Just a quick impression of Scream 4 (Scre4m), not really a full review, but at least a relevant post.
Overall, I thought it was pretty good, an enjoyable, if only superficially so, way to spend a couple hours.
Scream 4 reunites the cast of the originals, with Courteney Cox, David Arquette and Neve Campbell reprising their roles, but it’s the newcomers that are forced to mostly carry the film. On the whole they do a serviceable job, hitting the horror beats, playing the victims and generally making us care about these doomed characters. While I felt the film nerd characters were enjoyable to watch, they felt too clichéd, and struck me as more of a way to explain the new rules to the audience than real people. The new additions did their jobs well, but it’s still the veterans stealing the show.
The whodunit aspect of the plot was well done, and I was genuinely surprised when the villain was revealed. I felt the first act dragged a bit, but the last half, and especially the last few scenes, more than redeemed it.
The main issue I have with the film is how much it simply coasts. While it continually makes reference to the ‘rules’ of horror films, and how Ghostface is updating them for the new generation of horror fans, it also falls into these tropes, ultimately failing to provide any real surprises or twists. There’s only so much a self-referential humour can do to save the films. The first Scream had it, this one doesn’t quite break even.
As someone who was relatively lukewarm towards the Scream series (and hasn’t seen the third one), and despite my complaints, I enjoyed the movie. It’s funny, it’s a worthy addition to the series, and it has some really good scenes once the movie gets going. If you like the Scream series, this is a strong showing, and you’ll certainly find a lot to like. If you aren’t a fan of the series, or horror films, I’d say wait for the DVD if you’re interested in checking it out. You won’t be disappointed.