When the first Scream came out, part of its popularity was based on the novel ways it got the scare. It was hip and campy and made you jump in your seat. As with any good franchise, the newest installment seeks to recreate this horror movie magic. Scream 4, directed by Wes Craven, opens on the 10th anniversary of the original “Woodsboro Massacre.” Neve Campbell returns as Sidney Prescott, back in town to promote her new self-help book about how to survive the aftermath of violent crime. As soon as she steps foot in Woodsboro, the chaos begins. Someone begins to pick off the population in an imitation of the “Ghostface Killer.” David Arquette is Dewey, the bumbling town sheriff destined to be our hero. He is now married to the ambitious and bored Gail, played acutely by Courteney Cox. A fresh crop of new characters, led by Sidney’s cousin Jill, are all drawn in to help identify the rampant killer. This leads to much discussion about horror movie recipes. Due to new technology, the kids hypothesize that the killer may be creating a horror movie of his or her own, a grim reality to offer the masses via our abundant social media. Therefore, they try to keep one step ahead of the killer by trying to figure out what move they would make that would be fresh in terms of getting the biggest scare. Cue Twitter and Facebook references. The question is: Does Scream 4 succeed in being an effective and entertaining horror movie? Let’s see. There is gore galore. Seriously, I had my hands over my eyes for a large percentage of the movie. Thank goodness for the many laughs thrown in at just the right time for levity. The dialogue itself is snappy and sharp, with Cox landing the juiciest barbs. The young cast, led by Emma Roberts and Hayden Panettiere, is vibrant and hip. There are plenty of attempts to throw the audience for unseen scares, some of which succeed. So, all in all, Scream 4 works in celebrating and embodying the horror genre, all the while being genuinely entertaining. It was a pretty good time, if you like to be scared.
Colette Evangelista sells certified organic, non-toxic beauty, health, baby and home products at www.healthandhopeorganics.com. Twenty percent of her profits go to Ascending Above Autisim, a charity that helps parents pay for autism treatment.