FYI, I refuse to refer to this film as Scre4m. There is no movie called Se7en. There is no TV show called Numb3rs. It’s just dumb. Stop it, Hollywood. (I’m so glad they went with Tron: Legacy instead of Tr2n. Come on. That doesn’t even look like the letter O.)
Anyway… I’m a huge fan of the first two Scream films, and I found the third one enjoyable and diverting, if not excellent. I like the idea of that sort of meta-thinking characters. It bugs me when a film refuses to accept the fact that other films exist. Did none of the characters in Battle: Los Angeles notice that what was happening around them was remarkably similar to Independence Day? I’m not going to say that the Scream films are a mirror of our lives or anything, but the wink and a nod to the horror genre does give the film a bit of verisimilitude. (That’s right. A fourteen letter word. Boo-ya!)
I’d say the fourth installment is nearly as good as the first two, and better than the third. This time around, Sydney (Neve Campbell) is promoting her self-help/multiple-murder-memoir and she’s back home for the first time since the first film. Surprise, surprise, people start getting killed by some whackjob in a ghostface costume. There are simply too many characters to even pretend to mention them all. Courtney Cox and David Arquette are back, of course. Along with about a dozen really good suspects. If I had a problem with the film, it was that for a good thirty minutes, I didn’t feel like the story was really going anywhere, even if the body count did rise dramatically.
The newcomers to the series that I found the most enjoyable were Emma Roberts as Sydney’s niece, and Hayden Panetierre as a school friend. (I won’t divulge which, if either, of them survives the film.)
Act Two problems aside, the ending worked remarkably well. There were some twists I really did not see coming. So, if you like the series, you’ll enjoy this one.