Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Postmodernism: Film Review on Scream 4 (2011)

FIG.1: Film Poster

Director: Wes Craven
Producer: Kevin Williamson
Year: 2011
Cast: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Emma Roberts

We all have seen The Scream films and we have high expectations from them. We expect them to work the same way as the first film did: with the opening scene of the ghostface killer talking on the phone to his victim, teenagers being killed one after an other and the intense chase of finding out who the the real killer is. In this case Scream 4 will not disappoint you as it follows the golden rules of this historical Saga and concentrates the previous 3 films into one. It extracts the meaning and rules of horror films that were mentioned throughout the series and gives us a delicious mixture of what makes a horror film.
FIG.2: The Cast

The story itself is genuinely simple with the main character of the previous series Sydney Priscott after 10 years of Ghosface's first attack returns to the town of  Woodsboro-where everything all started. Ghostfacce again attacks the teenagers of Woodsboro High making Cydney return to her past nightmare and stop the killer from harming anyone else. Wes Craven has managed to produce a very successful story to bring all the characters back together and create this mirror-like film which reflects what the audience has already seen in the past Scream films. Charity suggests that:  "When the first Scream appeared in 1996, it seemed like something new by making mischief with the old conventions and clichés of the slasher genre that had dominated horror since Halloween. Kevin Williamson’s script was clever and funny enough to please both gore-fiends and academics." (Charity.2011)
What was different about Scream 4 was its innovative opening. It starts off like any other Scream film does, with a good looking girl answering the phone to a stranger with a very deep voice. But as the film moves on we realise that the whole first scene was nothing but a horror film called Stab the other two young girls were watching. Eventually, that scenes turns into another horror one which was once again a film watched by another pair of young girls. This mind-twisting film within a film and endless fiction effect is what make Scream 4 (including the rest of The Scream series) an inspiring example of postmodern culture. Scream 4 is enigmatic and vague; a Metafiction which reflects upon its own nature and asks questions about itself. It is "a snake eating its own tail" effect and it works really well. Kendrick gives and interesting fact that: "Scream, as well as its subsequent sequels, were love-letters to horror film fans with plenty of meta-references including Stab, the film series within a film series, as well as the notorious “rules for survival” that served as tongue-in-cheek winks at the genre - while also serving as an ironclad set of guidelines for each film to work around." (Kendrick.2011)

FIG.3: Sydney and Ghostface.
Scream 4 is a real treat for those who have been awaiting for what holds next to the masked killer. It can amaze but at the same can make you question yourself 'why'? It pays tribute to all horror films and their rules. The film really is Sydney's significant line: "Don't F**k with the original!"


Charity Tom (2011). Scream 4 Review At: (accessed on 9/11/2011)

Ben Kendrick (2011). Scream 4 review At: (accessed on 9/11/2011)

List of Illustrations

FIG.1: Film Poster At: (accessed on 4/11/2011)
FIG.3:  At: (accessed on 4/11/2011)

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