Sunday, April 17, 2011

HTTPreviews: Scre4m

This is the first of our second new feature: HTTPreviews, where we will provide our opinion on the latest releases in theater, along with an out of 10 ranking. This summer is sure to be a big one with several sequels and superhero/comic movies releasing, so we'll have plenty to review in the coming months. For some releases, we'll even do joint, head-to-head views when two of us have differing opinions. For now, enjoy Hunter B's reaction to this weekend's Scre4m...


Admittedly, I have a soft spot for self-deprecating humor. People that are self-aware and are able to make fun of themselves are usually the funniest people in the group, not to mention they realize their limitations and are unafraid to push them. With that, I have a confession to make: I love the Scream horror series. This series shares a couch with self-deprecating humor and self-awareness, and they are completely comfortable around each other. With that in mind, a friend and I went and saw Scream 4.

There was much less self-deprecation than before. They mocked the horror genre, but in less funny way and more defiant, like they wrote the movie to prove that all of the horror rules were outdated and used a horror movie to show it. Granted, that can be a good thing, but I found it was kind of sad. They were reduced to outright mockery, and that brought the film below the original Scream.


The movie itself outside of those characteristics was a lot of fun. Neve Campbell really came full circle with her character. She went from a terrified, lucky teenager to a mature survivor. Because thats what she is, as this movie makes very clear. That was one of the odd things, though. They were out to prove she was a survivor, nothing more. I mean, technically, she is, but I feel that by shoving her into a niche that they are becoming the stupid horror flicks they once parodied so nicely. Once again, thats a failure within the series, but not so much as a stand alone movie.

Speaking of the characters, I was most intrigued by Hayden Panettiere’s performance. She played the character ‘Kirby’, the rebellious member of the group of new Scream friends. I felt like she brought realism to the character, where most of the other characters were lacking. Unfortunately, she will not be around in Scream 5, as she is killed near the end of the film. The rest of the characters had their moments (Emma Roberts freak out at the end where she is telling Campbell that you don’t need to do anything to be famous anymore, Campbell with the coming full circle idea I mentioned above, Courtney Cox with her flashes of arrogance) but as a whole lacked the power of the characters of the first two films (I don’t include the third, because I’m pretty sure I’m the only one outside of Wes Craven that loved it). I also found it telling that every new Scream character died, which keeps the spotlight directly on Neve Campbell, who I think is more than capable of keeping this franchise alive and prosperous.

Really, though, my favorite thing about the entire movie was the end dialogue piece by Jill Roberts (portrayed by Emma Roberts), speaking about how all it takes to be famous is to be famous, or, as she put it “have a bunch of fucked up shit happen to you.” I thought that condemnation of the self-esteem saturated culture took the movie from an average to below average horror flick to a good movie. It was a breath of fresh air that I hadn’t expected.

So, in conclusion, if you are a fan of the original series, you will appreciate and hate the differences within it. If its your first time with the Scream series, you might enjoy it. As a Scream flick, it ranks third best out of four. As a stand alone flick, I’d give it a 5.5/10.

Final grade: 5.5/10


  1. I didn't mind them for this, but you guys might want to put in a spoiler warning considering you give a good bit away about the movie.

    I adore Scream but am not a fan of 2. I had higher hopes for 4 (iirc the screenwriter for 1 and 2 couldn't work much on 3 but was back in full force for 4) but 1 is so great and from what I've read it doesn't really come close to living up to it :c

  2. Scream 1 is easily the best, followed by 2, 4 then 3. I do apologize for the lack of a spolier alert; I intended to put one but it just slipped my mind. There are a lot of problems with 4, but not so much that a person wouldn't enjoy it.

  3. Good review! I saw it myself, and wrote one up. Right with you. It’s not quite as good as the first, but it ain’t no slouch either. I’ve had the good fortune (or misfortune, depending on how I’m feeling) of seeing all of em’ and let me tell ya. This is easily the best of the sequels. I did think it was too funny.

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