In Home Viewings - "Scream 4"

Ten years since her last deadly encounter, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns home to Woodsboro to do a signing for her bestselling book. Having worked hard to put herself back together after the three (count 'em, three) runs of serial killing that ruined her teenage years, Sidney is happy to reunite with her old friends Dewey (David Arquette) and Gale (Courtney Cox). Unfortunately, another old friend, Ghost Face, is back in town, too, and soon Sidney is forced to jump back into the old habit of, you know, trying not to die and all.

The original Scream made my top 10 list of best/favorite scary movies. I wouldn't say it's a classic but it caused me more than a few sleepless nights as a teenager and it gets credit for shifting the genre. I've never seen Scream 2Scream 3 is one of those films that I know is pretty bad but for some reason I've seen numerous times. I even watched part of it fairly recently and if I'm being honest, I didn't hate my life while watching. Given my disdain for horror films, all of this makes Scream a franchise that I'd be willing to call a "quality" series and there aren't many of those in my book. As such, while I wasn't excited about seeing Scre4m (that's actually the title, not Scream 4) and while I'm never stoked for a sequel that debuts ten years after the last installment, I thought this could very well be a positive endeavor.

I was wrong.

I was really wrong.

I assume you're all familiar with the phrase, "like shooting fish in a barrel." (I also assume that it is, indeed, easy to shoot fish in a barrel because I've clearly never tried it and surely someone knows better than me.) To pinpoint all of the negatives in Scream 4 would be like shooting fish in a barrel...if the gun was a machine gun...and if the fish were the size of sea lions...and if those sea lion-sized fish were retarded. It just wouldn't be fair and frankly, I've got better things to do. Like maybe getting punched in the stomach or something.

Instead, let me simply say this: to date, I have seen 59 movies that were released in the calendar year 2011. It hasn't been a great movie year and I've seen some pretty sub-par stuff. I would re-watch any one of them before I would put myself through Scream 4 again. Priest? Sure. Larry Crowne? No problem. Green Lantern? *Gulp* Done. I will not go so far as to call this movie the worst of the year because I pride myself on my ability to avoid awful films and that title undoubtedly belongs to Bucky Larson. But it's definitely the worst movie I've seen this year. Scream 4 is sickeningly campy, ripe with atrocious dialogue, and laden with more groan-inducing "plot" points than I care to remember. There's also an air of desperation that works its way into every facet of the film which drowns out any cheese-tastic fun there might be had. Arquette in particular seemed to me to be pleading with the audience, " about me again." (We never did, David. We never did.) Everything that made Scream a trendsetter has become so terribly old, ESPECIALLY the confounded self-awareness that seemed edgy in the original but has been done a thousand times over in the last 15 years. There's not a single positive thing I can say about this movie and I'm amazed at the number of relatively positive reviews this piece of junk received. Vomit.

Grade: D