Scream 4 (2011)

scream 4 poster 2011 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Scream returns

A movie that made fun of formulaic is formulaic

Movie Info

Movie Name: Scream 4

Studio: Corvus Corax Productions

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s): April 15, 2011

MPAA Rating: R

scream 4 alison brie ghostface

I should have stuck to Community

History repeats itself.  When Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to Woodsboro, she learns a new series of killings have started…and the killer is out to make a reboot.  With the murders being filmed and broadcast on the internet, the danger grows.  The rules of a reboot are undefined and anyone can die.  Sidney’s cousin Jill (Emma Roberts) and her friends are the target of the killer, and everyone is a suspect…anyone can die.  Who is the killer and can he or she be stopped before it is too late?

Directed by Wes Craven (in his last directorial role), Scream 4 is a post-modern horror film.  The movie follows Scream 3 released in 2000, and Kevin Williamson returns as the scriptwriter for the film.  The movie was met with moderate reviews and equivalent box office response, but it did gain a small cult following over time.

Scream was a franchise that ripped up the horror franchise.  Like it or not, it altered horror.  The movie took a post-modern look at the genre and made the characters self-aware that they were in a horror movie.  Scream 4 continues to modernize the genre by looking at the popularity of remakes/reboots.

scream 4 anthony anderson ghostface

Yep…being on guard duty while a serial killer is running around = no chance of survival

The story for Scream 4 is both the curse and the saving grace.  The movie smartly looks at the trend of throwing history out the window for a slightly different take on a previously made story.  The movie however is too smart for its own good.  From the opening sequence in which multiple Stab films are played to the actual story which has twist upon twist, the movie just tries too hard.  While Scream was original in its twists and turns, this feels more lazy than clever at points.  While I like and agree with the idea of the current trend of fame for fame’s sake, I almost wish it had been developed in another way.  It isn’t Craven’s best film and it is too bad that it is his swan song.

The cast almost plays parodies of themselves.  Neve Campbell is kind of the lead as Sidney Prescott though her story is being passed on to her cousin played by Emma Roberts.  You have the rest of the Scream cast (at least the survivors) returning with Courtney Cox and David Arquette.  In addition to Emma Roberts, you get newbies Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Alison Brie, Alison Brie, Anthony Anderson, Erik Knudsen, Mary McDonnell, Adam Brody, and Nic Tortorella.  The opening sequences includes Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin.

scream 4 neve campbell emma roberts

It runs in the family

The movie feels like it should go somewhere different visually.  There is a lot of conversation about the “gore” factor of movies like Saw which came after Scream, but the movie doesn’t seem to explore this.  I kind of wish that the movie had looked more about where horror was and where it will go instead of simply trying to rehash and “reboot” the original.

Scream 4 is a good attempt at examining horror’s evolution since the release of the original Scream.  Unfortunately, it relied too heavily on the “reboot” and “reimagining” but not on the reflection on the genre.  It is too bad that it was Craven’s last ride because it would have been great for him to go out in a blaze of glory instead of a ho-hum story.  Scream 4 was followed by a Scream TV series on MTV starting in 2015.

Related Links:

Scream (1996)

Scream 2 (1997)

Scream 3 (2000)

Scream—Season 1 Review and Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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