Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Scre4m (a.k.a. Scream 4)

Well, if you've been keeping up with the blog, then you read my homage to the original trilogy a few days ago, and you know how much I love all three.  So naturally I was a bit cautious about getting too excited for this sequel more than 11 years after the last one.  Nevertheless, this was one of the movies I most looked forward to seeing this year.  And I'm very pleased to report that while it's not perfect, it is easily one of my top two favorites of the year so far (with 'Limitless' being the other.)  Just as I started to question why I go to the movies almost every day, I get one that reminds me exactly why.  This one is great fun and was totally worth the decade-plus-long wait.

Of course I have a lot I'd like to say about it but I really don't want to ruin anything at all.  I obviously won't spoil who the killer is, but really it was never about that to me anyway.  These films are about the pleasures sprinkled throughout the film.  It almost doesn't even matter who the killer turns out to be.  Did it matter in Scooby Doo?  So I won't spoil any of your journey to the reveal of the killer's identity.  But I will say that, as per usual, the horror dream team of director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson hit the mark once again.  I give special kudos to Williamson, because the writing of all four films is so clever he makes it seem like other writers aren't even trying.  For instance, where do you go after you've deconstructed horror films, sequels, and trilogies?  Well, I won't even spoil that, but go see it and find out.

And whoever does the casting also deserves seriously mad props, because each film is a who's who of talented rising young stars.  This one adds Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Alison Brie, Kristin Bell, Anna Paquin, Rory Culkin, and Adam Brody to the impressive list of 'Scream' alumni.

To be sure, this fourth outing will still be enjoyable even if you haven't seen the first three, but I highly, highly recommend seeing them first if you haven't, and revisiting them even if you have.  I'm certainly glad I invested 6 hours doing just that last weekend.  Trust me, you'll get a lot more out of the experience.  So go ahead, make some popcorn, dim the lights, and have an 8 hour Scream-a-thon this weekend.  And for gosh sake, if the phone rings while you're watching and someone with a creepy voice asks you what your favorite movie is, don't hang up on th ... wait, is that my phone ringing?  I'll be right back.

Grade: A-

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