Movie Review: “Scream 4″

Published by Clay Cane on Friday, April 15, 2011 at 8:00 am.

(Photo: Dimension Films)

Summary:  Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to Woodsboro on the anniversary of the famous murders. Ghostface quickly goes on a stab fest as Deputy Dewey (David Arquette) and his wife, journalist Gayle Weathers, are once again on the hunt for the killer while Sid manages to avoid every slice and dice. Shouldn’t Miss Sid be banned from ever stepping foot in Woodsboro again?

Review: After watching Scream 4 I let out a big sigh. This was a film I truly wanted to like, but it was similar to reuniting with an ex — you want it to be like it was before, but the time has passed. That said, director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson clearly did their best to recapture the magic of Scream from 1996. But every angle has been hacked, every scream has been heard and every bit of blood has been sucked dry.

Neve Campbell as the always-cheating-death Sidney is an eye-roller, and at this point, horror fans want to see her killed off. David Arquette as the dopey Deputy Dewey is cute in a goofy way, but now the charm fails to resonate. While Courtney Cox is obviously talented, her Botox and plumped lips are an extreme distraction. I wondered, “Could she even open her mouth all the way to scream?”

There is a high body count but Scream 4 is low on scares.  Truth is, the times have changed. In 1996, Scream upped the ante for horror, which resulted in the Nightmare on Elm Street and the Friday the 13th franchises fizzling. Now, torture porn like Saw and Hostel have changed the game for horror. Nowadays, it takes much more than stabs to give an audience a fright fest.  Despite an interesting twist ending, Scream is more of a yelp.

Yes, there are some unique moments when the characters grapple with the “rules of horror” films, but the number one rule that I am sure everyone involved with Scream 4 knew but refused to say: The fourth installment always and forever sucks.

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