Movie Review: Scream 4 (The REALLY Short Version)
By Tom Houseman
December 22, 2011
So we know the lives of these girls are numbered, and we are expecting the return call from Ghostface. When it comes, the banter is again sharp, and the suspense starts to build. We hear Ghostface starting to get angry, which is always really fun, because his threats are quite creative. After the girls decide not to answer the phone anymore, Girl 2 gets a text from Ghostface, telling her to answer the phone. The girls start freaking out again, and Ghostface starts messing with their minds while making his presence felt. We expect another call, but instead another Facebook message comes. “I dare you to open the door.”
What kind of Scream movie would this be if someone didn't try to call Ghostface's bluff? Girl 1 opens the door and walks outside, seeing nobody. Now the tension is palpable, as we await Ghostface's attack. Girl 2 gets another message, “I'm not outside. I'm right beside you.” She has just enough time to look baffled before BAM! Ghostface jumps out and stabs her. Blood gushes and Girl 1 starts freaking out. Yes, the foreplay in this opening was awfully fast, especially because we were expecting something new and interesting, but it is so much fun to watch Ghostface rampage that it is forgivable.
But then something totally crazy happens. Another Ghostface appears outside and stabs Girl 1! Before we are even prepared to watch the inevitable chase, it is over. This is the first time that Scream 4 wildly deviates from the established formula. Yes, there were two killers in Scream, but that was the giant reveal at the end. Had we seen Drew Barrymore chased down by two killers it would have entirely changed the rest of the film. Such an important reveal so early in the film seems bizarre, beyond the fact that this scene did not build up nearly as much as we would expect.
And then, dear reader, our minds are blown as the title screams comes up, not to say SCRE4M, as we would expect, but instead STAB 6. What the hell is going on? We all ask, totally flabbergasted. Which brings us to...
We, the audience, are now watching a new pair of girls who have just watched the same scene that we, the audience, have just watched, and we, the audience are baffled. You probably recognize these two blonde girls as Anna Paquin and that chick from Veronica Mars, which is additionally confusing, because in the trailers and commercials for Scream 4 there was no mention of these two famous actresses. Paquin begins ranting against what we just saw, stating flatly “you're fucking kidding me. That was so fucking stupid, pure horseshit. The death of horror right here in front of us.” Was that just a fakeout opening? Is this the real opening? Is Ghostface going to call these girls and begin the cycle anew? We went in this movie knowing what to expect and now our footing is completely unstable. Williamson: 1, Audience: 0.