Dare to take one more trip to Woodsboro? 15 years after the original Scream film was released, Wes Craven is back with this fourth instalment and brings a cast of regulars with him.
Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to the town of the horrific crimes that have haunted her entire life to promote her new book, “Out Of Darkness”. However, with her return a new generation of teens are now being stalked as history starts to repeat itself in a chilling way. Sidney’s family are wrapped up in the new game as her cousin Jill (Emma Roberts) and her friends Kirby (Hayden Panettierre) and Olivia (Marielle Jaffe) are terrorised from someone intent on making Sidney’s life hell. With the old cast back on form, the newbies have a lot to prove to fit in and take the series back to its roots.
From the get go this film starts as it means to go on, with a pre credit sequence that although borders on silly, teases the audience with what they are watching. The film hasn’t even begun and we are reminded of how the Scream series toys with what we think we know about horror films.
As the story gets going and we are thrust back into the nightmare of Woodsboro, but some things have changed. This instalment is far gorier, though still nothing on the likes of Saw which is a good thing as it still retains a true “slasher” feel to it. With two new movie geek characters that channel the spirit of Randy, Robbie (Erik Knudsen) and Charlie (Rory Culkin), we get a lot of the old school in-joke horror humour. Whereas Scream 3 had too much comedy it seems Scream 4 has found the perfect balance. Along with these movie geeks, Kirby is actually one of the newest cast members to steal the show. This is surprising really as introducing new, younger actors often ruins the feel of a film series like this one, here it’s only made it stronger. But it’s the return of the original cast that is most pleasing, Dewey (David Arquette) is still loveable and now in charge of the town as Sherriff, his wife Gail Weathers (Courtney Cox) is adjusting to small town life. When murders start happening that remind them of the past, it’s pretty damn cool to see them back in it, trying to figure out who’s behind it.
Quite frankly with horror references left right and centre it’s a horror fans wet dream, and that is truly why the Scream franchise has been so successful. Each time you watch a Scream film little things that may have passed you by the first time are treats you can’t believe you missed when you go back. Scream 4 does not disappoint in that respect and is a film that can easily be watched again.
After the poor reception of Scream 3, many people may be reluctant to venture back to this franchise but with Scre4m we have taken a return to the roots of what made this one of the most influential horror films of its generation. With Kevin Williamson back on as writer together with all the original (surviving) cast members back this film cements Wes Craven as a master of the genre.
Scream 4 certainly is not as ground breaking and scary as the first instalment, but that was never really going to be on the cards. However, if you’re a fan of the series and the genre you will not be disappointed in the new instalment, it’s a fun ride and a welcome return.
Scre4m is out now. Check our cinema listings for times near you.