Scream 4

Scream 4 ★★

Credit where credit is due, Scream 4 is much more competent than Scream 3 and the opening scene is also a good bit of fourth-wall breaking fun. But at the end of the day, there just isn't a lot of gas left in this series. For all the talk about horror going extreme in the 2000s and remake culture, Scream 4 just feels like a by-the numbers sequel. The film does speak to the soft reboot that would emerge a few years later, but it doesn't really do enough with this idea. Had this played as a functional remake of the first Scream it might have worked, but as is it's too different for that to be the goal while also too similar to feel knew. We also see the filmmakers really struggling to find new stuff for Sydney, Dewey, and Gale. I like these characters fine but their utility has clearly reached its end. The film does open up a potentially provocative and interesting ending but ultimately defaults to the traditional status quo affirming end. Ultimately, Scream 4 is watchable, but vapid and fleeting.

And so, that's the end of the Scream series. Or at least it was. Turns out Netflix has done a TV series adaptation which thus far has two seasons. Maybe it was good, but I have a hard time picturing that. The original Scream had a clever little premise that worked, but there isn't really enough there to build a series around. As far as slasher series go, this series has a relatively decent batting average, but they show the some declining patterns you'd expect.

Block or Report