The saying goes, “There are no more original ideas”. Whether you agree or not, there are still films that push boundaries, tell original stories and, especially in the horror genre, scare the hell out of us. Wes Craven continues his Scream saga by stating the obvious – these films rehash the same story line and really aren’t that scary. Then he presents us with exactly that. “Scream 4” is essentially a remake of the original with a few minor changes. Craven at least has the decency to make fun of the franchise in the first ten minutes of the film but that could be more to his own benefit–it comes off as more of a copout than a clever plot device.
Sidney is back, this time healed of her mental and physical wounds and ready to move on to the next phase in her life with a new book she has just published. She makes a little pit stop on her book tour back to her hometown. Deputy Dewey is now Sherriff Riley, more serious now but still just as clumsy. Gail Weathers is now Gail Weathers-Riley, bored as hell and ready for some reporting action, which is good for her because another Ghostface copycat is on the loose. The formula from here on out is just about the same – high school kids get killed, a couple of comedic moments, discuss the “new” rules of the horror genre with the horror-obsessed cinephile geeks running film club, and then the killer is revealed. That moment is not so much “wow” as it is “meh”
“Scream 4” ends much in the same way as it always ends, save for a few brilliant horror films that don’t follow the conventional rules of Hollywood Horror filmmaking––franchising, merchandising, box-office appeal. This works fine for a conditioned audience use to half-asked, rehashed drivel. And why wouldn’t they be? It has been a long time since Hollywood hasn’t churned out something that wasn’t a sequel or a reboot, a great term for an industry content with the old saying that there are no more original ideas. It is more likely that, in Hollywood, there are no more original people.