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Scream 4

October 17, 2011

By John Leavengood

MY CALL:  So much money and preparation went into this that you would hope it practically had to be at least watchable.  The producers succeeded…and then some.  It may be a very different experience from the original of this slasher satire franchise, but it’s a very worthy sequel.  [B+]  IF YOU LIKE THIS, WATCH:  Hopefully you saw Scream 1-3 before diving into this one.  FYI:  I’m here for you folks who waited for the DVD release.  The Hof (aka Mark) reviewed this when it was fresh in theaters.  Here’s his review.

It’s charming that they start these movies so similarly.  It presents a bit of welcomed nostalgia reminding me of how wonderful my original Scream experience was.  With cameos by Anna Paquin (HBO’s True Blood) and Kristin Bell (TV’s Heroes, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), this installment playfully pokes fun at the franchise letting us know that, hopefully, it hasn’t taken itself too seriously.

In addition to the returning cast we have a new set of youngsters, some of which are clear replacements for other Scream characters (e.g., the young Jaime Kennedy-style kid).  The younger cast comprises our main persons of interest.  I enjoyed the new age, Youtube-y A/V metageeks.  Alison Brie (TV’s Community) and Hayden Panetierre (TV’s Heroes) offer some solid personality.  Two new cops, Adam Brody (Thank You for Smoking, Jennifer’s Body) and Anthony Anderson (Transformers, Hustle and Flow), give us some nice comic relief as well.

Much of this movie is composed of the same cookie cutter scenes and metamovie-survival-guide dialogue common to all of the previous Scream movies. But this is par for the course with these movies and, well honestly, they recycle this material effectively.  Just like the others, the “rules change” again and, also like the others, I never had a clue who the killer (or killers) would be.

If you try not to compare this too much the prequels, this makes for a fun ride.  I approve.  See it.

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