Review: Scream 4

Gale reunites with old friend, Ghostface
Sequels are always a struggle, however after watching Wes Craven's latest addition to the Scream series, you'd find this hard to believe. It may have felt like an eternity but 11 years after Scream 3, Dewey (David Arquette), Gale (Courtney Cox) and Sidney (Neve Campbell) are all back in the latest entry into the Woodsboro saga. The original cast members are joined by a fresh new cast: Emma Roberts, Hayden Panatierre, Erik Knudsen, Rory Culkin and Nico Tortorella.

Originally, I was slightly skeptical about the idea of a fourth film, but I would rather the series be in the safe hands of Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson, than in the bone crushing fists of Michael Bay's Platinum Dunes Remake Factory. I was wrong to be skeptical. The script is wonderful, it must have been a challenge but Williamson has managed to fuse the original with the new (not in a nasty Halloween: Ressurection type way though *sigh of relief*), the series continues its successful commentary on the horror genre and acknowledges how this has changed since the original trilogy, it shows how Gale, Dewey and Sidney have all transformed as people in the time passed and discusses the now even more iconic status of the original Woodsboro murders.

The Big Three - Cox, Arquette and Campbell also slip back into their roles perfectly. It's a testament to these actors and well written characters, ever time a slight hint of danger appears I was wishing these characters safety, they themselves have become somewhat iconic to Scream fans. And there are plenty of moments where I was on the edge my seat wishing these characters to safety. The film really shows that no characters are safe, no matter how iconic. The new cast as mentioned above are all perfect, this is not glossy Beverly Hills 90210 style teen brats, these are intelligent, savvy and humorous characters; that again we feel a strong emotional connection to. Personal standouts are Emma Roberts who plays Sidney's cousin, the wonderful Hayden Panatierre as horror buff and best friend to Jill and the dashing Nico Tortorella as Jill's menacing ex-boyfriend.
New additions, Nico Tortorella and Emma Roberts

Wes Craven has truly shown he's back on form with his slick and suspenseful direction, with this being just as good, if not better than the previous three entries. There's are also a handful of other treats in store including wonderful cameos from Anna Paquin and Kristin Bell and some great laughs from cops played by Adam Brody and Anthony Anderson.

This a wonderful to the Scream series that really captures Craven at his best. Excellent performances from a perfect cast: old and new and a sharp, clever script from Kevin Williamson. If ever there needed to be a case for why there should be horror sequels, then Scream 4 is it. I genuinely cannot find great fault with the film so it's going to get a big five stars. Do not miss it.

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