Halloween Marathon: Scream 4 (2011)

The first feature franchise of this year’s Halloween Marathon is rounding up with Scream 4. After a not as exciting Scream 3, we are interested to see how the franchise picks up after over ten years. As for where we are going after this one, I will be looking at a mini series and a TV series and a movie before starting up the second feature franchise, Evil Dead, next week.

Lets not get ahead of ourselves and jump right into Scream 4!

Scream 4 (2011)

 Scream 4Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Marley Shelton, Adam Brody, Rory Culkin, Nico Tortorella

Ten years have passed, and Sidney Prescott, who has put herself back together thanks in part to her writing, is visited by the Ghostface Killer. –IMDB

Scream takes a nifty turn of events. Scream is the original horror. Scream 2 plays with turning true events into a movie and Scream 3 looks at the franchising of this Stab series and the 4th features none other than the revampimg and remake or reboot of a series. While those are the premise of the stories, we also have Neve Campbell as the title role Sidney. In fact, it makes Randy (in Scream and Scream 2 played by Jamie Kennedy) and all the horror fans’ awkward knowledge about making horror movies more legit and somewhat mocks the industry but educates the audience about what makes a good or effective horror movie whether it is the original, the sequel or the remaster. In many ways, as I think about this review, I realized this as an after thought and it is pretty brilliant. However, Scream 4 is still not where Scream 1 &2 but it was rather entertaining, at least more than Scream 3. The bonus of it all is that this was like a CW/ABC characters reunion, kind of. We had Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars) and Shenae Grimes-Beech (90210), then Kristen Bell and some other girl, followed by Britt Robertson and … On top of that, Adam Brody (The OC) is also in there. And more recently, Emma Roberts (Scream Queens) is also in this playing Sidney’s younger cousin. It is like a mini TV reunion right there. If that doesn’t peak your interest, Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette takes on their characters again and that is always a plus as far as I’m concerned.

Scream 4

 Scream 4 is pretty good. While most of the cast listed above from all those TV shows get killed off pretty quickly, Emma Roberts is a key character here as kind of like the remake next generation version of Sidney. She’s the equivalent where Ghostface seems to be targeting her now. I’ve seen quite a few movies of Emma Roberts and this one is before all of those ones. She is a pretty good actress with lots of potential and while horror movies promote more of a scream queen aspect (funny since she is in Scream Queens), I still like her character quite a bit. However, this last installment of the franchise is getting hard to talk about. It is hard to not know the tricks up their sleeves and in fact, I guessed the killer for the most part. Maybe it is because of the next gen idea and remake and then how the characters are presented. This isn’t out of the blue and actually makes sense in my mind when the reveal was there. Still, Scream 4 has a decent pacing and some pretty clever kills. Plus, there is a great revival of the witty humor here which is a key element of why I have enjoyed this series so far.

Scream 4

Another great part is to show the progress the original characters have made over the years, especially since it has been ten years since the last event (for us and maybe the movie timeline but I don’t remember anymore). For one, making it completely feasible and banking on the emphasis that the director hasn’t changed for all four movies, it has a nice continuity to it as we see Sidney has reentered the society but now as an author for a self-help book. She was doing some phone counseling in the previous movie and it makes sense for her to teach other people how to deal with trauma. Courtney Cox’s Gale Weathers is a fiction novelist and finally married to Dewey, although it seems that they have a somewhat rocky relationship as well. Despite the clumsiness, Dewey is the sheriff of Woodsboro now and has to make some tough calls. As Gale Weathers comes back out to help with solving the crime and the characters from the previous movies are more bonded than before, there feels like a lot more at stake just for that. One of my favorite scenes is the barn house party where they show the Stab series with Gale and the cameras and Ghostface.

Scream 4

There are some flaws to Scream 4 and at this point, it is small things like slight predictability because it follows somewhat of the same formula except changing up the idea of horrors based on true events, sequels, remakes, etc. That angle is a great twist to the slasher genre as they somewhat psychoanalyze their own movie and in turn makes for some great jokes. Then there’s the young cast which sometimes has some awkward acting bits but for the most part carries their roles out rather well. There may be some lengthy bits and then the constant wonder of how Dewey is Sheriff and acts somewhat like a goof and the fact that whoever is Ghostface always gets beat up and destroyed and outsmarted but then also keeps up his slasher abilities. Except at this point, all this doesn’t matter because especially with the constant players of the Scream franchise, they are there in all the movies and we care for them now, making this one much more forgiving than it might actually be. It doesn’t live up to the first or the second but it is still a fun time to be had.

Overall, it wasn’t easy to review this one but Scream 4 is probably more entertaining to those following the franchise than those starting off with this one. While it is self-contained to a good extent, Scream 4 is not quite as good as the first or second movie but better than the third and for the most part, it banks a lot on the love and returning fans of the franchise and the characters like Sidney, Gale and Dewey who have been with us all these years as those characters and have built a relationship with them. The Scream franchise is possibly one of the shorter but definitely more solid franchises with enjoyable movies in every installment.

Have you seen Scream 4? Which is your favorite in the Scream franchise?

Halloween Marathon: Scream 3 (2000)

Moving right along! Very unusual this time to not have other horror movies in between yet but I just haven’t been able to fit any in yet. I did actually have one but it felt slightly insensitive to post up a review as its a somewhat disaster movie and with deadly hurricanes in the news, I just couldn’t. It will be posted probably a week or so later. Regardless, Scream 3 is here! This is the point where we have no idea where the Scream franchise can go so we’re both intrigued and worried but trying hard to stay positive. The second one was enjoyable but still started feeling a little wash, rinse and repeat. I’m hoping this one will feel at least at par with the second. Fingers crossed!

Let’s check it out! 🙂

Scream 3 (2000)

Scream 3

Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Foley, Emily Mortimer, Jenny McCarthy, Deon Richmond

While Sidney and her friends visit the Hollywood set of Stab 3, the third film based on the Woodsboro murders, a new Ghostface begins to terrorize them once again.- IMDB

Oh IMDB, why do you do this to me? First of all, Sidney and her friends do not start off visiting Hollywood set of Stab 3, murders based on the Woodsboro murders is what is causing it while Sidney hides away before getting pulled back into the equation, while Dewey and Gale are still not together and reunited again. That might the simple way of setting the stage for how this write-up will go.

Scream 3

Scream 3 is probably the most lackluster of the three. What seems like the end of a trilogy really wasn’t as we know now because Scream 4 came out over ten years later. But, we’re not here to talk about Scream 4 just yet. That will happen a little later this week. Scream 3 is lackluster because it pulls a lot of movie troupes. It is predictable and formulaic and just lacks the atmosphere and jumpscares that the previous two had. There is still some deliberately entertaining dialogue and it is always fun to watch David Arquette’s Dewey have his silly little conversations with Courtney Cox’s Gale Weathers. Those are almost always the most tension breaking moments and I love the franchise for how it does still keep the witty aspect of it.

Scream 3

To say that Scream 3 is not atmospheric is inaccurate though. There were some rather creepy scenes with Neve Campbell’s Sidney and the dream sequences of her mom coming back. There is a strong character built with Sidney. She can still mess around with Ghostface regardless of who is behind the mask. Scream 3 still manages to keep the audience guessing on who to suspect. There are some very obvious ones. However, the sequence of kills or what will happen next or even who the killer is starts becoming wildly apparent as to who is being cast in the wrong on purpose. Some parts of overly deliberate and that takes out some of the fun.

Scream 3

Scream 3 does have a few familiar faces. I think the success comes there for the most part. Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courtney Cox makes up a lot of the faults with their recurring roles. Surprisingly, Patrick Dempsey also has a role as the detective. There are definitely familiar faces and voice like Emily Mortimer, Scott Foley and Patrick Warburton. Even the setting of using a Hollywood set and using the formula of a movie being made based on real events and being morphed as the sequels continue is a good one. However, the downfall comes with a lot of the cast here who delivers somewhat awkward roles.

Overall, there isn’t really much to say. Scream 3 isn’t a horror movie but it is forgettable. As I write up the review, I struggle to remember a lot of the scenes. It is full of predictable turnouts and cliches. Its returning cast members give the story continuity and keeps some of the fun in the equation but there isn’t really much here to warrant a repeat viewing even if it isn’t particularly a horrible horror flick. In the end, it has merit but just never latches onto to anything original.

Have you seen Scream 3?

Check back later this week for the review of Scream 4 to wrap up the franchise! 🙂

Halloween Marathon: Scream 2 (1997)

Next up on the Halloween marathon is Scream 2. Scream was surprisingly fun to watch and the tons it had appealed to me quite a bit. I am hoping for a similar feeling with Scream 2.

Lets check it out!

Scream 2

Scream 2

Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Jerry O’Donnell, Timothy Olymphant, Liev Schreiber

Two years after the first series of murders, a new psychopath dons the Ghostface costume and a new string of killings begins.-IMDB

Would you look at the cast? Some familiar faces right off the bat. It is always great when sequels get back their characters from the original. There is a sense of continuity to it that makes it more engaging right off the bat. On top of that, Scream 2 keeps generally the same tone as the first. If at all possible, the dialogue for David Arquette is awesomely funny but I am getting ahead of myself.

Scream 2 starts in quite the same way where Ghostface is no longer an unknown serial killer. In fact, two years has passed by and the survivors of that horrible night have tried to move on but the movies has now brought him to life and he did indeed come back. The beginning sequence has a lot of fun with making us remember how the first movie started but also that this killer, because of the media, is able to hide in plain sight even more.

Scream 2

Neve Campbell’s Sidney is back stronger than before. She is older and maybe wiser. Whatever it is, her suspicions are high this time around and almost everyone is a suspect especially her current boyfriend. This is where Scream 2 is done well. We never can quite figure out who is behind it all. We are guessing right along with Sidney. At the same time, Ghostface still has some pretty fantastic sneak attacks. He keeps everyone on alert and for some reason, the movie still has that sly humor from the first one.

Scream 2

When we talk about humor, we cannot forget our stars. Courtney Cox is pretty great in this one. Her character has more substance and we realize that she is kind of a bad-ass herself. However, in almost every scene, David Arquette’s Dewey just cracked me up. He had the funniest dialogue whether it was silly responses or his facial expression when he said it. It was funny and endearing. He quickly became one of my favorites of this franchise.

Scream 2

Overall, Scream 2 feels a lot like the first one which in itself is a compliment. We have a different setting and slightly more mature cast and a copycat killer. The story opens up a few side stories linking to the first movie like Liev Schreiber’s Cotton Weary. The return of Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette are great and adds continuity to the sequel. Scream 2 doesn’t forget its success with the first one and manages to keep its tone. Perhaps not as great as the first one but still a lot of fun to watch.

Have you seen Scream 2? What do you think about it?

Scream 3’s review will be next week. Drop by and check it out! 🙂

Halloween Marathon: Scream (1996)

Welcome to the Halloween movie marathon!!!

The first franchise we are working on is SCREAM! We have to get that Wes Craven love back after last year’s highlight of Nightmare on Elm Street. I’ve only ever seen Scream 2 so getting the franchise in is going to be really cool. For the record, I think the scariest mask is Ghostface for some absolutely odd reason. I don’t even know why. When I see that mask, I tell myself that it is just some dude with a mask on but it creeps the heck out of me. It might be because Scream 2 is actually one of the first slasher movies I saw when I was young. My family is not huge on horror so this genre was a much later discovery.

We’re done with the rambling! Time to check out the first movie, SCREAM!

Scream (1996)


Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Neve Campbell, Skeet Ulrich, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Rose McGowan, Matthew Lillard, Jamie Kennedy

Sidney, attempting to cope with her mother’s mysterious murder, and her horror movie-obsessed friends are stalked by an unknown killer who seems to have a hard time letting the past go. – IMDB

Just a quick question before we start, does Scream feel like it has similar tones to Nightmare on Elm Street? It would make sense because they are both directed by Wes Craven. Scream was definitely something a little different from what I expected. Don’t get me wrong. It was an extremely fun and full of jumpscares experience. That is what Wes Craven was really great at: building the atmosphere and winding up the audience. Scream does not fail at that. For the most part, Ghostface is actually less scary now that I’ve seen Scream. I still think that mask gives me the shivers at times but the tone of Scream ranges from scary and creepy to silly in just a single moment. That is what I totally love about it though. It captures a fine balance between witty and creepy.


Other than the masterful atmosphere here, the characters are pretty cool. Neve Campbell is iconic as Sidney. She isn’t a wimpy girl to say the least. She holds her morals and ethics high and has suffered loss that keeps her apart from others. Sidney is a strong girl and for the most part, the best part, is that she can hold her own. In many cases, it seems like she can outsmart the slasher quite a few times. While the rest of her friends are a bit more cliche and fits the slasher formula. The standout goes to her best friend Tatum, played by Rose McGowan. Her boyfriend Billy, played by Skeet Ulrich is also rather good. He is a little mysterious and weird but sweet in other moments. The same goes for his buddy who feels a little more unhinged but really just a simpleton. Of course, there is also the nerd of the group Randy, played by Jamie Kennedy, that adds a little horror movie cliche references. They all balance the film and propel it forward. However, the silliest part of Scream goes to some of the dialogue which can be extremely random at times.


Among all the characters, nothing beats the entertainment value of Courtney Cox and especially David Arquette. These two characters both are rather simple minded but seem to have some more depth in a way. Courtney Cox, as a TV reporter is fighting for a belief and suspicion and doing her job. David Arquette is just a young silly cop who seems to be out of place because he has a gentle heart and the best intentions. Let me say, his expressions and dialogue was awesome.


No one can get out of looking at a slasher flick and ignoring the slasher itself. I actually think the reveal was pretty clever. It sure fooled me for the most part. However, while Ghostface is incredibly.creepy at times, there is still a Freddy Krueger silliness here especially when we have that one scene where Ghostface creeps behind the bushes weirdly, then suddenly stops and looks into the camera and keeps going in a weird walking or exaggerated sneaking style. It is these moments that make the slasher feel less deadly when the slasher is. As weird as it is, that might all be to relieve some existing tension and also let the audience know what the characters in the movie doesn’t so we can wonder who goes next.

Overall, Scream is an entertaining and fun slasher flick. In all his silliness, Ghostface is still very creepy and deadly. Neve Campbell brings to life a great character in Sidney who is smart and strong and can hold her own. David Arquette is funny to watch as the young cop and the early interaction with the reporter played by Courtney Cox gives it some fun moments as well. Plus, we get a young Drew Barrymore cameo in the beginning.

Have you seen Scream? Did you like it?
Later this week, Scream 2 review coming up!