The fact that Craven roughly pulls it off in “Scream 4,” a film that’s rather entertaining, spasmodic frightful and usually irregularly migraine-inducing in a spin of Jesuitical, self-referential artistry is — OK, no, not miraculous. That’s a clich. It’s roughly unequivocally cool, though utterly being unequivocally cool. If we noticed a laffs and thrills of a strange “Scream” array by a happy scrim of youth self-awareness, afterwards “Scream 4″ will substantially yield an beguiling lapse revisit to Woodsboro High, whose tyro physique metastatically feeds on fear cinema (thereby justifying all a clueless culture-trolls’ concerns about their attribution effects).
If, like me, we were not merely aged adequate to trim during a initial spin of “Scream” though aged adequate to date divorced people, afterwards “Scream 4″ is flattering most a teenager diversion. Thing is, we can’t pull postmodern fear any serve than Craven has pushed it already; a characters in “Scream 2″ and “Scream 3″ were as unwavering of horror-movie conventions (and their reverses, twists and turns) as we can get, and Craven’s 1994 “New Nightmare” capped a Freddy array triumphantly by melting a bounds between novella and existence and carrying Craven, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, studio conduct Bob Shaye seem as “themselves.”
Needless to say, “Scream 4″ starts with dual teenage girls examination a fear film and angry about “the whole self-aware, postmodern meta shit,” right before they accept an meaningful phone call from some gravel-voiced dude seeking them about their favorite frightful film and earnest to cut them up. But wait! Those girls are indeed in a fictive star of “Stab 6,” nearby a tail-end of a slasher array formed on a Woodsboro killings — and they’re being watched by dual other girls, who plead either a array should be updated by proceed of Facebook and Twitter (and who spin out, naturally, to be characters in “Stab 7″). Later on, we’ll see some scenes from a strange “Stab,” and if we already schooled during some progressing theatre that that was “a Robert Rodriguez film,” I’d lost it. Did Rodriguez unequivocally proceed that footage? Or is that Craven imitating a younger director’s style? Or — never mind, my conduct hurts.
At a risk of saying a way-too-obvious, when we get behind to a supposedly-fictionally-real universe of Woodsboro and “Scream 4,” where a integrate of teenage nubiles who’ve been examination fear cinema get hacked adult by a latest incarnation of Ghostface, it’s been all destabilized and stuff. None of these levels of account is any some-more or reduction convincing than any other, and while we theory that competence be a point, it usually gets we so far. It’s tough for Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson (who has spent his “Scream” caesura operative in TV: “Dawson’s Creek,” “Hidden Palms,” “The Vampire Diaries”) to get any traction in a categorical story, that is too bad since it’s deftly rubbed and delivers about a right suit of shocks and giggles.
Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) has come behind to Woodsboro as a best-selling self-help author, a decade after flourishing a prior iteration of Ghostface murders. But Sidney, as someone murmurs, is “the angel of death,” and her attainment has reawakened a snarky immorality that gnaws during a heart of this horror-mad suburb. (Are teenagers, circa 2011, unequivocally this spooky with semi-classic fear flicks? Now that’s nostalgia.) Her aged pals Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette) and one-time TV contributor Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) are now a screwbally, ring married couple, with Dewey constantly involved by a worshipful attentions of a lemon-square-baking blond emissary (Marley Shelton).
But even Craven can’t risk creation a fear film stocked usually with prime actors — Campbell is 37, Arquette is 39 and Cox is 46 — so it’s Sidney’s teenage cousin Jill (Emma Roberts), her ballsy, somewhat butch best crony Kirby (Hayden Panettierre) and their round of friends who spin a concentration of a latest Ghostface outbreak. High-school film nerds Charlie (Rory Culkin) and Robbie (Erik Knudsen) tide live Web video and supply a claim using commentary: It turns out that a new Ghostface is mimicking a method of killings in a strange array (that is, in a initial “Stab” movie), that creates his/her proceed some-more like a “scream-make” than a “shriek-quel.” The usually proceed to shun Ghostface’s vengeance, someone suggests, is to be happy — that is arrange of a clue, though does not spin out to work.
It’s softly pleasing to see Cox and Arquette work their shtick together, and Campbell manages to keep her sober, condemned appearance total via a silliness. There are some good ancillary bits, including Alison Brie (of NBC’s “Community”) as an overly wired, multitasking immature publicist who tells Cox’s Gale, “You were my ’90s” — we’re blissful to see Ghostface dispose of her! — and Anthony Anderson as a wisecracking emissary whose predestine is sadder. As usual, Craven and Williamson have a easily secluded tract switchback and a hulking conclusion, that reaches for a “Taxi Driver” spin of stress though utterly earning it. As Emma Roberts’ intelligent and smart protagonist observes, these days “you don’t have to grasp anything — we only need to have fucked-up shit occur to you.” we could ask either a cheerfully regenerated zombie remains of a decade-old fear authorization that was during slightest half in jokingly is unequivocally a right venue for a harangue about authenticity. Except we don’t wish to know a answer.