Scream 4 (Wes Craven,2011) Part 1 of the three week Halloween horror reviews

When Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) our beloved heroin from the first three movies, returns on the anniversary to sell her book, she brings the past with her. But could we expect anything less than another two killers causing havoc on Woodsboro.

The film opens with the famous hot girls answering the phone and ignoring the killer’s ominous threats.  However, this only causes the killer to get very persistent and rather rude to our dumb blonde on the other end “hang up on me again and I’ll cut your neck till I feel bone”. So just your typical phone call then.

scream 4

We then get our stupid teen open the door after the text “I dare you to open the door”. It really is the ultimate cliché! Not to our surprise but to the surprise of our murder victim waiting to happen, the killer is inside (who could have guessed?), Leading to our stereotypical characters getting stabbed. On the other hand, for the audience to feel a sense of surprise and awe, this whole scene was a movie within the movie, stab 6. We cut to two girls sat on the sofa bitching about the film they had just watched BUT this is also a movie, stab 7. Yes apparently these films are so worth watching there are 7 of them.  Therefore, to complete the loop we move cut to a scene of another two blondes sat on the sofa… again! Could this be stab 8 or scream 4? However, like all of the scream films and even all the stab films , Ghost face gives the ‘dumb blonde with the big tits’ a phone call and a stab to the stomach , we even get a homage to the first with someone get crushed by a garage door. But from the Scream franchise we couldn’t ask for anything else.

Like horror films now, we need character development and we need to care about our unrealistically attractive cast. We need to know if Sherriff Dewey (David Arquette) cheats on his wife Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox). If Gale writes her book, If Charlie Walker (Rory Culkin) gets to kiss Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) and if Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts) gets back together with Trevor Sheldon (Nico Tortorella). There is just so much plot development for a slasher movie. I can’t help but think, is this is an homage to the original or a piss take ?

Despite opening with a murder or two, the film wants to create suspense, doing so through false jump scares, near death experiences, boyfriends creeping in through the window and really bad lighting. Just so many clichés!

For all us Brits, we also get clips from Edgar wrights Shaun of the dead (2004). It’s nice to know that one of the best horror/ comedy films and in my opinion Edgar Wright’s best movies is appreciated in the US. This is unfortunately quickly interrupted by the murder of the next door neighbour… damn it.

How’s the movie?

What movie?

Shaun of the dead.

shaun of the dead

But her near death experience is really dramatic so we will forgive the film. As this is a horror film, this is what we expect drama, blood, severed body parts and organs hanging out of corpses.

The movie does show homage to the original , with the phone calls , Gail Weathers attempting to save the day, the plot twist at the end (and it is a good one) and of course ‘is it the boyfriend?’ question. Luckily, we also get a few new great features, with the advancements in fear tactics and horror styles; everything is just a bit scarier. Other features include live web broadcasting and the constant use of mobile phones. It’s all the things we love about the originals just with a touch of modern flare.

You do a remake to outdo the original.

The characters also seem to notice the fact that they are in a movie. Listing ways to survive, discussing who can be the next victim and where it is going to go down, it Is definitely like the original.   We also get the characters laying out the perfect drinking game for the viewers at home.

Drink when someone can’t get reception.

Drink when there is a harmless character creating false jump scares.

Drink when someone screams “no”.

Even though we all have our lessons on how to survive, everyone, including Sidney keeps answering the phone. We all know that when someone is home alone and the phone rings, it is going to be the killer. Why don’t the characters just cotton on? Everyone seems to separate, run upstairs or even lock themselves in small spaces, again meeting with my idea that this film is literally filled with horror clichés.

One of my favourite scenes is when Charlie is tied to the chair outside of the house (again like the original) and in order to save him, Kirby must answer the horror film questions. So when she gets to test her knowledge on the genre so do I.  Unfortunately though, this film does end in Kirby being stabbed. So I guess it’s not the perfect scene because I really liked her character.

Part 1 of the final showdown occurs at the house when we find out who the main killers are. They then try to blame their acts on other characters and want to be seen as the victim, AGAIN LIKE THE ORIGINAL!

However, when Sydney survives and is able to point out the killer, it calls for another boss battle. This causes for one of the bloodiest cat fights of the century. With three girls against one, it’s no surprise that the killer gets their comeuppance in the best way possible…CPR paddles to the head.

Can I just have one final word?

What, please?

No clear



If all this isn’t badass enough, the end credits song is just to die for, no pun intended. Bad karma (Ida Maria). It is defiantly a suitable song to end the film with.

So if you are a fan of the original 3 or just a lover of the horror slasher movie, this is a must watch. And with Scream the original Netflix series now up on the British Netflix, we have all the more reason to watch the film. I give it 5 stars and 7 stabs.

How have you not seen this?

Deathbyapril- April Ely

if you want updates on my review follow me on instergram @deathbyapril and Twitter @aprilely31

Check out my review on

Sorority Row (Stewart Hendler,2009)



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