Monday, 9 May 2011

Scream 4: Scream Harder

After nearly failing in my great experiment only a month after starting it, on Friday I went to see a movie I had no huge desire to see in the cinema, but did just so I didn’t let everyone who counting on me down. I even took a half day to go see it.

You’re welcome!

Anyway, the movie was Scream 4. Or Scre4m if you like.

Now, I don’t often watch scary movies at the cinema, the last was probably The Ring way back when; I prefer to watch them in the comfort of my own home, as I find they’re scarier that way. Saying that though I still haven’t seen a scary film in the cinema since The Ring, as Scre4m wasn’t really scary at all. A few (well, two) good jump scares but if you know the conventions of these types of movies there are no real surprises at all, as you know when the scares will be coming from a mile off.

The first Scream prided itself on being all post-modern and knowing; the characters being aware that they themselves were living out a horror movie. The tagline for Scre4m was “New decade, new rules” but the only new rule was that they follow the exact same template laid out by every slasher movie since Scream, and pretend that they were being all ironic by name dropping a few supposedly ‘lesser’ horror franchises. The only new thing this movie did isn’t really new at all. That the killer be filming his kills isn’t exactly a new idea, and if once again they thought they were being ironic by homaging recent movies (as Scream is supposed to be ‘real life’) they weren’t; they were just plagiarising them, and passing it off as one of there new rules.

And it still used the old several-characters-leave-the-room-in-different-directions-and-then-somebody-dies cliché. If it really was trying to do something different, have one of the killers be someone only slightly related to the plot, like in Scream 2.

There’s one part of the movie that really annoyed me though. There’s a point at the end where there’s slight relief (but only if you don’t know the conventions) and you think everything’s safe, but it’s all ruined by a shot of one of the characters holding the killers knife by his/her side. It’s like a two second shot in which you can clearly see the knife, which ruins any surprise the scene might have had otherwise. So when he/she kills the other person, you’re not shocked.


(highlight to read them, at your peril)

I thought the ending of the movie was a total cop out though. They had set it up for a great one, and then it felt as though they changed it at the last second to make it a little more audience friendly. The killer (Jill) has pretty much got away with everything; she’s killed Sidney, and set herself up to be the sole survivor of the massacre after pinning it on her ex boyfriend (who she also killed). She’s in hospital, and thinks she’s got away with it, and then Sidney wakes up. And then the movie ends just like all the others. If they had some real balls, they’d have ended the movie with Jill getting away and becoming famous like Sidney for surviving all these murders like she wanted to. But no, she gets found out, killed by Sidney and the movie contains no surprises at all.

Or if they had some real balls they’d have made Monica from Friends the killer,. And revealed that the events of the first movie had been her idea as well. Although that might have needed a major retcon.


Having laid all those negatives on you, you’d think I didn’t like the movie at all. I did. I thought it was a lot of fun. It’s not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a good way to spend 2 hours. And it was quite refreshing to see a horror movie in which there was an honest to God serial killer, instead of it being ghosts, or vampires, or anything supernatural. And to not be in 3D.

And the opening of Scre4m was very very clever. That the first victims were actually part of the film with in a film series, and then the viewers watching that movie, Stab 6, weren’t the first victims of Scre4m but were actually actors in the opening of Stab 7, and then cutting to ‘real life’ was actually pretty funny, and the only example of it being even a little postmodern. I didn’t explain that very well I know, but if you’ve seen it, it’ll make sense.

Overall, it gets five out of ten.


And also, remember how everyone went on about Hayden Panettiere and how gorgeous she was when Heroes started? Well, I’d forgotten about her after giving up on Heroes after the first season but upon seeing her again in Scre4m, I can confirm that she is still gorgeous. And is the best character in the movie by a long way.

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