Scream 4 (2011) has a warm, flannel-covered 90’s feel with the original Scream cast members: Deputy Dewey (David Arquette), Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox), and our Final Girl, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell). It also has original Scream creators, Wes Craven (Nightmare on Elm St) and Kevin Williamson (The Vampire Diaries) respectively directing and writing the film. Scream 4 takes place ten years after the Woodsboro murders, with the return of Sidney Prescott, and all bets are off. Scream 4 follows the rules of a horror remake, true to the meta-quality of the series. Meta is just thinking about thinking, a sort of self-awareness present in movies like Scream, Saw, and The Final Girls. In those movies, characters might say, “We’re in a horror movie!” calling attention to the genre itself. Movies that do this poorly like Cabin in the Woods, zoom out to show you the controlling room that’s driving the entire plot of the film. That’s not meta, Cabin in the Woods just sucks. Yet this fourth installment of Scream is meta as fuck. We’ve got the creators of Nightmare on Elm St. and I Know What you Did Last Summer working with an amazing horror script, and what looks like half the cast of 90210 (the CW version). If it’s one thing writer, Kevin Williamson knows, is that teen slashers need pretty people. And horror master Wes Craven is there to make the kills as overboard as possible. In addition to sick kills, Scream has a killer cast including: Kristen Bell, Alison Brie, Hayden Panettiere, Anna Paquin, Emma Roberts, Adam Brody, and Rory Culkin (Macaulay Culkin’s youngest brother). And since this is a Scream movie, all these pretty people get hacked to death in beautiful HD (or Blu-Ray). It’s only the survivalist badasses that can survive a teen slasher like Scream 4. The film opens with a nod to the first Scream, sharing its first line, “Hello.” Instead of Drew Barrymore we get Lucy Hale from Pretty Little Liars, an adorable little show about liars. Spoiler alert, that’s the entire plot. And she’s hanging out with a Degrassi star, discussing how much SAW horror movies suck. This is amazing. It’s too much. It’s like Michael Bay’s Nightmare on Elm St when they open with the slaughter of a Twilight star. It just makes my little horror heart swoon. No surprise, the PLL star gets stabbed and so does the Degrassi ingénue. So has the film started yet? Who were these women? The two pretty faces that just got hacked up, were merely part of a movie, Stab 6. Then we think we’re finally watching Scream 4 when Anna Paquin gets brutally gutted, but it zooms out again. Here in the Twilight Zone- inspired brain of the writers, we realize, we’re not yet in Scream 4. We’re stuck in a Stab marathon, but for how long? It’s hard to explain this opening in writing. This stands as one of the best openings to a horror film I’ve ever seen. We get amazing lines from the killer like, “not an app” in response, to “who is this?” And the teens are so used to getting stalked on Facebook and Instagram that someone messaging them death threats isn’t all that odd. It’s a really subtle and interesting critique of the current hook-up culture. In an 80’s horror flick you’d have a feather-haired cheerleader take her tits out while camping and just douse herself in cold water. But Scream 4 is driven by millennials, and they only show their tits on well, Instagram. So it’s really funny how easily the killer gets into the heads of these chicks. Because flirting with your stalker just to get Instagram likes is the new busty blonde. When we’re finally in the world of Scream 4, the killer gets to say, “You’re the dumb blonde with the big tits” as he slashes yet another millennial to death. And we have another nod to the first Scream, as the Friday Night Lights girl suffers death by garage (like Tatum Riley in Scream). Now that we’ve finally gotten past the opening kills, we realize the killer is trying to make more Stab movies based on the book Gale Weathers wrote, based on the Woodsboro murders featured in the Scream movies. So that’s meta. Got it? We meet Sidney Prescott, version 2.0. Sidney has reinvented herself, gotten a book published, and no longer remains in hiding. She even attends events for her book tour in a bright red dress, looking fierce as hell. At times, the Final Girl will emerge from hiding and even flaunt her freedom. Here Sidney does just that, as if to taunt the inevitable killer. By this time, Sidney has survived three Screams, making it further than Final Girls, Carrie, Nancy, and any chick in Friday the 13th (because Jason kills everyone). But will Sidney survive all four Screams? Since Scream 4 is the final Scream, all bets are off. That means even Final Girl, Sidney, can die. After all, Laurie Strode died in the final Halloween. In every Scream, Sidney has proven herself to be a badass Final Girl. To review, a Final Girl, (according to the term’s creator, Carol Glover): 1) Undergoes agonizing trials (like Halloween’s Laurie Strode) 2) Destroys the antagonist and saves herself, not a heroine, but a hero 3) Is highly intelligent, hypervigilant, and feels a closeness to the killer 4) Gives the audience a point of view—we see the killer through her eyes 5) Is not gendered masculine or feminine, just a survivor (she can have sex and not be punished much like a man. Think about Sidney Prescott who sleeps with Billy then kills him. And the fact that her name sounds androgynous). Sidney has gone through several trials—she survived her mother’s death, being attacked by her boyfriend, watching her friends get killed, and multiple attempts on her life. As for destroying the antagonist, Sidney killed Scream’s original killer, Billy Loomis, and countless other attackers throughout the Screams. She has saved herself many times, never playing the helpless victim. Remember the Final Girl is a hero, not a heroine. She saves the fucking day. Like many Final Girls, Sidney is a survivor. She knows to grab the gun, not the phone. But there is a loneliness to being the Final Girl. After watching her mother, friends, boyfriend, and brother die by her side, Sidney is a changed person. Sidney doesn’t see a beautiful sunset, she sees the diminishing of light, fearing what the darkness might bring. Though not a victim, Sidney is forever damaged. What’s so great about Sidney Prescott, 2.0 is that she repeats, “I am not a victim” like her lines from previous Screams, “This is my movie,” Sidney is always in control. And like many Scream fans, Sidney knows that the killer behind the ghost mask always dies. The killers in Scream are popular pretty boys who are horror-obsessed but generally weak. Billy, Stu, Mickey, and Roman were all weak-ass film geeks. Sidney never had any trouble killing them. Ghostface always had a big body count, but he’s no Freddy, Chucky, or Jason. Ghostface can, and will be killed in every Scream. And that’s another fun part about Scream, it’s the killer whose time is running out, not the Final Girl. This is Scream—so the killer never makes it. Instead of worrying about Sidney (she’s got this) we get to wonder, who the killer is, and how he dies. And since this is 2011, and this is Scream, we’re not entirely sure the killer is just another guy. It is post millennial, meta-horror, with the tagline, “The unexpected is the new cliché” so perhaps one of the Final Girls is a killer in disguise? We know that as a Final Girl, Sidney has a deep connection with the killer. In the first Scream, Sidney is profoundly connected to the killer, Billy Loomis, as she falls in love with him (before she knows, duh). Much like Final Girl, Laurie whose brother was the Halloween killer, Sidney’s brother has tried to kill her too (Roman, played by Scott Foley, the only good part of Scream 3). And with that deep connection comes great vulnerability. Sidney was late to believe that her own boyfriend, friend, or brother could be the killer. In a way, Sidney constantly saying. “This isn’t a fucking movie” as she does in Scream 4, could be a defense mechanism, a way to cope by denial. This denial could blind Sidney to the fact that someone very close to her is actually the killer. Luckily, other Final Girl, Gale Weathers, has the scientific clarity of a researcher. Gale does some badass, Darknet self-reporting and finds out that the killer is making his own movie. Gale isn’t blinded by personal tragedy the way that Sidney is. She is able to understand that she needs to step in and rewrite the ending to survive. In fact, Sidney, Dewey and Gale have made horror movie history time and again. They are part of the largest group to ever survive and be recast in a horror remake. Director, Wes Craven knew he couldn’t kill off some of the best characters in Scream (Except Randy—Randy did not have to die—that was just cruel). But can the final three survive the final remake? At least we have a new Randy, a 2011 version named Charlie (Culkin) who uses Go Pro-like camera to live-stream his high school experience. So, any member of the Woodsboro film club could be a suspect. As Randy Meeks once said, “everyone’s a suspect.” Gale teams up with Sidney to find the real killers, who don’t stand a chance against these veteran Final Girls. Let’s not forget that Gale Weathers has had her fair share of kill shots. This is the rogue journalist who shot serial killer, Billy Loomis, and distracted killers all the way through Scream 4. She’s not Sidney Prescott, but Gale is still pretty damn boss. Gale isn’t just a badass when it comes to tracking and murdering killers. When a perky blonde cop tries to steal Gale’s man, she doesn’t take any shit. This dumb blonde keeps trying to steal Deputy Dewey with her homemade lemon bars. “Your lemon bars taste like ass!” Gale yells at the blonde cop. Amazing. But Gale doesn’t always know when to stop. Like many Final Girls, she looks for the killer alone. Gale gets herself into trouble trying to investigate the murders by attending Stab-a-thon solo. Luckily Deputy Dewey arrives in time, and Gale escapes with a stabbed shoulder. By this time Jill and Charlie have gone full psycho, following the lead of Billy and Stu from the OG Scream. They even tie up a polo shirt-clad Trevor (dressed like Sidney’s dad from the first Scream), and kill him in front of Sidney. Even worse, is exactly how Trevor dies. “I’m not the girl you cheat on!” shouts Jill. Then she shoots his dick off. Yes, this is Scream 4, and Jill shoots a guy in the dick for cheating on her. I mean, she is a serial killer after all, so not that surprising. Moving on, Jill gives her best Billy Loomis speech on motives for making her own slasher. “What am I supposed to do? Go to grad school?” the killer pleas. Poor Jill was so jealous of Sidney and her PTSD survivor status. Poor Jill killed everyone and staged an attack just to become a victim like Sidney. Just for attention. So Jill Fight Club’s herself through some glass making it look like the (now dead) Trevor attacked her. As the cops arrive, she falls next to Sidney, finally in the coveted victim status. It’s not until Sidney and Jill are left alone in a hospital that the real shit goes down. As Gale recovers in that very same hospital, she starts to realize who the killer is. It’s Jill Roberts, Sidney’s cousin. Can she warn Sidney in time? Of course, it’s Gale Weathers, live on scene! Gale finds Sidney and Jill in parallel hospital beds, Sidney in critical condition. When suddenly, the Final Girls of Scream have an amazing idea. Gale distracts Jill long enough for Sidney to shock Jill to death with some paddles (from a defibrillator machine). “Clear!” Sidney yells, and shocking Jill to death, putting an end to the Woodsboro massacres. “Don’t fuck with the original,” Sidney continues. Hell yeah! The Final Girl always gets the last word, not the killer. And boom! Jill springs back up, so Sidney grabs a gun, and shoots her in the face. Now Jill is really dead. Like actually, dead. Once again, Final Girl Sidney has saved the day. And we can almost hear Sidney say, “not in my movie!” as she did in the original. And as Scream 4 ends, we’re hit with “Directed by Wes Craven” and it hurts. A lot. Because Scream 4 was the final Scream and Wes is gone. So Wes, thank you for Freddy Krueger and Billy Loomis, and for the badass Final Girl, Sidney Prescott. And fellow slasher fans, go watch Scream again in his honor. Or maybe just watch a Nightmare or two. Whatever you do, don’t forget what Wes taught us. “Horror isn’t about the kills–it’s about the survivors.” See larger image Scream 4 (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy) In Scream 4, Sidney Prescott, now the author of a self-help book, returns home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. There she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey and Gale, who are now married, as well as her cousin Jill (played by Emma Roberts) and her Aunt Kate (Mary McDonnell). Unfortunately Sidney’s appearance also brings about the return of Ghost Face, putting Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, along with Jill, her friends, and the whole town of Woodsboro in danger. The newest installment in the acclaimed franchise that ushered in a new wave of horror in the 1990s is written by series creator Kevin Williamson and directed by suspense master and director of the first trilogy, Wes Craven. The film stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Anthony Anderson, Adam Brody, Mary McDonnell, Marley Shelton, Nico Tortorella, Marielle Jaffe, Kristen Bell, Anna Paquin, Lucy Hale, Shanae Grimes, Aimee Teegarden and Brittany Robertson. New From: $11.99 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.