New decade. New Rules. Same scary fun.
I'm not a huge horror movie fan, but on occasion I like the chance to be frightened under controlled conditions, so I thought I'd revisit the Scream movie franchise to see if there was any life left in 'Ghost face' and his victims.
I'm pleased to say I enjoyed Scream 4 and there were enough plot twists, laughs and minimum gore to keep me entertained rather than repulsed. Mainly I came back to see how Courtney Cox, David Arquette and Neve Campbell worked on the big screen after being absent for so long.
The film's many false starts have some fun cameos and lead you to believe there's more interesting concepts to come, but don't expect to be too challenged.
Campbell's 'Sidney Prescott' returns to Woosboro on the last leg of her self-help book tour and the killing starts again. You'd think Sidney wouldn't have anyone in her life left caring about that hadn't been killed off, but this movie manages to rustle up a cousin and aunt to put in peril.
'Gale Weathers' and 'Sheriff Dewey' are experiencing marital problems, mainly caused by her boredom at being stuck in a small town and you can't help but think that their real-life off-screen divorce adds to the tension.
The franchise regulars don't really get that much to do, Arquette's Sheriff Dewey really does just bumble from one situation to the next, predictably Gale investigates the new killings and gets herself injured and Sidney continues to prove to be incredibly difficult to kill.
Heroes' Hayden Panettiere, Emma Roberts and Rory Culkin make for an interesting bunch of high school kids to terrorize, but whereas Scream reinvented the slasher genre over ten years ago, this sequel although being watchable fun doesn't seem to break any new ground.
There's lots of talk of facebook and twitter, lots of iPhones and live-blogging, but ultimately the villain still stabs people to death, even if the big bad is ham-fistedly pointed out to be culture's youth obsession with reality celebrity and instant fame.
Scream 4 gets a three *** star rating and it was nice to revisit this universe, but now it's time to put the franchise back in the horror vault, otherwise it'll just become a poor cliche of the horror movies it so well parodies...