I scream for Scream 4

Being that it’s getting close to Halloween and all, one of the more intriguing trailers currently being screened at theatres is for the fourth installment of the seminal Scream franchise.

Tentatively titled Scre4m (stupid, yes), the movie once again dives into the lives of Sydney Prescott and the rest of the Woodsboro gang, including Gale Weathers and Dewey Riley.

This time of course, there is a new killer, with new motives and everyone around the little community is a target. Fain shock, surprise.

Now, I don’t claim to be any sort of horror movie fan. In fact, I can’t even recall the last horror movie I made an effort to go out and see on my own accord.

But there was just something about watching Neve Campbell answer that inevitable ringing phone in the new trailer that put a smile on my face and made me think that maybe the horror genre isn’t stuck at a dead end after all.

See, in my mind, there hasn’t been a decent, successful, story-driven horror movie in the last decade.

I mean, I did enjoy the concept of the first Saw, but there was too much wrong with it to call it “good”. I absolutely adored Drag Me To Hell, but you couldn’t throw a knife and hit another person who saw it when it was released.

So really, the entire basis for the horror industry over the last decade has been dependent on crappy, half-assed sequels and terrible “re-imaginings” of the classic movies that defined the genre in the first place.

I’m pretty sure that’s why I’m genuinely happy with the existence of Scre4m. It has the potential to dig us out of this massive hole of mediocrity we have turned the horror industry into.

When the original Scream came out back in 1996, it single-handedly made it cool to make horror movies again. Having that ability to make fun of the genre it was situated in created this very taut version of the slasher entertainment which audiences had become all too used to.

Instead of giving its killer a motive, movies were used as the basis behind his actions. This technique bridged horror movies to the mainstream in the 90s.

Then, at the turn of the millennium, Eli Roth and Rob Zombie and the Saw creators changed our expectations of what a scary movie should be.

People had become increasingly bored with the standard “killer on the loose” gimmick and wanted more. So, instead of being horrified through fear, we became horrified through shock and disgust.

That’s what this new generation of movie-goers expects from these kinds of movies now. I, for one, am not a fan.

I believe that the best kind of “scare” is built around tense situations and the elements of filmmaking coming together to produce a thrill. I couldn’t care less about how many ways someone’s intestines can be ripped out from inside them.

This is why, when the voice of Roger Jackson spoke into that phone pressed to Neve Campbell’s ear, I started to feel better about where this was headed.

Director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson changed the genre forever the first time around through a self-aware script that made fun of the horror genre just as much as it embraced it.

If the trailer is any indication, Scre4m may be able to do the same thing with this new brand of shock and disgust we have all become so used to.

They seem to have the formula right as well. They have a gaggle of young, recognizable talent, ranging from Emma Roberts to Kieran Culkin. The former cast is back for another round. And of course, there are cameos galore, as seen through Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin in the trailer, to the rumored appearance by Jennifer Aniston.

So, I’m still not one hundred percent sure about the movie itself, but based on what we know now, there is more than a glimmer of hope that it will, in the very least, be something fresh that we can enjoy.

Fingers crossed then that Scre4m will be able to take the blood and guts concept and integrate it with a decently entertaining thrill-ride.



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