I don’t know what it was. Maybe it was seeing the movie with a large group of friends, maybe it was the excited crowd, buzzing throughout the theater. Scream 4 delivered on its promise to remain true to the original. And the result was, electrifying.

Scream 4

Starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Emma Roberts, Rory Culkin
(and a whole but load of other people you can look up here)

Scream 4 was in no way perfect, it definitely had its issues. But I don’t think this movie is meant to be taken seriously. I think it’s about the experience. And for those of us who are old enough to remember when the first Scream came out in 1996 (I was 13), there’s also a great sense of nostalgia attached to it. This fourth installation of Scream was reminiscent of that. It was campy, but not to the point of cheese, it was fun, comedic, and had suspenseful moments leading to delayed payoffs. Also, in my humble opinion, one of the best scenes of the movie happens in the first 5 minutes (hint: Kristen Bell is awesome!).

The movie takes place 10 years after the last murders of “Ghostface” occurred. Sidney (Neve Campbell) is now a best-selling author, tapping into her previous experience, empowering her readers to “not be victims” anymore. Her book tour takes her back to her hometown, Woodsboro, during which the current generation of teens see those pesky murders something to celebrate and idolize rather then to be scared about. The tragedy has become infamous. However, it turns out, Sidney isn’t the only one to return to Woodsboro, starting off with two grisly murders. It seems Ghostface has also made a return, forcing Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette) to turn the town upside down and allowing Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) to return to journalism, which she gave up when Dewey became Sheriff. This time, it seems, the killer has made it personal, targeting Sidney’s friends and family, including her niece (Emma Roberts).

Watching Scream with my large group of friends, in a packed theater was extremely entertaining. Every scary scene, was that much scarier, and everything funny, was that much funnier. It allowed me and the people around me to use such phrases as, “Why is she getting out of the car?”, “Don’t go outside!”, “Don’t look under the car!” or the now famous, “Don’t go up the stairs.” Wasn’t it the first Scream that introduced us to this rule? In every horror movie people seem to go up the stairs, essentially trapping them inside the house. Don’t. Go. Up. The. Stairs.

If I want to get picky about it, I could say I didn’t really care for this new round of characters. I was attached to the characters I grew up watching (Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courtney Cox) but the younger characters were kind of interchangeable. Emma Roberts and Marley Shelton (Dep. Hicks) stuck out to me, but only because Emma Roberts was Sidney’s neice, and Deputy Hicks was a little bit crazy and a lot creepy. However, for some reason Hayden Panettiere was just too shiny and pretty to really care about. She just seemed like a totally fake, plastic Barbie doll with a little bit of snarkiness. She didn’t seem like a real teenager, or person. I know, mean, but true.

Ghostface was creepy as usual, but he did a lot of running in this movie. More then usual it seems. I kinda like the creepy, lurking thing, appearing in the window from now where, as opposed to running up behind a person. But maybe that’s just my personal preference. One thing remains true, that Ghostface mask does freak me out. Imagine that thing creeping up on you in real life! Yikes.

Overall, this film was a lot of fun. And that’s saying a lot, I think, for a director to make a movie an experience – a fun experience. I’m glad the original plot points conceived didn’t make it into the movie.  Once I left the theater, I couldn’t help but want to crank call everyone saying, “What’s your favorite scary movie?”

So, go grab a group of friends, sit in the front row and prepared to laugh and jump and (if you aren’t a teenager) feel like a teenager again.

Rating: 3 ½ for quality, but I’m giving it a total of 4 stars for the experience.

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