Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

As far as horror movies go, I gotta admit that Wes Craven’s ‘Scream’ series isn’t among my favorites. Yeah, I dug Wes’s jabs at his own genre and the cheekiness in tongue, and the pop culture attacks… which is the entirety of this fourth movie… but something about regular people killing people in horror movies that I just can’t get with. I like monsters killing people. I like Jason, I like Freddy, I like the smoky dude from the Final Destination movie, mainly I like killers you can’t do anything with except die. Man, a teenager with a knife has one time to come near me before I take that knife from this teenager and go all ginsu on them. Who in the hell is scared of teenagers with knives wearing stupid masks?

The humor starts early and often with this one as we see a couple of teenage girls with 2% body fat get murdered by a weirdo sporting a stupid mask, this after they rail on the triteness of horror movies. Splat? Was that the name of the movie? This is pathetic. I just saw this movie like eight minutes ago and I already forgot the title of the fake horror movie within the movie. I’m way too young to start forgetting things like this. Anyway, that was Splat 6 which was the beginning of Splat 7 which features Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell playing teens… as if… before death shows up again. That’s a movie within a movie… that’s within the real movie which now begins as teenagers Jennie and Marnie get brutally murdered on the tenth anniversary of the Woodsbro murders. Just so you know Woodsbro is actually Northville Michigan, where they shot this thing, which is like ten minutes from my house. I could tell you some stories about me and Neve Campbell, but sadly they would all be lies.

Also back in town for the ten year anniversary is Sidney Prescott (Campbell) who has written a book to counter the books written by schlock reporter, now author Gayle Weathers (Courtney Cox) which have spawned the Splat movies, and in Sidney’s mind, senselessly exploited her tragedy. She’s no longer a victim, this Sidney, she’s Out of Darkness. I can remember the name of the fake book, but I can’t remember the name of the fake movie. You can also friend Sidney on Facebook. She’s not a real person people.

The real question in this movie would be… who is wearing the ghostface mask now? The killings are starting to pile up with this killer embarrassing Woodsbro’s top cop Dewey (David Arquette) and endlessly taunting Sidney, promising to kill those close to her, especially her young cousin Jill (Emma Roberts). This is a ‘Scream’ movie so we have to have some horror movie experts on board tracking the plot, pointing out inconsistencies and commonalities as played by uber geeks Robbie (Erik Knudsen) and Charlie (Rory Culkin), and we also have a likely suspect in Jill’s ex-boyfriend Trevor (Nico Torterella), but ‘likely suspect’ usually means ‘he is not the killer’.

But who is the killer and why is this killer doing all this killing? I don’t know, but I bet there’s an app for that.

To be honest with you my friends, I was bored silly for the majority of ‘Scream 4’since watching somebody in a hood and a white mask floating around and stabbing people does tend to get a little tedious after a while. Sure, the ‘Final Destination’ movies have devolved into crap but a lot of creativity has gone into thinking of ways to kill teenagers, and we appreciate these attempts at creativity. We recognize that the ‘Scream’ movies aren’t you typical, run of the mill slasher flicks, being something more along the lines of irreverent social commentary with gutted teenagers thrown into the mix for effect, and by the time our killer is revealed to us, bringing everything we’ve seen up to this point to levels of ridiculousness that the ‘Scary Movie’ franchise would be ashamed of, it is more clear than ever that this is a movie that isn’t taking itself too seriously… fun with murder… but even the social commentary was wearing thin after a while in this overly long horror / comedy / social treatise.

But though I was bored for most of ‘Scream4’, not appreciating the brutal deaths of the Social Media, I-Phone generation, the last act was pretty damned entertaining. The insane levels of murders and stabbings and shootings and electrocutions and bludgeoning was just nuts. At no point in this movie does it ever become scary, and I’m not even sure Wes Craven was trying to make it scary, but the culmination of the bloodily ridiculous final act was simply outstanding.

Bored for the most part, amused at the end, this is what I got out of ‘Scream 4’. ‘Spat’. I know that’s not it, and I know I could look it up, but I’m not going to do that.

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