SCREAM 4 (Wes Craven)
One of Hollywood's revered camp filmmaker, Wes Craven is back. Nope, I am not counting in MY SOUL TO TAKE, which was heavily plagued by negative reviews. I haven't seen it, and probably never will.
I have become a follower of the SCREAM franchise over the years. I don't particularly love the movies, but I do enjoy them, especially that the SCREAM films also serve as a deconstruction of sensational media and the horror genre. So I'm pretty thrilled that a new sequel has turned up.
One unmistakable and undisputed claim that SCREAM 4 can have, is that it is is the funniest among the four SCREAM movies. The lines are so campy you'll surely memorize them ("Your lemon squares taste like ass!") and you should see Courteney Cox's Gale everytime she mentions "Deputy Judy".
The lines are not the only humor in SCREAM 4. There's a creepy scene where Deputy Judy (Marley Shelton) speaks to Sidney, and her face is unseen in the dark; then there's the opening scene of a film within a film within a film, and; as usual the ghostface killer has stupid things happen to him (or her) like fall down the stairs or get kicked in the face.
I still think SCREAM 2 is the best of the franchise, but this sequel delivers the goods right where you want them, and the killer is pretty menacing. (No spoilers here!)
Acting as a semi-commentary on pervasive media, journalistic ethics, the horror film genre, remakes, sequels, fame, et cetera et cetera, SCREAM 4 is noteworthy on the basis of being able to have some level of intelligence amidst all the blood and gore. Where it fails is when it resorts to genre cliches and lines that border on excruciating. Just about every minor character dies, but not the leads. And it takes an eternity before the killer dies.
Then again, SCREAM 4 is a guilty pleasure; a popcorn flick best enjoyed with friends who can tolerate silliness, and who dig film references.