Feature

Scream 4

The fourth installment of Wes Craven's scary franchise includes original Scream cast members Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette.

Directed by Wes Craven(R)

**

Fifteen years after Scream opened with a terrifying prank call, the franchise is still finding ways “to live up to its gory past,” said Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. Just when the joke seemed played out, along comes director Wes Craven, “sharpening his cutting edge” and once more “going all meta and physical on us.” The movie-genre references are “brilliant and bloody,” the scares pretty much on par with the sarcasm, and the allusions so encrypted they’ll require multiple viewings. Most of the movie is not as good as its opening scene, said Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. While it’s fun to see original Scream cast members Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette reunited, they’re merely used to mount “a moderately entertaining exercise in running in circles.” Craven just can’t let a “once-good thing” die, said Dennis Harvey in Variety. Despite the addition of fresh Hollywood talent, the franchise’s mix of meta-critiques and horror-movie clichés begins to feel like “tired schtick.” Old fans won’t hate this installment, but it’s really not the “razor-sharp reboot” some hoped for.

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