I review the movie Scream 4, as well as Hayden Panettiere’s haircut.

Sometimes an event happens in a movie that’s so unique, so cool, or so visually amazing that a franchise can’t get back on track after they pass that tipping point.

The first time a dinosaur was revealed in Jurassic Park it was mind blowing. But once the sequel rolled around we’ve all become accustomed to the sight of people interacting realistically with enormous computer generated lizards.

When Neo swallowed the pill and went down the rabbit hole, the explanation Morpheus gave about the machines taking over humanity was an incredible revelation. But two sequels later we never received another idea that was anywhere near as exciting or original as the concept they started with.

In 1996, Scream had one of those moments.

Billed as the main character, Drew Barrymore appeared in the opening scene. She spoke with a stranger on a phone for several minutes as tension built, and before long she ended up in a fight for her life – ultimately being hanged from her front yard tree with entrails dangling from her stomach. NO ONE saw this coming, and everyone sitting in the theatre knew that were in for a different kind of horror experience.

Two sequels later (which I enjoyed) they were never quite able to recapture the magic from that first movie.

11 years later they’re giving it a try.

Scream 4 (or SCRE4M) takes place in a different world. The Internet, smart phones and streaming video are part of every day life. Writer Kevin Williamson tries to take the ‘meta’ concept even further, and again, lets us in on the joke (even toying with the premise that horror movies become silly once they’re in to the 4th, 5th and 6th sequels).

What’s good about it?

They legitimately went for something unique, although I don’t know how successful they were in driving their points home. I loved the ending, but it could have been foreshadowed just a little bit more to ‘connect the dots’.

Emma Roberts was good. Neve Campbell is always great. Courtney Cox and David Arquette as Dewey and Gale seemed more subdued compared to their previous outings, but I enjoyed them nonetheless.

And of course, there are some great scenes of a guy in a Halloween costume stabbing helpless victims with a hunting knife.

What’s not so good?

The new cast of beautiful, articulate teenagers that are acutely aware that they’re living out a slasher movie are somewhat disappointing. Their performances were a little flat, and they really weren’t given much to say.

In past Scream movies we got cameos and supporting performances from Sarah Michelle Gellar, Parker Posey, Liev Schreiber, Lance Henrikson…now we get Shenae Grimes and Marielle Jaffe. I’ll wait while you IMDB them because I know you’re scratching your head right now.

Yes, Scream 4 has a brief appearance from True Blood’s Anna Paquin and Veronica Mars’ Kristen Bell, but they were given far too small a role.

What was surprising?

It was violent, but not overly-so. We get plenty of stabbings, as you might imagine, as well as tons of bloodshed. And there is even a scene of entrails spilled out onto a floor for old time’s sake.

But it definitely didn’t go as far as Saw or many of the more disturbing modern-day ventures into torture-porn that we’ve seen in recent years.

What was baffling?

That a very confused Hayden Panettiere must have thought she was filming a remake of Basic Instinct, because she was sporting a super-short, 80’s style haircut that was so out of place it was nearly distracting (or was this actually paying homage to Sharon Stone?)

Should you see it?

If you never saw the originals, you probably won’t be interested. And if you weren’t that thrilled with Scream 2 and 3, definitely don’t see this one.

But if you’re like me and loved the originals, then yes, go for it.

Scream 4 isn’t overly bloody, overly funny or overly suspenseful – it’s a blend of everything – and to that end it does work as a movie…albeit not nearly as seamlessly as it did over a decade ago.

I hope you liked the non-spoiler rundown of Scream 4. Leave your feedback below, or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

These movie reviews are going so well I might make them a semi-regular thing!

I love you guys,
Blake xox

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11 Responses to I review the movie Scream 4, as well as Hayden Panettiere’s haircut.

  1. Ron says:

    Very good review. The only thing tho is “Scream” is more of a thriller that has you question who the killer could be the entire movie. Saw is just torture porn. Two very different genres / movies that should never be compared to one another.

    • Thank you!

      I see what you’re saying…I was just pointing out that today a lot of horror movies go in that direction (violence-wise) while Scream kept it consistent with the past movies. Saw and Scream are definitely apples and oranges.

  2. Michael says:

    But “Slasher” films are inherently violent and gory, that is where the “Slash” comes in. The earlier Friday the 13th and Halloween, the fathers of Slasher films were VERY gory. Spear through couple having sex, strap around head and tree tightened until..pop.
    Saw was as you say, torture-porn, is it’s own genre. Right up there with Hostel and the like, but my gripe with modern day “Horror” films, is they took out the horror. I will not watch a rated PG-13 “Horror” film, it goes against all that IS horror.
    Give me blood and guts when you have a demented killer running around, don’t clean it up for teens.
    Just my opinion, and I have REFUSED to watch any of the Scream series. 1, there is someone from Friends in it, 2, it is a mainstream joke. Although Jennifer Aniston WAS in Leprechaun lol

  3. Ken says:

    Great review, Blake! I saw it Friday night and I loved every moment of it. I’m a huge fan of the original trilogy (yes, I think all three were great) but I was too young to see those in the theatre. Scream 4 was the first film in the franchise that I was able to see on the big screen and that was just as exciting for me as seeing Wolverine and Spider-Man on the big screen for the first time.

    I have to say, I know where you are coming from with the Saw comparison. It’s hard to not compare horror films these days because there’s not a lot of originality left out there. I was completely appaled when I looked online this morning to see that Scream 4 only made $19-million at the box office, a small fraction of what the original three made each on their opening weekends.

    I feel that we live in a sad society when a real, true sequel to one of the greatest horror franchises of all time is released and bombs horribly. I mean, it’s not like anyone doesn’t know who Ghostface is. Every since the first Scream, Ghostface costumes have been seen everywhere every Halloween season, usually labeled with a “as seen in Scream” stamp of approval.

    Here we have it, though; Scream 4 is released after 11 long years and it bombs. Meanwhile, disturbing torture porn is raking in millions upon millions, God-awful remakes to classic horror films such as Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween are huge hits (for the horror market) and, as best decribed in Scream 4, “pale Asian girls” are everywhere. Makes you wonder, if they (Hollywood) would’ve just canned the idea of a fourth film and hopped on the remake train, would this have done better? I mean, it could’ve been done. They had all the young cast in there that could’ve replaced the originals.

    Rather than including Neve, David and Courteney, they could’ve easily just had Emma Roberts as Sidney and Hayden in the original role played by Drew Barrymore. Would the film have been received differently? Would it have doubled its box office intake? Sadly, I say yes, it probably would’ve. Thank God for Wes Craven, Kevin Williamson and the Weinsteins for considering the original fans first, though! To me, Scream 4 was better than I could’ve imagined. All Ghostface/Sidney fans must see it!

  4. Christopher says:

    Nice review. I do agree that Scream 4 and Saw are driven by a different plot, I like that you give us an idea of what level of gore, or lack of, we can expect.
    I have a splatter (or CGI) to quality rule of thumb for movies. The more of the former they stuff into a movie the less of the latter, i.e., time spent on writing, acting, etc.

    I look forward to your next review!

  5. Michael says:

    Great review. I did enjoy the movie. Actually more so than I thought I would. I believe it was better than Scream 2 or 3 and as good as number 1. The young teenagers did get a little annoying though.

  6. F Q Salman says:

    I haven’t seen scream 3 but have seen the first two and loved them. For the sake of enjoying scream 4 to the full do you think I should watch scream 3 first or can I just dismiss it entirely and watch this one with no worries?

    Great reviews btw keep it up, hope to see you do reviews on youtube, would be cool!!

    • Ken says:

      For the most part, none of the plot points from Scream 3 were mentioned in the fourth film. I’d say that you’re safe to just watch Scream 4, but I would still HIGHLY recommend seeing the third film, too!

  7. Scream4? I’m kind of with you on that, Grrl. I liked the original, but… Remember Halloween? And Halloween 8. Oh, and Halloween H2O and then the remake of the original in 2007? Is it me? Have I been drinking too much? Oh, and the remakes of My Bloody Valentine and Nightmare on Elm Street and dog knows what else? I sigh at the sad state of the horror genre.

  8. You know, as much as I loved Scream 4, something was bothering the whole time while watching it yet I couldn’t put my finger on it. Yet you actually nailed it (or should it be stabbed it?), Hayden Panettiere’s haircut! It had a 90’s executive woman vibe that was totally out of place, took me some time to realise she was meant to be one of the students and nice an elder sister or something. Unless the 90’s revival is already upon us??

  9. I’m not the biggest fan of slasher films, but I distinctly remember the shock and delight I felt watching the first film, when Drew Barrymore dies. I like Drew, don’t get me wrong; in the moment of her characters demise, I felt like the rules were gone, that Scream was taking me somewhere I’d never been. Only the original Friday the 13th gave me that kind of rush, at the very end when the lead character is floating down the river. If only the slasher genre had more surprises to offer.

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