Judd: Ten years after the last Scream, which was supposed to cap the trilogy, the Scream franchise is being rebooted. Sydney (Neve Campbell) is back in the town of Woodsboro to promote her self-help book bringing the curse of the Ghost Face Killer with her. But like all slasher movies, the killer focuses on murdering the local youth before going after his aged foes. And instead of Jamie Kennedy spouting off the “rules” of horror flicks, we’re given the founders of the Woodsboro High Cinema Club to keep the audience informed of how a decade old reboot is supposed to go down.
Swanner: If you pick up your phone and hear…”What’s your favorite movie?” you know another Scream movie has been made. They have brought back the original three, Campbell as you mention as well as Courtney Cox and David Arquette. So as new as most of the cast is we still see familiar faces to pull us back into the horror of it all. Director Wes Craven still knows how to make the movie tense but keeping campy and fun.
Judd: I’m not sure what I think about this 4th installment. The first Scream was innovative as it was a homage, but still a unique horror in its own right. The second kept the homage concept fresh by making it a movie within a movie. The third put a tongue-in-cheek twist on the homage scenario. By now the gimmick seemed a bit stale to me. I knew what was going to happen; I knew the formula; I even went in knowing who the killer would be before I was introduced to the characters.
Swanner: Well, Duh!!! It’s not that the different cast members weren’t explaining is all to us. This was the reboot. You start the reboot like the original as a way to lull the audience back into the franchise. Then you can change it up for a new generation of victims. The one thing I have to mention is Hayden Panettiere’s new haircut. Girl, you look sharp with your short but girlie do. I was impressed and I’m sure my boy Michael will love it too.
Judd: Panettiere’s haircut may have been cute, but her whiskey soaked voice was not. Since when do girls in their early 20s sound like 60 year old roundhouse waitresses? Is she in competition with Kathleen Turner for manliest voice? The other thing that bothered me about the movie was that there was no character development. Yes, we already know Sydney, Gale and Dewey, but the rest of the cast seemed to be there only to pad the body count. The other movies had large casts they still managed to differentiate Victim A from Victim B.
Swanner: Usually the cast is more recognizable so you think you know the characters better. This cast had quite a few people I didn’t know and yes, those characters were up the knife but this is a teen slasher movie so I was just sitting back and enjoying the ride. It’s not the best of the scream movies but it does keep the genre alive and that’s a good thing. One last thing is screenwriter Kevin Williamson has really kept up the clever dialog which makes these films so much fun.
Judd: OK, I’ll give you the recognizable cast equals relatable characters. Scream 4 works, but it’s a faded beauty. If you squint and cock your head to the side, No. 4 looks almost as good as the first three, but I think I would rather remember the splendor years than to see this old girl try and flaunt her stuff once more. And that goes for Courtney Cox, too.