Scream 4 (2011)

2 STAR

General Information

The information below is taken from the following link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1262416/

15  111 min  –  Horror | Mystery | Thriller   –  15 April 2011 (UK)

DirectorWes Craven

WritersKevin Williamson

StarsNeve Campbell; Courteney Cox; David Arquette

Plot:

10 years have passed and Sidney Scott has managed to rebuild her psychological well-being since the last set of murders – partly because of her writing her own self-help books. However, all is about to change, as ghostface returns…

Review:

In essence the ‘Scream’ films are a set of horror films which aim to mock the horror – mainly ‘slasher’ – genre in a sardonic and witty way, in other words: they’re a parody, yet at the same time: scary – this is perhaps, key to their success. The first Scream film is funny and scary. However, they are not a total, all out guns-blazing comedy spoof like the ‘Scary Movie’ films. As the ‘Scream’ movies are horror films at heart (with elements of a spoof).

Introduction over, I shall now review Scream 4…

Scream 4 is a ghastly, pitiful, stupid film which is so brain-dead in its ‘attempt’ – if you can call it that – at wit. Wit is subtle and almost poetic. Scream 4 is in your face, and its wit is like a 5-year-old child hitting you around the face with a cooking pan in attempt to be ‘funny’.  Everything is exaggerated and extreme. (A bit like that simile I used earlier.)

This mocking ‘wit’ of the horror genre is mainly shown at the beginning of the film when it runs through all of a made up horror series called the ‘Stab’ films. The beginning of each Stab movie consists of two teenagers watching the beginning of the previous Stab movie, so the teenagers in Stab 4 are watching Stab 3. In essence, the beginning of Scream 4 is like a horror movie within a horror movie within lots of other horror movies.

Obviously, this section is clearly mocking slasher films, as we have the two irritating teenagers who get killed, however, it is done in Scream 4’s trademark ‘funny witty’ way. Scream 4 is a film which doesn’t know what genre it’s in. It attempts to be a parody – but fails, because at the same time it attempts to be a horror. When it attempts to be a horror, it also fails because you don’t know whether to laugh or not because it’s also a parody. In simple terms: it’s a horror movie that isn’t scary, and a spoof movie that isn’t funny. All of the scary moments were predictable – yet, obviously, they were supposed to be predictable because it is a spoof. Ahhh, so Wes Craven’s being clever here, I see. No. He’s not, he’s just spewing out unoriginal brain-dead ideas which is – and has – caused a downright epic fall in the horror genre over the previous years. Wes Craven, once a brilliant director of horror (The creator and brain-child of ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’) has fallen to this epic low, and it upsets me. I really wanted to like this movie, I tried to laugh at the jokes, but I couldn’t because they had no wit, no intelligence, no real punch-line, rather a half-arsed attempt at comedy. I tried to be frightened, but I couldn’t because it was so cliché and unoriginal. I hated this movie. Hated every supposedly ‘funny’ moment because I didn’t find it funny and hated hated every single ‘scary’ moment because I couldn’t find it scary because the film was too busy trying to be ‘funny’ even though I never found it funny in the first place because the film was too busy trying to be scary at the same time, but actually failed because it was trying to be funny (oh you get the idea).

People laughed during the screening of this movie. Yet the key thing is, they didn’t laugh with it, they laughed at it. At the end of the screening we all walked out – me particularly irritated about wasting my time – laughing and mocking it. I overheard somebody say “that wasn’t scary, that was just a load of utter crap.” I think that says it all.

Verdict:

An un-scary horror and an unfunny comedy. Due to this, it is neither a horror, nor a comedy, nor a horror-comedy. It attempts to mock the genre in which it is involved in, yet fails, because we’re all mocking it, instead.

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