Reboot or rehash?,
This review is from: Scream 4 [DVD] (DVD)
The first two "Scream" movies were important to me: they came out when I was in high school and sixth form respectively, and so I was roughly the same age as the protagonists. Plus stir in the (then fresh) post-modern meta-cinematic self-referential humour and you have yourself a couple of hit films which revitalised the horror genre.
The problem for all involved in this fourth-quel is that whilst time - and the horror genre - has moved on in the last 10+ years, the central premise here has remained stubbornly the same. Yes, there are some window-dressing updates to make this more relevant to todays audience (cue references to torture-porn, internet streaming and Twitter) but these are superficial baubles hung from the same old skeleton: teens terrorised by masked killer(s) who just love their scary movies. And frankly, this is wearing more than a little thin.
There are some interesting ideas in the last 20 minutes around celebrity culture, and at least one decent twist, but frankly the rest of it is rather dull. There are also massive problems with tonal consistency, with ill-judged gags juxtaposed against some pretty sadistic violence (the grotty head-stab with Bruce Willis joke a case in point). The film doesn't know where it's a horror or comedy, and doesn't work as either. Also just be aware that despite the 15 rating this film is equally as bloody as it's predecessors.
In summary it's a film we could have all done without. Craven and Williamson really need some more strings to their bow, as the whole meta-horror schtick is dead and buried now. Thumbs down from this Scream fan.