Scream-Trilogy’s Scream 4 Review Coming

Updated: First thoughts today, official review after release. Please refer to article above!

Last night, Scream-Trilogy attended a press/advance screening for the Australian release of Scream 4 via Roadshow Films. Here are my first thoughts…

But first some setup. When I got to the screening there were ticket takers (or scanners, my invite was barcoded) and ushers dressed up as Ghostface. It was like, in a small way, Scream 2‘s opening scene and only served to set up the evening show’s amazing mindf**k on film courtesy of Kevin Williamson & Wes Craven.

The opening scene is very… complex. It deconstructs how we think Scream opening scenes are supposed to play out, and characters actually voice this. So basically the opening scene is about opening scenes. This is our introduction to the meta element of Scream 4 that will have us discussing the implications for a long time after release.

The new cast does fine, not a loser in the bunch. Not every character seems to live in the same world – by and all most characters are approached seriously, but you also have the extremely cartoonish Rebecca (Alison Brie) and the homely, subtly creepy Deputy Judy (Marley Shelton). It reminds me of the original Scream where you had characters like Dewey and Himbry to give the audience a laugh between all the mayhem.

And there’s a lot of mayhem. After all the introductions are out of the way in act one, it seemed almost wall-to-wall kills! Killscene, talkscene, killscene, talkscene. I’m sure it wasn’t that way, I just remember while watching it thinking to myself “hey wait! I know Scream structure! You can’t have another death so soon!” but they went there. But the deaths aren’t just there to dazzle, each one felt integral to the plot and pushed things forward. Here the deaths represent something more than simple bodycount.

Let’s talk core cast: they give this movie heart. I’m a dude that scoffs at the notion of heart, but damn it if one of the dialogue scenes between two old characters didn’t make me well up. I’ve always said one or more of them should be killed to advance the plot (hey, I’m a story man) but just seeing these characters have a chance to sit down and talk like real human beings, it hit me: Sidney, Dewey and Gale are family to us. Fictional as they are, they’ve been through a lot, and so have we the audience as we’ve been captive to watch them work through it and achieve those minor victories between massacres.

So you want to know if any of the main three die and if so which one. I won’t say, obviously, but I’ll say this: no one gets out unscathed. It’s not about life or death anymore, for me. We’ll talk more about this in my official review towards the end of the week but like so many things in this movie, my preconceived notions of how Screams are supposed to play out and should play out, have been fucked with, reversed, and thrown back at me. I love it.

Onto the killer. Is the killer’s identity organic to the story? Is their motive credible? Yes on both counts! The problems I (and audiences when I saw those films) had with the reveals of Scream 2 and 3 were that ancillary characters were under the mask and while I understood who they were, the audience didn’t. Lots of “who the hell is that!?” And that was because of weakly-developed scripts in those cases (Scream 2 and 3). No such issue with Scream 4, like the original Scream everyone immediately understood the identity of the culprit (or culprits) once revealed. And that’s no spoiler at all, but rather an indication that almost every character in the movie is properly sketched out. What impressed me about the motive is that the killer didn’t spend 7 hours explaining it to whoever is left standing! I know slashers have an inherent need to confess, but overexplaining something to who you want to kill instead of killing them has always struck me as corny. Here we get enough of a taste to know why everything went down, but then it’s quickly back into the action. I liken the pacing of the reveal/motive scene to Scream 1 and that’s a good comparison point because that film was perfect.

By now we know how Scream climaxes play out. And get ready for my broken record response: they twist it and mess with our minds. The comparison that keeps coming up in my head is the season 2 finale of Lost. That was a show that took place entirely on craphole island up to that point, but the last scene of season 2 took us to the outside world, which blew our minds because it was so against established structure. And that’s what my comparison here is really about, what the climax does to Scream structure and how far back it dares to pull the curtain, when your mind has been telling you for 15 years that they never will, is amazing. Scream 1 took place in the real world, that is it was plausible, while the sequels increasingly gave viewers safe detachment from the events on-screen since they could never really go down that way (only partially so for part 2, but almost completely for part 3). So in that sense, Scream 4 takes place in the real world, reflecting our own reality back at us through the cinema screen.

At the moment this movie ties with part 2 for me, but it just might be better. It has the edge on logic, and its willingness to break Scream structure is like a cappuccino after a decade of yawnfests which saw me stop watching modern horror save for a few. If there are any negatives, they are minor and I’ll be sure to discuss them through the official review. But my early thoughts? Scream 4 is an astoundingly clever sequel that will be difficult to top.

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110 Responses to “ Scream-Trilogy’s Scream 4 Review Coming ”


Reader Advisory: Comments may contain SCREAM 4 SPOILERS
  1. Glad to hear Wicked :).
    Waiting for the review.
    I’m going tomorrow.

  2. Thats cool that you guys liked it. I can’t wait until friday.

  3. Since you’ve been confronted to SO many spoilers tru and not tru, I can’t wait to read your whole impression of the movie!

  4. omg omg omg – so excited about your review :)

  5. Damn, got excited for a minute.

  6. Ahhhhh….you just started my monday with a blast! Lucky duck! Can’t believe you just saw it!!!!

  7. Can`t wait to read what you think!! As long as it`s spoiler free, that is! lol! :D

  8. Nooooo!!! I wanted a review so bad!!! You tease!

  9. AAAAAAAH!

    You are teasing us! XDD

  10. I just wanted to compliment whoever does the majority of the work for this site. For the past several weeks, my guilty pleasure has been checking your website for Scream news and updates. I’ve been reluctant to join in on the conversation and comment, but I just had to give you guys props. When other Scream sites go days without an update, you guys never let us down with an awesome article, bit of news, or clip. Kudos!

  11. Mindf**k? that can be good like Inception or bad like The final two Matrix films.

  12. Saw the tweets Lol
    I’ll wait patiently for your review.
    I’m really hoping it’s a Good MindF**k.

  13. That’s negative?

  14. Finally… an opinion I can trust!

  15. Haha! Nice one, Cotton! ;) Great to hear that it was not just good but perhaps even better than 2 (via Twitter)! Didn’t realise I could get any more psyched but what do you know? I totally am!!!

  16. Finally! I only trust your guys’ review :$

  17. Awesome. I look forward to it :)

  18. Can’t wait to read this review.

  19. Wow! Can’t wait for the review

  20. Can’t wait!!!!!!!!!!!
    In Israel it comes out in only 3 days from now!!!

  21. when we getting the review!? eagerly awaiting it!!!!

  22. OMG I am so excited to hear your feedback!!!!

    I’m going to the midnight release!!!!

  23. Just reading “it’s one hell of a movie” gave me goosebumps! Can’t wait until Friday!!!

  24. wow! i’m freakin excited !!!!! — biggest fan from the Philippines

  25. Im not sure if thats pointing at it being good or bad…Mindfuck could mean insanely good or an utter mess, One hell of a movie isnt necessarily great either great either but as its a line from scream 2 im guessing GOOD! (i hope)

  26. Tease!!!!!!!!!!!! Argh, cannot wait until Friday!

  27. Can’t wait to read this! :)

  28. http://thestir.cafemom.com/entertainment/118781/scream_4_reviews_are_bloody

    This article is speaking rubbish btw telling people reviews for scream 4 are awful when the reporter hasnt even seen the film and is referencing only one article and that article isnt a review its an overview of what another eeporter wh also hasnt seen it thinks it will turn out like. I hate the fact when people go on google looking for scream 4 reviews theyll see this article above and believe its a bad movie! And she’s an actual reporter not ust some random blogger!

  29. Can’t wait to hear your review. I’m hearing that it’s one amazing movie. Just like the original. This Friday, baby!!! It’s finally here!!!!

  30. Looking forward to it! :)

  31. Tell us more!!!!

  32. Tease, lol. Come on plenty of time to sleep later, dish the dirt to your army of follower’s and try and include any negative aspects (if any) you personally felt presented themselves without spoiling of course. Also i would like a rating of where Scream 4 ranks in wicked scribe’s opinion with the first three films????

  33. I’m excited to hear your thoughts on Scream 4! :)

  34. Can’t wait to read what you think about the movie. Less than 2 days to wait for me : the movie’s out on Wednesday in France !

  35. AHhhh! I hate you! LOL
    Here in Spain I need to wait until 20th ¬_¬

  36. OMG I can’t wait for your review, hurry up and rest lol. To read “it’s one hell of a movie…” from you guys is driving me mad with excitement

  37. Hell fucking yeah. My annoyance via twitter and to this site has officially paid off :)…well..since this was inevitable, it did nothing..but whatevs. I’m excited to read this. Ill let u rest from ur mind intense mind fucking sir.

  38. Ahhh…it’s not late. It’s just 6.39 pm here in Macedonia. Tell us more! Can’t wait! :)

  39. AWESOME! So, I was wondering, you’ve must have been spoiled a lot on here from people trying to spoiler the other members. Did it take anything from the movie?

  40. OMG!!! I cannot wait to hear this!

  41. My only question for you is… the motivation of the killer (or killers) is one again because Maureen Prescott or is a good surprise for the audience?????

  42. When are we getting the review?????

  43. ha! sounds awesome to me, can’t wait for the full length review.

  44. kudos to your scream 2 reference

  45. great news! :) Can’t wait to read more :)

  46. mindfuck? is that good or bad? and one hel;lm of a movie doesn’t mean it is good either, DONT DO THIS TO US

  47. WOW! Wicked-Scribe, I’m so happy and jealous of you! Hahaha, I’m definitely coming back here to read the review, just let us know when on twitter!

  48. The wait for this review is driving me insane!! Lol

  49. Awesome. I won’t read the full review if it has spoilers but this mini rave is enough good news to hear. I already have my ticket for the midnight screening! I’m a happy person!

  50. wow..i can’t wait anymore >_<

  51. Ahh I can’t wait for your review! Glad you enjoyed it.

  52. Awesome! Another reputable, online critic/blogger/scream fan just gave it the thumbs-up too. You don’t happen to be Glenn Dunks, do you Wicked-Scribe? lol.

  53. i got tickets for thursday at 12:01 am so im ready for it to be one hell of a movie, god its going to be so amazing

  54. wicked-scribe was it really that good????

  55. “it’s one hell of a movie…”

    I like this!

  56. Can’t wait to read it! Lucky!

  57. “You’re just a tease…”

  58. wheres the review??? I’ve checked like 5 times since you posted this morning…..patiently waiting….

  59. wicked-scribe…if you were scream-scoop from twitter, i have to say…you could not have made me any more jealous

  60. Brazilian TV Spot: http://youtu.be/laCeFgrvrt4

  61. Please hurry up and post it!

  62. How much longer do we have to wait??? LOL

  63. Dying to read it!!

  64. AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH I just died and came back to life

  65. FIRST!!! and I’m so jealous i can’t wait for your review and 4 more days until i get to SCRE4M again

  66. Excuse the “mind” before “intense”

  67. I’m so excited!

  68. Hehe, I can’t wait for the review. Especially from here cause you guys know Scream like no one else lol.

  69. When are u going to post it?

  70. Yew! Can’t wait to see the review! :D

    Mink-

    http://horrorstream.tumblr.com

  71. I am superenvious.

  72. Oh wow, guys — that is fucking stellar! Can’t wait for the review from those I trust most. Please add some other details in my new Threads about your Teater Experience!

  73. i’ve been waiting for this all day! COME ON!!!!! :)

  74. 8am here where I am, just woke up after a good sleep. Gimme an hour or so to put it together! :)

  75. I WANNA KNOW WHAT HAPPENS! I WANNA KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  76. When will the review be up? Will it be today/tonight? (It’s 23:25 where I am.)

  77. Waiting with bated breath! Friday can’t come soon enough!

  78. Hooli, Wait for the f****** movie!!

  79. arrow from joblo.com has posted up his review…spoiler free

  80. I will be so pissed if Shenae/Lucy are in a Stab movie. I’m 94% sure they are :(

  81. Huuurrrryyy…

  82. does anyone know if we gat to watch the movie in the live premiere tonight?

  83. Pleeease hurry! It’s late over here and I’m forcing myself to stay awake so I can read your review :P

    @ Austin – Of course not… why the hell would they show the movie over the internet before the release date?!

  84. Joblo’s reviews been taken down. it was either he gave something away in it, but he said it was spoiler free. or they dont want reviews released until wednesday. I hear it was very positive though.

  85. Of Course not Austin, just the red carpet/interviews.

    AND COME ON DUDE! PUT UP THE DAMN REVIEW!

  86. I think I’ll rebrand it “first thoughts” rather than “review” so we don’t get asked to take it down. Anyway, I’m writing as quickly as I can, I think 10 minutes should put a cap in this thing’s ass.

  87. It is pretty cool that people from all over the world seem to be waiting for this movie. The review has not even been posted and there are already easily over 50 comments here. I also wanted to give heads up that this will be the first official review of Scream 4 online. Their are bloggers who are titling there article “Scream 4 a bore” or their article is titled something negative. DO NOT GO TO THESE WEBSITES. They are lying they have not seen the movie yet, they are just writing that because they want to spark attention to their blog or whatever. THESE WEBSITES ONLY EXPRESS THAT THE PERSON IS NOT EXCITED ABOUT WATCHING SCREAM 4, not that the person has actually seen the movie or is even interested in seeing it. Don’t even bother putting negative comments on his/her page because he/she expects them and he/she wants his page to the most popular tonight.

  88. WHERE’s the review? I’m lost…

  89. Cool, looking forward to it, then I can go to bed lol.

  90. ey, come on guys give wicked-scribe a break. appreciate the fact that he’s even giving you a damn review, he’s been hard at work keeping you guys updated and he takes time out of his own just to give us what’s new with Scream 4. sorry just kind of got ticked with a couple of these comments.

  91. lol where is it? smh am baack from school and nuthin

  92. While waiting I found this on scream 4 game coming Friday? http://m.ign.com/articles/1161058

  93. I know there are no spoilers in your review but could you include how the audience reaction was throughout the movie? Were people in the crowd really into the film? Were their hardcore fans like the one’s who went to watch the Stab film in Scream 2? Were there people there who were being rude and ruining the movie for everyone else by yelling at the screen? I had the last experience one time when I went to watch one of the Harry Potter films. Someone in the audience must have been dragged to the movie and they were being really rude throughout and saying how much he did not want to be their while the movie was playing.

  94. Noooo!!! Do a review! I wanna hear the pros and cons
    And what not, can u atleast give a number rating? Please&ThankYou

  95. Stop rushing the guy, im sure he wants to make sure he can give us the best review possible for a film thats been 11 years coming, wouldnt you want to get it perfect. Go get a snack or something before what im sure is most peoples first truly credible review of SCREAM 4.

    Also i think rebranding it would be a good idea :)

  96. No worries, take your time. Better a good detailed review that takes a while to write than a quick sloppy one that is written in a hurry.

  97. It’s been ten minutes! Come on! We’re dying here!

  98. NO, I WANT IT NOW! Because rudeness solves all problems. At least in the USA it does.

  99. wicked scribe: F*ck that don’t change the title. let them ask you to take it down, then you can fire right back and ask them why they were stupid enough to allow the prop auction to have all the spoilers of who dies and who the killer is. at this point whoever would get upset over your review which is already spoiler free has no leg to stand on. they messed up big time in allowing the prop auction to list out so much details about the movie

  100. Where is it then wicked scribe? The suspense is killing me.

  101. Longest ten minutes of my life. I cannot wait to read this!

  102. It’s cool. I’m finished and it doesn’t read like a review anyway, but rather addressing some of the things that matter to Scream fans (like me). Just proofreading… seriously mere minutes away!

  103. Cool! Bed is calling …. But I’ll wait as looking forward to reading your thoughts. :)

  104. Sometime this year would be excellent…

  105. @Khy lmfao i know right

  106. The comment section is becoming restless. I am waiting as patiently as I can I am just afriad that for some reason I will miss it. This is a pretty popular site so I would rename the title to something that does not say review, just in case. However they may go easy on you if you do not mention who dies or when are certain actresses cameos are.

  107. Just post it already jeez!

  108. Thanks for your patience. I’m going to create a separate article.

  109. is it just me, or is scream 4 addicting? im dreaming about it, im drawing it in my class, i cant stop thinking about it. and now this review is making me anxious! haha

  110. Saw the movie at the premiere last night. Really good! Definitely bloodier, but great storyline and ending.

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