The Saga Continues (Scream 4, 2011)

After the disappointment of My Soul to Take, Craven returned to the grounds of his second most popular Franchise. Or is it the first? I supposed I could look at the box office.

Picking up ten years after the third film, Sydney has written a book about overcoming the events of the prior films. Her book tour brings her back to Woodsboro, bringing (now) Sheriff Dewey and Gale (now married). Gale is struggling to write a fiction book. Dewey is trying to run the police department. His Deputy Judy has a clear crush on him, His other deputies are a bit inept. We also meet a new group of teens, centered around Sydney’s cousin Jill. She and her friends suddenly find themselves facing the Ghostface killer again. Who is it now? What are the motives? Is this Sydney’s fault?

Truth be told? This is a real comeback for the franchise. It is fun to be back in the presence of Sydney, Dewey and Gale. And after the second and third films began with Dewey and Gale split up, it is nice to see them together and not really angry with each other. Their only conflict occurs when Dewey suggests Gale should not be a part of the investigation.

I really like the new additions to the cast, especially Hayden Panettiere’s Kirby and Deputy Judy played by Marley Shelton. The twists and motives for Ghostface in this film work so much better than the third film.

Honestly, one of the things that makes this franchise so great and re-watchable is it’s focus. Scream is the rare franchise that is not about its killer. Since Ghostface changes in every movie, the series is about the people Ghostface is a threat to. And we get to see arcs for our leads.

One of the things that really helps here, I suspect, is that this installment features the return of Kevin Williamson as writer, Williamson was the writer of the three good flicks in the series. He and Wes had a real magic with this series. And so, Craven’s filmography ends of a pretty high note, which is nice since he passed away four years later.

I am not sure how I feel about Scream 5…I mean, the core cast (and Deputy Judy) are coming back. But Williamson is not the writer and Craven, obviously, won’t be back. Maybe fresh writers and directors will bring something new. But I do have to say, Scream 4 is a great send off for Craven and a terrific new entry in the series.

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