Scream 4 (2011) **
D: Wes Craven
C: Neve Campbell, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Rory Culkin, Nico Tortorella, Marley Shelton, Adam Brody, Anthony Anderson, Erik Knudsen, Mary McDonnell, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell
Plot Synopsis: During the last leg of her book tour, which just happens to be in her hometown of Woodsboro, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) gets thrown full circle into more slasher mayhem as another ghost faced killer seeks to repeat the events of her past with a fresh batch of high school students.
REVIEW: Disappointing reboot of the Scream franchise takes aim at horror film remakes as the Ghost faced killer of the franchise seeks to create his own real life remake. While the overall idea behind Scream 4 ties in nicely with the previous three films, the problem lies in how it's executed.
The humor is a riff of what someone trying to make a Scream film would write. The violence here lacks the wink wink quality of the earlier films and feels like by the numbers carnage. It even misses out on the heart stopping suspense of the earlier films, as for the most part, it resorts to having characters pop out of nowhere in order to generate a scare or two.
Cast wise, with the younger cast, the only one who seems to get the spirit of what makes a Scream film a Scream film is Hayden Panettiere. Everyone else comes across as actors trying to act in a Scream film. They resort to this self mocking kind of attitude. I think one of the things that the cast doesn't fully grasp is that the Scream films weren't necessarily making fun of horror films, but they were looking at the bigger picture of how horror films were made and how they connected with their audience.
As for the whole idea of the younger cast & the events of part four mirroring the original film, there isn't a strong enough parallel between the two films. It doesn't become clear enough that the proceedings are supposed to mirror the original film until the very end.
This entry wants to spoof the horror film remake trend, but ends up feeling more like a ripoff rather then a fresh new entry in a successful horror film series, because it doesn't fully understand all of the various intricacies that make a Scream film, a Scream film. Yet again, that might have been the entire point?!? [R] 111 mins.