Movie Review: Scream 4

Movie Review: Scream 4

You know it’s not going to be good, but you go anyway.

A bit like making that once-a-year visit to some distant relative; you remember you maybe had a good time with them once a long time ago, but now you can’t remember exactly how you’re related.

The first Scream arguably revived the horror genre in 1996.

The first Scream wasn’t a great film but it was contemporary. It had a punchy opening scene, self-referencing dialogue and brought gore back to the mainstream. Coupled with a young upcoming cast and a ringer in the form of then it-girl Courtney Cox and horror maestro Wes Craven, it was the shot in the arm horror needed.

Fast-forward 15 years and the landscape horror takes place in has changed. The Scary Movie comedy franchise pummelled Scream and related films until there was nothing left to poke fun at—this didn’t stop them from making more parody films though.

The Saw and Final Destination films franchise upped the ante with elaborate death scenes. Japanese and Korean horror films brought back ghostly chills. A Serbian Film and The Human Centipede have pushed the boundaries in taste and decency.

All this throws down a tough gauntlet for Scream 4 to live up to. The film (and indeed the plot) is essentially a remake of the first. It throws in mobile phones and web cams so that its teen cast are seen to be believable, but that’s the extent of characterisation.

Rather than use this as an opportunity to rejuvenate the franchise with a new outlook or a new take the creative team simply reheat what they did in ‘96. It’s a bit like watching an older and fatter version of a pop star you once admired in their declining years—you question what you originally liked about them.

While the review might sound like a downer, there is a positive, namely that the film to rejuvenate the horror/slasher genre in the 2010s has yet to be made.

When it arrives, it will be something to look forward to.

posted by admin at 8:40 pm  

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