While the original Scream film was almost universally loved (I include myself in that universe), the second and third were, at best, widely tolerated. Still, as with all film properties I once held dear, I’m more than willing to give a sequel a chance - even when it’s being made ten years later for an audience that has all but forgotten Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette and, dare I say it, Wes Craven.
Scream 4 has had a number of behind-the-scenes issues: rewrites, Campbell's reluctance to return, studio interference, the breakup of Hollywood’s sweethearts, Cox and Arquette, et cetera. Color me surprised then that an early test screening is getting all kinds of excellent buzz.
The screening, which took place Thursday, January 6th in Pittsburgh, elicited a number of positive reactions which can be found strewn across the internet, from Twitter to Scream-Trilogy.net to IMDB.com. (Thanks to /Film for finding the quotes.) Check out the various reactions below:
From DanielleRocks of Scream-Trilogy.net:
“It was phenomenal! What can I say. This outshines the 3rd one easily. Definitely the bloodiest of all of them, but I feel like they’ll edit some of it down. An unrated DVD would be nice to have though. All the acting was superb. Not one flaw. The opening scene was hilarious and brutal. Definitely a lot of great Williamson writing. The characters all felt very genuine. Gale was back to her bitchy self, and had a bunch of great one-liners. The ending was insanity. Easily the best of all the series, in my opinion, anyways. The crowd experience was great, and everybody was totally into it. Cannot WAIT to see this in theaters come April. Hopefully they don’t change anything. Loved it loved it loved it.”
Here's a bulleted breakdown of other reactions to Scream 4, almost all of which were glowing:
- Scream 4 has the best opening scene of the series -- smart, hilarious, and absolutely brutal
- The movie is very similar to the original Scream and nearly as scary
- It's better than Scream 2 and 3
- One of the roles was severely miscast -- the commenter declined to say which one
Alas, there was at least one person in attendance whose reaction was, shall we say, less than positive. /Film points out one viewer who thought the ending was very dragged out and wasn't impressed with the killer.
Thankfully, there's still time to improve, because the print – which was between an hour and forty-five minutes long and two hours – was far from finished, as it was missing more than a few effects shots.
The official Scream 4 plot sees Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell, now a self-help book author, returning home to Woodsboro as the final stop on her book tour. She reconnects with Sheriff Dewey, played by David Arquette, and Gale Weathers, played Courteney Cox. Death and mayhem, of course, ensue shortly thereafter.
The film also stars Emma Roberts, who plays Sidney’s cousin, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Adam Brody, Anthony Anderson, and Alison Brie. Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin are also in the film, but let’s be honest (SPOILER?), they’ll probably be dead less than ten minutes in.
Check out the teaser trailer for Scream 4 below:
Frankly, it’s hard to tell if the above positive reactions are those of diehard Scream fans just happy to get the chance to watch an early screening of number four, or if they’re genuinely positive reactions. Either way, I’m happy to hear that people enjoyed it, and I’m looking forward to this fourquel even more than I was before. (Read: slightly.)
Scream 4 hits theaters April 15th, 2011. That’s not exactly a primetime horror movie month, but maybe it’ll be so good that won’t even matter.