this one almost like a 'remake' feel, eg. when guy is strapped to chair and girl looks out the window answering Ghostface questions; when Jill talks to her ex in her room; and the final scene (I won't spoil but you'll know what I'm talking about when you see it), there's a sense of deja vu which makes this consistent and reuses what's great to excel this film.

Once again, the film constantly throws you off guard with deliberate red herrings. I yelped as Ghostface came round the corner instead of a perfectly placed dark window Sidney sneaked across. I honestly did not know who the killer was either till it was revealed, to which I was completely shocked, but it made sense and I loved how dramatic the finale was.

As I mentioned before, the gore was excessive in this movie (perhaps referencing SAW films?) with blood pouring from one victim and the entrails of another showing, though for humour, the script was good with some very clever lines and references to modern day which successfully brings the franchise into the 21st century.

~~~Favourite quotes~~~
Sidney: You forgot one rule about remakes. You don't fuck with the original. 

The Voice: I hear you like horror movies.
Patty: It's for you. 

The Voice: This isn't a comedy, it's a horror film. People live, people die and you'd better start running.  

The Voice: I'm not an app.

Neve Campbell- Sidney Prescott
David Arquette- Dewey Riley
Courtney Cox- Gale Riley
Hayden Panettiere- Kirby
Emma Roberts- Jill Roberts
Eric Knudsen- Robbie
Rory Culkin- Charlie
Nico Tortorella- Trevor

Cameos from well known stars Kristen Bell, Anna Paquin and Adam Brody.

Neve Campbell doesn't look a day older than when she last appeared in a Scream film and I thought she retained the personality of her character very well throughout, there was a moment when her teary eyed gaze matched her teary eyed gaze in the first movie which was just perfect.

I didn't feel Courtney Cox had a big enough role to play in the movie- whilst she was snooping around and doing her thing, she was incapacitated far too early, but it makes up for her involvement in the final scene.

I read somewhere that the cast were not told/given the script for if they would die or not till the day of shooting to prevent leaks which I thouht was fantastic as it makes it more real for them on set as well as prevent spoilers before the film's release.
Whilst many may criticise this "sequel" as milking the franchise, SCRE4M comes at a perfect timing in which the horror genre has changed drastically and by bringing it back, it can once again resume the satire with familiar characters but in an original and fresh way. The references made were relevant and consistent whilst the murders were definitely far more brutal. 
Unfortunately the new characters do not get developed a great deal and like the film says "we really don't care if they die or not", but the fact that the actors are well known, there is perhaps already an attachment to these characters. 

With the consistency of this movie keeping to the themes whilst being modernised, I hope to see this as being the first of a new trilogy with the storyline and characters to be developed further than it was in this one, but definitely a successful reboot in my opinion. Bring on 5CREAM.

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