The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Fourth Scream movie continues hypocritical cycle

By Tristan Evans/south news editor

Starting 15 years ago, the question, “What’s your favorite scary movie?” inevitably led to the death of the person being asked.

The premise of the Scream films is, as one character puts it, “a bunch of articulate teenagers sit around and deconstruct horror movies. Then, Ghostface kills them off one by one.”

Actress Courtney Cox walks through a barn as Scream 4’s monstrous Ghostface, voiced by Roger Jackson, creeps behind her. Cox portrays a retired journalist who now writes novels based on events from the first three films.
Photo courtesy Dimension Films

Scream 4 continues the story of Sidney Prescott, who after years as a target of maniacs wearing Ghostface masks, has come to terms with her past and written a successful book titled Out of Darkness. She ends her book tour returning to Woodsboro, where the bloodshed began.

Soon, a new Ghostface killer emerges, and the killer plays by new rules and has new targets in Sidney’s cousin Jill and Jill’s friends.

Scream revitalized the dying horror genre back in the late ’90s because for the first time, characters poked fun at the clichés in horror movies up to that point.

Scream 4 tries to do the same thing for a new generation, and while it doesn’t quite hit the mark, it is enjoyable for the most part.

Neve Campbell does an excellent job portraying Sidney 10 years later. She’s evolved from an innocent, naive ingénue to a butt-kicking woman who now faces the killer head-on instead of running.

Sidney isn’t alone, of course. Dewey and Gale (played by David Arquette and Courtney Cox) are also in Woodsboro. The two are now married, and Dewey is now the town’s sheriff. Gale has retired from her career as a journalist and writes novels based on the events of the first three films.

Like Campbell, Arquette and Cox easily slip back into their respective roles. Fans will love the bumbling Dewey trying to assert himself as sheriff, especially when dealing with his wife. When the murders begin, Gale sees a chance to jump-start her career again, and she’ll do anything to solve the murders, even putting herself into the path of Ghostface.

The new generation isn’t too bad either. Emma Roberts does a good job playing the sweet and innocent Jill, who is much like Sidney in the first film. Hayden Panettiere plays Jill’s best friend Kirby, a party girl and genre-savvy film geek who gets some good one-liners.

Rory Culkin and Erik Knudsen play film club presidents Charlie and Robbie, who school Sidney and Gale on the rules of horror movie remakes, which the killer seems to pattern the murders after. Knudsen performs best serving as the film’s comic relief.

On the plus side, the advance of technology and social networking impacts the way the killer operates. For example, instead of using the voice changer device from the first three films, he uses an iPhone app for the creepy voice (done again by voice actor Roger Jackson).

The killer also films the murders and uploads them online for the world to see. Robbie describes this as “the next step in psycho-slasher innovation.”

Another strength is the character development. The franchise has been good giving characters to care about and root for. A Scream film without Sidney, Dewey and Gale just wouldn’t work. Scream 4 also manages to do this with most of the new cast.

The ending makes up for disappointments that fans may have with the movie. The revelation of killers’ identities and the motives behind the murders, while a little predictable, are well done.

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