December 1, 2023

Scream 4 (2011)

Scream 4I don’t go to the movies all that often these days but when it comes to a good horror franchise I just can’t pass it up.  I consider the Scream franchise one of the best in horror over the last couple of decades so Marko and I headed to the theater on opening weekend to check this one out.

I was not a huge fan of the third entrance into this series (that’s the one where Sydney has a random brother that we’ve never met who wants to kill her) so I was a little bit worried about this one.  Typically in a horror franchise, once you get to the third or fourth in a series the content REALLY starts to go downhill (A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors being the most obvious exception to this rule).  I’m happy to say that Scream 4 bucks that trend with flying colors.  I can’t say that it’s better than or on par with the original, but it’s definitely better than the previous entry in the series and I’d put it equal with the second film (which I really enjoyed).

Returning characters are Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Dewey Riley (David Arquette) and Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox).  After 10 years there has been very little activity of the Ghost Face Killer but his memory has been kept alive in a slew of Stab (the fictitious slasher movies based on the events of the first Scream film) sequels.  Naturally, the killer starts to torment Sydney again and we’re off to the races for another “whodunnit” entry into this franchise.  The new cast members hold up their end of the bargain with special shout out to Hayden Panettiere for looking SUPER fine.

One of the thing that I loved about the original Scream was how “smart” it was.  I’m thrilled to report that this entry is back to being very smart and clever.  There’s also some super innovative kills which is always nice to see in a horror movie.  While the ending is a bit contrived I have to say that I didn’t see it coming which again is a good thing.  If I’m ranking the entries in this franchise I’d have to put this one behind the original, on par with the second and above the third.  Let me know what you think!

Update 12.21.2013

I re-watched Scream 4 the other night for the first time since I wrote this review way back in 2011.  Rather than re-reviewing, I thought I’d update the original review.

A couple of thoughts that I had as I watched:

  • Neve Campbell looks downright “matronly” here.  I’ve never been a huge fan of hers even in the original Scream films but here I’m almost rooting against her.  I really don’t understand some of the choices the character makes.
  • Hayden Panettiere is SMOKING hot.  On top of looking good, she’s a horror nerd which just ups that ante even more.
  • Why would Sydney Prescott EVER come back to this town after all the shit she went through?  Why hasn’t Dewey left town?  Sure, I understand he wants to be sheriff and all, but if shit goes down like this, wouldn’t the logical thing be to get the hell out of town as quickly as possible?
  • I’m a big Friends fan… but Courtney Cox is starting to look ROUGH here.
  • Speaking of Courtney Cox / Gale Weathers, she’s got a line in here that I didn’t pick up on the first time I watched it: “Your lemon squares taste like ass.”  Not funny here, but in the context of the movie I giggled.
  • There’s a scene here where a cop gets stabbed through the forehead which is a great kill.  However, watching it this time, it was incredibly silly that as he’s dying he says, “Fuck Bruce Willis“.  While that’s sort of funny, there’s no way that someone who’s just been stabbed in the forehead would be thinking that way and essentially making a joke.

Scream 4 holds up pretty well just like the original does.  I like the fact that they play with the Stab mythology here and don’t throw that away.  Good writing by Craven & Williamson.  If you were turned off by the 2nd or 3rd entries into the Scream franchise and you’ve stayed away from this one I’d say give it a look.


I've been a fan of horror and slasher movies for as long as I can remember. I consider the original Halloween to be the best horror movie of all time and my guilty pleasure horror flick would be The Exorcist III. You can find me on Twitter at @406Northlane or TikTok @406Northlane where I'm sure I'll offend you at least once a day.

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Patricia Kellogg
12 years ago

Love the Scre4m. Go see it!

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