31 Days of Horror Movie: Scream 4 (2011; R; 111 min)

I am a big fan of the Scream franchise, so I was very excited when this movie hit theaters. But because I save all my horror movies to watch in October, it was SO hard to wait to see it this month on DVD! I think the Scream movies are fun, funny, scary and great-to-the-last scene, keep-you-guessing stories. Sure, there’s lots of blood and butchering going on, but there’s also some very inventive death scenes and great self-aware horror movie dialogue. And of course, there’s always a great cast. I am happy to say Wes Craven’s Scream 4 (S4) did not disappoint and I’m already holding out for Scream 5!

S4 opens with Sidney Prescott not-so-smartly returning to Woodsboro on the anniversary of all the Ghostface killings, for the last stop on her new book’s tour (a lovely tale about being a survivor). Soon bloody high school bodies start piling up, and phones ring again and again with a creepy voice at the other end inquiring as to the person’s favorite scary movie. Early on, in a bold horror movie-heroine move, Sidney actually stands up to the killer (or killers?) to save her cousin Jill, who is being targeted. In one scene, in fact, Sidney tosses Ghostface over her own body and down the stairs while lying injured on the landing! Writing that book must have made Sidney’s arms ultra strong!

Meanwhile, Sheriff Dewey and his wife, Gale Weathers, are at odds as to how to catch the killer. A cute Deputy Hicks, who’s crushing on Dewey and who was once a classmate of Sidney’s, doesn’t help matters. Plus, Jill’s ex-boyfriend Trevor keeps (suspiciously) showing up just after Ghostface has run off. Now, of course the list of possible suspects doesn’t stop there! Jill’s two girlfriends and a couple of geeky boys from the school who hold a Stab movie marathon each year are also popping in and out of the story to complicate matters. So just when you’re sure you know who the killer is, that person gets stabbed (and stabbed and stabbed and stabbed) and moves on to that great high school in the sky.

S4 is filled with great characters (I loved Hoss and Perkins, two cops assigned to guard Jill and Sidney one night), funny lines, and lots of good jump-out-of-your-seat scares. It stays true to horror movie etiquette, such as making sure no one has curtains closed on their windows at night and showing us people who always leave their front door open when they go outside to investigate weird noises. And, it has several surprises in store, too, just to make the whole story more satisfying. All in all, I loved it and add it to my list of great horror movies you must watch this October!

  • Top Scare: Any porch scene
  • Heartbeats: 3 3/4 out of 5
  • Gore Factor: 4 out of 5
  • Suspense Factor: 4 out of 5
  • Recommended for: 17 and up, due to cussing and lots of bloody stabbing scenes
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