Sunday, April 17, 2011

Scream 4 (2011)

Scream 4 (2011) Dir. by Wes Craven

Ten years have passed, and Sidney Prescott, who has put herself back together thanks in part to her writing, is visited by the Ghostface Killer.

Lucy Hale ... (Pretty Little Liars TV)
Shenae Grimes ... (new 90210)
Anna Paquin ... (True Blood TV, Trick r' Treat)
Kristen Bell ... (Pulse, Heroes TV)
Aimee Teegarden ... (Friday Night Lights TV)
Brittany Robertson ... (Life Unexpected TV)
Neve Campbell ... (Scream 1-4, The Craft)
Alison Brie ... (Community TV, Mad Men TV)
David Arquette ... (Scream 1-4, The Tripper)
Courteney Cox ... (Scream 1-4, Cougar Town TV)
Hayden Panettiere ... (Heroes TV)
Emma Roberts ... (It's Kind of a Funny Story, Nancy Drew)
Marley Shelton ... (A Perfect Getaway, Planet Terror)
Erik Knudsen ... (Saw II, Scott Pilgrim vs The World)
Rory Culkin ... (The Zodiac, Mean Creek)
Nico Tortorella ... (Twelve)
Anthony Anderson ... (Transformers, The Departed)
Adam Brody ... (Jennifer's Body, Thank You For Smoking)
Mary McDonnell ... (Donnie Darko, Independence Day)
Heather Graham ... (From Hell, Blessed)

It is not my typical start to the way I review a movie, but I promise that this giant list of cast members serves a purpose. I wanted to show you it doesn't matter how man awesome actors you can pack in to one movie; it doesn't mean that it is going to be good. I'll get back to the cast in a little bit though.

Wes Craven is not a man; he is not a director or a writer; He is a legend. He birthed a legend with Freddy Krueger and the Nightmare on Elm Street series, and finished it off well too. Then also gave us The Last House On The Left, The Hills Have Eyes, Shocker, The People Under the Stairs, Vampire in Brooklyn, and of course the ground breaking original Scream. This is what makes it so painful for me to say that maybe with the exception of Red Eye, Craven hasn't made a good film since 1997. The is one hell of a dry spell for a man of his stature. I had high hopes for his return for another Scream movie. Although it had an amazing soundtrack, Scream 3 failed to do anything else for me, and I was willing to give him another chance at it. I don't really want to be the man pointing figures here, as I hate doing that, but a director is in control of what the finished product looks and feels like, and this was an epic fail. Underused, and over used characters; poor comedic one liners and delivery; reused kill sequences (excuse given in film); and definitely a poorly used theme of bring the horror genre in to the next generation of kids.

It had the typical jump scares, as to be expected, but I guess now a days I'm looking for just a little something more. Scream 4 was predictable, and basically followed the same outline of the previous 3 films, which was to be expected, but not to this extent. They talk about bringing the horror genre in to the new generation, and how killers now film their kills. Some of that may be true as I have seen it a few time, but the execution of this sidebar is such a miss. The Camera the killer is using is shown maybe two times, and I couldn't tell you if you ever really see the footage that it gets. I would have like to see more of a Laid To Rest or Saw style use of the technology. They sold it so much during the film, and just failed to use it.

Back to the cast... I'm going to split it up in to good and bad.


Lucy Hale
Shanae Grimes
Anna Paquin
Kristin Bell
Aimee Teegarden
Brittany Robertson
Neve Campbell
Courtney Cox
Anthony Anderson
Adam Brody
Heather Graham

Keep in mind that the majority of these characters are bad because they are underused. On the other hand, some of them were even bad at that cameo appearance. I really don't want to waste time on the bad ones, but Neve was just along for the ride, and Courtney Cox was just ridiculous.


Alison Brie was a BLAST! I have always been impressed with her on Community, and I didn't know she was even in the movie until she popped on screen. She played a bitch and was great at it! It was nice seeing Hayden Panettiere in a different role than I'm used to seeing her in, but man was haircut hideous!!! Marley Shelton is amazing as always, and she played such a fun character, and ended up being the majority of the comedic relief. Not what I had expected, considering the cast. The lesser-knowns stole the cast with Erik Knudsen, Rory Culkin, and Emma Roberts easily stealing the show. I was extremely impressed by all three and it amazed me that they were able to steal the show away from such veterans of acting. It just goes to show they will have a very long career in acting. I know there might have been a couple that I left out of both lists and that is mostly because they did well, but not enough screen time to really gauge it well.

I know I have kinda ripped on the film so far, but I would like to point out there are some really good things that happened with it. They really tried to amp up the gore for a scream film. I REALLY appreciated this... I really did, and seeing someones gutted intestines hanging out was not something I thought I was going to see there, the special effects were horrible for the most part. I there were a couple of created kills... not many... but a couple. While most of the film was fairly predictable... I must say that the end did surprise me quite a bit, although it probably could have ended 20 minutes before it actually did. I did have a little bit of fun at Scream 4... it is a little entertaining, but I wish some better filmmakers would have taken a crack at it. Williamson's script read like it was written for a PG13 film for an "R" rated film. If they were planning on relaunching this as another trilogy, I think it will fall flat, and the numbers so far seem to be agreeing with me. I can't honestly say that going to the theater is going to do anything extra for anyone, so just wait for the DVD and rent it.

Entertainment Value: 6/10 Ghostface Killers
Cinematic Value: 5/10 Ghostface Killers


Emily said...

I didn't mind it falling back into comfort zone, since that's kind of the nature of franchises anyway. And high five on the horridness of Hayden's hair. What WAS that????

R.D. Penning said...

It looked like an animal had died on top of her head