So I sat down last night and watched the latest addition to the SCREAM series. It has been over ten years since the last almost unbelievably, but it does just about pick and go like there has been almost no time between.
Now in the long time that has passed since SCREAM 3, an awful lot has gone by in the world of horror movies. Good and bad things and SCREAM was a very wry intelligent series, very much known for referencing the cliches and motifs which crop up all too often and then plays around with our expectations at a hectic pace.
And this now film still certainly does. Almost comedically over the first five or so minutes before the title, it confronts and makes judgements on torture porn and the vacuous slew of dumb derivative horror such as SAW and HOSTEL, and defending good writing and directing in horrror.
Then it kicks off after the first murder. The known cast return-Sidney, Dewey, Gail when Sidney returns to her hometown for a book signing and the death and murder seems to follow her. Dewey and his new deputy begin the frantic investigation, while as Gail has writer’s block on her fiction decides to sneek back into the scene. We now meet Sidney’s young cousin Jill and her friends who make up the new young group being terrorized and attacked by Ghostface this time.
If you know the first three SCREAM movies-and if a fan of horror, you definately should by now-you know that the movie will keep you on your toes, pull out the expected direction of the plot and events as they move along dramatically with blood and shocks left right and centre. It must have been even harder to produce another script beyond SCREAM 3, which though good, at the time moved far too much closer right into live action bloody Scooby Doo than desired. Here, it does move back toward the earlier style of the first movie, as if begining again, and it also has to take in many new additions of today’s culture not seen in the previous films- facebook, iphones, webcam live broadcast, but does this all detract too much from the pacing of the movie?
The writer-KEVIN WILLIAMSON- is a hugely talented legend in this genre, and then of course the whole franchise has been driected by the other horror legend WES CRAVEN, director of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, THE HILLS HAVE EYES, to only made two classics. It is almost certain that whatever they do with a SCREAM movie, it is gonig to definately for the most part be of an skillful impressive standard, even if they hit a few bad notes their work will be better than so many others.
Is it a scary movie? (Sorry, I know) The answer is that yes, it actually is sometimes. But to be honest, a great many love the SCREAM movies more for seeing just how the known tired cliches of repetitive lazy horror flicks will be addressed and turned on their heads. Is this sequel the best yet? I would still have to say no, that may still yet be SCREAM 2, which provided a more pleasing level of referential knowing parody and suspense and big style shocking thrills. This forth is very much a high quality and well crafted fast paced movie, well aware of the best and worst of the horror genre movies, and it does twist and turn surprisingly but at this stage I have to say that as a viewer I did become aware that there were only so many directions and possibilities for the narrative to go in. But then that is not the prime reason for the movie is it? This is a return to probably the most well produced post-modern inventive clever horror series, and it is great to at least see that CRAVEN and WILLIAMSON are still willing to go up against the latest changes to our culture, and the horror film genre.