Horror Franchise – Scream 4 (2011)

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson (Screenplay)

Starring: Neve Campbell, David Aqurette, Courteney Cox, Hayden Panettiere, Emma Roberts, Marley Shelton, Erik Knudsen, Rory Culkin

 

Plot: 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.


Tagline – New decade. New rules.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple but Unnecessary Sequel

 

Story: Scream 4 starts with the release of Stab 7 which gets to poke fun at the idea that franchises have gone on too long before with multiply false starts before the latest victims who believe they know how to survive a horror.

We get to see that Sidney (Campbell) return to Woodsbury to promote her book on the ten-year anniversary of the events of the last film. Gale (Cox) is now married to Dewey (Arquette) who is now the sheriff.

Sidney’s cousin Jill (Roberts) and friends Kirby (Panettiere), Olivia (Jaffe), Robbie (Knudsen), Trevor (Tortorella) and Charlie (Culkin) all believe they are living in the past events in the town. With the cast in place, the rules of the reboot are put in place as a new killer starts to stalk the neighbourhood once again.

 

Thoughts on Scream 4

 

Characters – Sidney has made a career in books after the events in the films, she is completing her latest book tour right where it all started. With her back in town the killings start up again, Sidney must be the role model for her cousin who is going through the same situation she once did. Gale is now married to Dewey, she has given up the spotlight, but craves getting back into the field with the new killings offering her the chance. Dewey is now the sheriff who must now control the situation before it gets out of hand. We get the new potential victims or suspects here with Jill being Sidney’s cousin always tired of being in the shadow of her more famous family member, Kirby the rebellious teenager, Robbie who is filming every moment of his life for a reality YouTube network and Charlie is the leader of the film club. These characters do fit around the moulds of the original teens too.

PerformancesNeve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette all return giving us good performances without needing to bring anything new to the performances. Of the new cast members nobody comes off in a shining performance which can disappoint in places as we have a wonderful set of talents in the film.

StoryThe story here brings back our original characters just as a new killing spree has started in the area where it all started, with a new generation of victims and horror fans. The idea for this story comes from the idea that we have too many sequels or reboots, which does help take away the serious nature from the film, the Ghostface does seem flat for the most part because they seem to get mixed into being too intense without a reason behind the killings. Of course this is more about poking fun with the meta of everything in the horror genre which is does achieve.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film comes from the slasher angle, only this time we get a bloodier version of the kills showing the change in the genre. The mystery in this film comes from just who the killer is going to be this time, though we don’t get enough signs this time.

SettingsThe film returns to the original town which does help with the idea of a reboot sequel piss take that we are dealing with.

Special EffectsThe effects are the most disappointing side of this film because we have moments of CGI that don’t look as true as the practical moments.


Scene of the Movie –
Deputy Judy being like Dewey is the funniest moments.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The kids are not really likeable.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid look at the horror genre with the countless sequels and remakes that we are seeing, it brings back enough relevant characters back but does fail to give us enough interest new ones.

 

Overall: Simple fun sequel.

Rating

 

 

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Horror Franchise – Scream 3 (2000)

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson, Ehren Kruger (Screenplay)

Starring: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Patrick Dempsey, Jenny McCarthy, Parker Posey, Dean Richmond

 

Plot: 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.


Tagline – The best Scream is always the last one. Just hope the last one isn’t your own.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Best Horror Trilogy

 

Story: Scream 3 starts as we see just how successful Cotton Weary (Schreiber) has become, only now he has become the target of Ghostface who wants Sidney. Sidney now living off the radar helping abuse victims over the phone, with Gale Weathers (Cox) still making money off the murders.

Stab 3 is now being made with a string actors Tyson (Richmond), Tom (Keeslar), Sarah (McCarthy), Angelina (Mortimer) and Jennifer (Posey) playing the loved characters from the first film. Dewey (Arquette) is working on set and with Detective Kincaid (Dempsey) trying to get to the bottom of the murders.

With Sidney forced out of hiding, she must go face to face with Ghostface once again and learn just why the killer has returned in search of her.

 

Thoughts on Scream 3

 

Characters – Sidney is now living off the map, helping women in need of a helping hand, when the killer tracks her down, she comes to help from her hiding where she will come face to face with the true killer. Dewey is now working on the set of the Stab films, he is helping one of the stars of the film understand her character and gets stuck into the investigation this time. Gale isn’t as cut throat as she once was, her career didn’t go as well as it could have, she must put up with the needy actress who is playing her in the film. Detective Mark Kincaid is the cop assigned to try and track down the killer willing to push boundaries to uncover the truth. We get a string of actors that will be playing to the roles of the characters in the franchise, with Jennifer Jolie preparing to be Gale being the highlight of these and if not the whole movie. Our suspect list is long which only adds to the mystery we might be seeing through the film.

PerformancesNeve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette all return and give good performances through the film, they don’t build on what we know from them, Parker Posey however steals the whole movie, every scene she is in we want to see more from her. This film does suffer from having too many actors which does stop giving the stars the time required to truly shine.

StoryThe story follows the production of the third ‘Stab’ movie which is from the series of films that are based on the events of the Scream films, that starts getting its own body count from a new killer with connections to Sidney’s mother. This could easily be considered the weakest story of the three so far in the franchise, this is mostly because of the idea of being on the film set with the actors and real people gets overly complicated and takes away from the suspense we previously experience. As for the twists we learn the rules that make things feel like a larger scale operation which even after seeing the previous film do fit together much like what many of the 80s slashers did.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film comes from the slasher side of things which are all routine enough and work for the film, with the mystery coming from just who is truly behind the murders.

SettingsSetting the film in Hollywood, mostly in and around a film set makes us relive the moments we have gotten to know through the years and most importantly show us how a film could be getting made.

Special EffectsThe effects in the movie continue the style we have seen before, it gives us the blood we need to make look real without being over the top.


Scene of the Movie –
The continuing reference to how difficult Scream 2 was to make.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Some of the supporting characters, mostly the actors don’t get much screen time.

Final ThoughtsThis is the third part of one of the greatest horror trilogies, it continues to show us behind the curtain of horror movies with a twist we didn’t know about to keep the story feeling fresh throughout the film.

 

Overall: This is how to make a trilogy.

Rating

 

 

Horror Franchise – Scream 2 (1997) Revisited

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson (Screenplay)

Starring: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jamie Kennedy, Jerry O’Connell, Jada Pinkett, Liev Schreiber, Elise Neal, Joshua Jackson, Timothy Olyphant

 

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


Tagline – Someone has taken their love of sequels one step too far

Runtime: 2 Hours

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Sequel

 

Story: Scream 2 starts a couple of years after the events in the first film, a motion picture called ‘Stab’ is just being released from the Gale Weathers (Cox) book about the events, at the premier two teenagers are murdered. We pick up with Sidney (Campbell) at college still dealing with prank phone calls.

We get to see old faces in Randy (Kennedy) Gale, Dewey (Arquette) along with new friends Cici (Gellar), Mickey (Olyphant), new boyfriend Derek (O’Connell) and roommate Hallie (Neal) who bring us a brand new selection of suspects and potential victims, add Cotton Weary (Schreiber) the man who did time for a crime he never committed to the picture we will be kept guessing through this one.

 

Thoughts on Scream 2

 

Characters – Sidney is back studying a college and over the events of the first film, she has moved on with a new boyfriend and new friends, that is until the ‘Stab’ movie is released. Sidney becomes the primary target of the killer and must use the experience with surviving a massacre before to make it out alive. Dewey still suffering the effects of his injuries in the first film, he is no longer a cop and with the events occurring he arrives back in Sidney’s life to try and help before the killer can get near her. Gale wrote the book on the murders, the one that the movie is based on, she is still trying to get a story, but does start to learn the errors in her way when she deals with other reporters. Cotton Weary does have a bigger part this time, as he is trying to piece his life back together after the wrongful accusations. Randy returns to give us the rules needed to make a sequel which an important part of the original. Of our new characters we get the new boyfriend in Derek who seems to be the best part of Sidney’s new life. Cici is the best friend at the college that is the more popular one at the college. This movie does have a larger cast than the first film which doesn’t always give the characters enough screen time.

PerformancesNeve Campbell is still good in her role, she does make us believe she is the everyday student that is being tormented by the killer. Courteney Cox and David Arquette continue their good work in the supporting roles, where this film struggles to get the best of the of the supporting cast is by introducing too many characters, with Sarah Michelle Gellar seemingly filling the Drew Barrymore type role, where we expect to see her more in the film.

StoryThe story picks up in a universe following the events of the first film where Hollywood makes movies on massacres, with this release we get to see the darker side of Hollywood taking advantage of real-life murders and how the innocent victims and survivor can be painted differently to cinematic purposes, well that seems to be the message I picked up on in this one. when it comes to the slasher side of things we get to watch the victims getting picked off by the killer, this does feel the same as before, while the references through this film focus on the idea of the sequels that Hollywood makes, and how they always story to improve on the last, though we do step away from the horror discussion this time.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of the film comes from the ideas that people can take advantage of tragic stories for a bigger story, reflecting the events of the film, the mystery can keep us guessing to just who could be behind it this time around with plenty of potential suspects.

SettingsThis time the film is set in a college that show us just where Sidney is now in her life which is important as she has moved on, but the event will always be part of her life.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film once again show us how blood and gore can be achieved without going over the top.


Scene of the Movie –
The showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many supporting characters this time around.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sequel that is well worth the watch, it shows progression in the horror genre with a sequel that does make sense to how an everyday person would be moving on with their life after the events in the first one, while still having the tragedy on their shoulder.

 

Overall: Good fun sequel.

Rating

 

 

Horror Franchise – Scream (1996) Revisited

 

 

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson (Screenplay)

Starring: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich, Drew Barrymore

 

Plot: A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.


Tagline – I’ll Be Right Back.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Perfect Modern Slasher

 

Story: Scream starts when Casey Becker (Barrymore) who is getting ready to settle down to watch a scary movie, when she gets a phone call which soon turns nasty when a psychopath starts trying to test her horror movie knowledge and we get the first look at the killer for the film, Ghostface who claims his first victims.

The next day the talk of the school is the murder, Sidney (Campbell) is still holding Billy (Ulrich) from sex, Tatum (McGowan), Stuart (Lillard) and Randy (Kennedy) go through the reactions of losing a classmate, which is the worst crime in the town since the murder of Sidney’s mother.

It isn’t long before Ghostface starts staking the friends targeting Sidney, Deputy Dewey (Arquette) tries to help stop the killer, while ambitious reporter Gail Weathers (Cox) is trying to put her name on the map by getting the big break reporting the story. the question is who is Ghostface and what are their motives?

 

Thoughts on Scream

 

Characters – Sidney Prescott is our strong teenage lead, she is still recovering emotionally from her mother’s rape and murder one year ago. She has close friends, a boyfriend in Billy and knows how to handle herself in a tight corner. Sidney does fill the final girl traits while being the main target for the killer. Tatum is the best friend, she is the one that is more sexually active of the two girls not being afraid to drink and show affection in public. Billy is the boyfriend of Sidney, he is becoming frustrated being with her and not getting sex, he soon becomes a suspect because of his strange behaviour around the group of friends. Stuart is the loose cannon practical joker of the group he always goes too far with his jokes and plays on that. Deputy Dewey is the rookie cop and brother of Tatum, he seems to be the only one keeping an eye of the girls during the time the killer is on the loose. Gail Weathers is the ambitious reporter looking for her next big story after reporting on the murder the year before, she doesn’t give us any reason to like her as the film unfolds and treats her cameraman even worse.

PerformancesNeve Campbell taking the lead role is great, she fits the final girl perfectly with her innocence while showing the strength required. David Arquette in the cop role works very well because he gets to play on the idea that he might not be ready to deal with a killer. Courteney Cox breaks her nice character in Friends to be one of the characters you simply don’t like through the film. with Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard working as the boyfriends on edge who shine in the important moments in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a group high school students who have become the target of a deranged killer in a Ghostface mask. The slasher genre has been reborn with this idea because we get to see the rules of horror explained and of course we get references from horror films left right and centre. The story manages to almost parody the horror genre while remaining serious with how everything is told, it gets to poke fun at genre as only the audience could. We are kept guessing to who the killer is which is everything we want in the film with the big plus coming from the fact we are not dealing with supernatural forces.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of the film focuses on the idea of the slasher genre with a killer picking people off when they break the horror rules. The mystery is the highlight of the film because we are left guessing to who the killer is going to be.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the small-town setting with most of the horror taking place in a home or around a school. It brings everything back home for the victims giving it a personal feeling.

Special EffectsThe effects are good showing real body injuries through film over going full CGI like most do.


Scene of the Movie –
Referencing the horror movies so smoothly.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact the school kids are celebrating after a death of a classmate.

Final ThoughtsThis is the stand out horror of the 90’s it brings the slasher into the modern world accepting the idea that horror films exist, one that must be watched.

 

Overall: Must Watch Horror.

Rating

 

 

Cillian Murphy Weekend – Red Eye (2005) Revisited

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Carl Ellsworth (Screenplay) Carl Ellsworth, Dan Foos (Story)

Starring: Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox, Laura Johnson, Jayma Mays, Angela Paton

 

Plot: A woman is kidnapped by a stranger on a routine flight. Threatened by the potential murder of her father, she is pulled into a plot to assist her captor in offing a politician.


Tagline – Fear Takes Flight

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Thriller

 

Story: Red Eye starts with workaholic hotel manager Lisa (McAdams) is returning home after a family funeral, she meets a charming co-passenger Jackson Rippner (Murphy) for is heading to Miami for business. Once the flight is in the air, Jackson who just so happens to be seated next to Lisa reveals his business, the flight takes a twist for Lisa.

Jackson wants Lisa to move an incoming politician from one room to another, or he will kill her father Joe (Cox), Lisa is left in an impossible position of trying to stay ahead of Jackson’s plan and not leading a politician to their death.

 

Thoughts on Red Eye

 

Characters – Lisa is a workaholic hotel manager that is has a fear of flying, who is travelling home after a funeral, she has remarkable calmness through stress related issues in life, knowing how to deal with difficult clients the best way. She has full say on everything going on within the hotel with her regular clients trusting her completely. Jackson Rippner starts off a kind friendly man, willing to step up where gentlemen might not, he is seated next to Lisa on the plane, where he shows his true colours as part of a terrorists that need Lisa to move their target. He remains calm through each of her attempts to not follow through knowing just how to get the job done. Joe is the father of Lisa, he has been remodelling his home, always there to support her, he is just going about his evening through the film. Cynthia is the slightly ditsy receptionist that Lisa supports with the difficult decisions she is going through at the hotel.

PerformancesRachel McAdams in the leading role breaks away from the known romantic comedy roles she had been doing before this film, she proves she could be a genuine star in the thriller role, Cillian Murphy continued to make a name for himself in this role, where he plays the disturbing lead villain who becomes even more frightening within the final act. Brian Cox is one of the more underused talents in the film, while Jayma Mays brings quirkiness to her role.

StoryThe story is kept very simple, a man forces a hotel manager to change an appointment mid-flight and if she doesn’t, he will have her father killed, this becomes a cat-n-mouse style story about both trying to stay ahead of the other. This simplistic side of this story is what makes it standout because the stakes are placed on the table early and the idea that she has no easy escape proves just how difficult her job is going to be. It does keep you on the edge of your seat waiting to see just what will happen next and isn’t afraid show moments of brutal looking injury. The idea the target it a political figure helps increase the stakes too.

MysteryThis is a mystery that will keep us guessing to just how they will get out of the situation, how far Jackson is willing to go and if there is any other motivation in his plan.

SettingsMost of the film takes place onboard the plane, it shows just how difficult escape is going to be for Lisa and how she has little option to help Jackson.


Scene of the Movie –
The pen.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We could have had an idea to about who the political figure is meant to be, how much he could change certain issues in America.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most enjoyable thriller that you will see, it has two brilliant led performances and will keep you guessing through the film, just what will happen next.

 

Overall: Tense, atmospheric thriller.

Rating