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This Week's Movie ReviewScream 4
Four and a half stars

POSTED BY MICHAEL A. SMITH, April 12, 2011    Share

Starring: David Arquette, Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox
Directed by: Wes Craven
Rated: R
Running time: 1 hours 51 minutes
Dimension Films

It’s been a decade since “Scream 3” was in theatres. Since then, the face of horror films changed drastically. Gone were the jolts and jumps of suspense, replaced by buckets of blood and what more than one critic, myself included, has called “torture porn.” But, just when you (and I) thought all was lost…folks, I give you “Scream 4.”

Woodsboro, California. The kind of small town you’d probably never remember the name of if you’d passed through it. Unless of course the town had been witness to a horrible string of brutal murders…murders written about in books and glamorized in a series of horror movie sequels. Of course, the town doesn’t mind the notoriety. The town square has large “GhostFace” heads on the lamp posts, placed there to commemorate the very first group of murders that made the town a household name. Returning to the town is Sidney Prescott (Campbell), the long suffering survivor of way too many bad days. Sidney has written a book in an attempt to start her life over. But of course, GhostFace has other plans.

Directed with the true eye of a horror master, with a smartly written script by the series’ creator, Kevin Williamson, “Scream 4” is what a horror movie should be. Fun. The film pokes fun at the series’ imitators with true humor. But at the same time, you’ll be jumping out of your seat while your laughter echoes in your ears. This is due to the fun and attention the cast brings to the film. Long time veterans like Arquette (now the town sheriff), Campbell and Cox (now married to the sheriff but bored at home) obviously have a fond memory of the series and they prove to be a strong trio. Equally strong are series newcomers like Emma Roberts (Eric’s daughter and an acting chip off the old block), Hayden Panettiere, Marley Shelton, Anthony Anderson and Rory Culkin. Williamson’ script reminds us why the series is so popular. True horror fans know their movies and if you’re an imposter fate will surely catch up to you. One such fan contemplates upcoming horror projects as “shriek-quels” and “scream-makes.” He then points out that he has copyrighted those terms. And I have to say, the giant GhostFace heads in the middle of town are great examples of hilarious bad taste. I’d liken it to the town of Holcumb, Kansas hanging banners and photos of Dick Hickock and Perry Smith to commemorate “In Cold Blood” days! Can’t wait to see what Craven and Williamson have planned for “Scream 5.”

This Week's Movie Review of "Scream 4" is ©2011 by Mike Smith. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2011 by Nolan B. Canova.

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