Scream 4 (2011)

I guess it makes sense that Scream–the unoriginally titled fifth movie in the Scream franchise–came out a little over a decade after Scream 4, since Scream 4 came out a little over a decade after Scream 3. It’s the franchise that just can’t stay dead and refuses to let Sidney Prescott live a happy life. No, it’s a neverending parade of misery, as people around her are deranged enough that murdering people for clout seems like a good idea. I mean, it makes for a fun watch, but it’s a bit depressing when you think about it too hard.

Years after killing her half-brother, Sidney is coping by writing a book and going on tour. After all, the murders were popular enough to spawn the Stab franchise, which has completely lost the plot and is now up to Stab 7. Anyway, Sid returns to Woodsboro as part of the tour and that’s when a new string of murders pop up, loosely following the first film but targeting people in the life of Sidney’s cousin, Jill (Ms. Emma Roberts). Sid herself is a suspect for a few seconds, but in the end the killers–we’re back to a duo–are Jill and one of the horror nerds, Charlie (Rory Culkin). Jill was jealous of the fame Sidney was getting, so she decided to get Charlie to help her kill a bunch of people and make it look like she was the sole survivor. Yeah, “sole survivor,” because surprise surprise, the mastermind turns on their henchman at the end. Jill thinks she kills Sidney and is ready to become famous, but Sid just refuses to die. Both in the hospital, Jill goes after her cousin but is killed after a big scuffle. Sure, no one in this hospital heard gunshots, whatever. The movie ends with the reporters outside the hospital going with the last information they got: that Jill was a heroic survivor of a senseless tragedy. Social commentary at its clumsiest.

Oh, and Courteney Cox and David Arquette were… You know what? No. Gale Weathers saved Sidney’s life by realizing Jill accidentally let on that she knew more about the murders than anyone should’ve known, but Sheriff Dewey was criminally incompetent. His biggest contributions to the plot are having his deputy hit on him constantly and being taken out embarrassingly easily by Jill in the climax.

So now that I’ve been refreshed on the previous four films, where do I think 2022’s Scream is going? One popular theory is that Sidney will have somehow snapped and is the new killer, but I don’t think that for two reasons: the first is that would be a rather depressing ending to the franchise (assuming it does end, more on that in a minute), but Scream 4 kind of already did that. Sure, it wasn’t actually Sid, but the killer here was the supposed final girl–the Sidney role of this sort of reboot of the franchise. The most likely answer is that it will be someone from the pool of new characters… but I won’t discount that it could be Gale.

Gale’s story in Scream 4 is that her career has stalled out and she’s unable to finish her book. Feeling somewhat jealous of Sidney’s success, she throws herself into solving the murders since that’s the thing that has made her famous. What if in the following decade her career continued to stall? What if she got bitter? And what if she remembered how famous she got when people were dying? That’s the motivation for several of these killers, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

Another possibility is that Sid will die. Bold move, finally killing off the main character, but this will be the first film in the franchise made without Wes Craven, so there’s a chance the new writers will want to do a fresh take on the series, focusing on a new cast of younger characters. Kind of like how A Good Day to Die Hard was clearly supposed to be the start of John McClane’s son’s movie franchise.

Again, this is all speculation. I’d find out, but with Omicron washing over the world, there’s no way I’m risking my health to see the fifth Scream movie in a theater. Hopefully it’ll hit digital soon.

Previous: Scream 3
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One thought on “Scream 4 (2011)

  1. Pingback: Scream 3 (2000) | Chwineka Watches

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