Bob Balaban's dark comic horror about a young boy suspecting his suburban parents to be cannibals
Ten years on, and poor old Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), now a self-help author, has finally put the ghost-faced killer behind her. Or so she thought...
Welcome to the one of the best fourth parts of a horror franchise ever made.
Ok, it's not brilliant, but it's still better than Jaws: The Revenge (a shark that roars?), A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (weak quip master, more like), Leprechaun 4: In Space ("one giant leap of terror"), Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (directed by the one and only "Alan Smithee"), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (it really wasn't) and Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers (for shame, Donald Pleasence). In fact, it's Halloween H20: 20 Years Later whose mixing of old and new characters many years on Scream 4 somewhat apes, only more successfully.
It's actually surprisingly enjoyable to see the decade-later return of the Scream gang, who still feel refreshingly like proper characters as opposed to machete fodder. Sidney (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers-Riley (Courtney Cox) and Dewey Riley (David Arquette) are game as ever, with lines referencing Cox and Arquette's on-off marriage and the fact that Campbell isn't exactly an ingénue any more. The new kids on the block are pretty decent too, with particular props going to Eric Knudsen and Rory Culkin as Robbie and Charlie, horror movie fanatics in the vein of Billy and Stu from the first movie.
Boasting more red herrings than a Stalinist fish farm, the script occasionally calls to mind a plate spinner as it rushes all over the place desperately trying to live up to the claim that anybody could be the killer, but that's in keeping with this franchise. If you're a horror fan who's not into the whole post-modern, none-more-meta thing, why on earth would you pay money to see a Scream movie?
One difference that could have been cause for concern for franchise faithfuls is the certification of part 4, which is rated 15, where the previous installments were all 18. Perhaps times have changed, or the BBFC become softer, because Scream 4 is certainly the equal of its predecessors in the claret stakes.
And the best part? There's already been a Scary Movie 4, so we don't have to suffer through a limp satire of this already self-parodying movie. Touch wood.
Find out where the original Scream placed in our Top 15 Teen Horror Movies
The only way this could be any more meta is if you the viewer turned out to be the killer. Silly, but kind of fab.
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