"Scre4m" Teaser Trailer Movie Review

10/21/2010 Posted by Admin


Teaser Trailer Movie Review

By our guest blogger, Matthew Schimkowitz

Call me a skeptic, but after Craven’s last film, the atrocious "My Soul to Take," I’m a bit concerned about his taking part in another "Scream" movie.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “No movie featuring a numeral standing in for a letter could be bad,” and I agree with you – as does my spellchecker, which oddly accepts the number 4 as an adequate replacement for the letter “A.” However, title aside, the trailer, in all its familiarity, did little to ease my concerns.

Once again, we meet up with aging knife magnets Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gail Weathers (Courtney Cox) and Deputy Dewey (David Arquette) for another round of genre slashings. Set a decade later in the extreme torture-porn addicted, YouTube-using future, "Scre4m" pits the cast against another round of ghost-faced serial killers, looking to use the 2000's horror conventions (first-person perspective, extreme violence) on the teenagers at their high school. It’s a decade later and 2.0 doesn’t look all that different.

The problem each "Scream" movie faces is how to keep things surprising while explaining what’s going to happen, and as each film brings about a new set of rules, the old one’s fly out the window. "Scre4m" follows that idea slavishly, but at no point does it look that different from the first film. In this regard, the film is probably hopefully taking a stab – sorry – at remakes, but it’s hard to get on board since they essentially beat remakes to death in "Sc3am," which itself was a remake of the superior "Wes Craven’s New Nightmare."

The trailer itself gives too much away to keep things interesting. Telling us outright that the film’s rules are the same as the first one except more extreme and that virgins can die doesn’t really make anything scarier. The original teaser for "Scream" ’96 is a bunch of shots of knives and phones and about 10 times more effective. Much like the men behind the masks, the more we know, the less scary things become.

Oh well, I’m sure the mystery of the disappearing “A” will be enough to lead me to the the4ters for this one. I just hope it doesn’t follow the most consistent rule of third sequels: They’re terrible.

Below is the trailer. What are your thoughts?

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  1. Anonymous said...

    I'm not sure if this is just the Scream fanatic in me speaking, but I disagree with your pessimistic review of this trailer. Yeah, maybe not all of Wes Craven's films are golden, but Scream 1 and 2 were pretty brilliant in my eyes and I am anxiously awaiting Scream 4.

    First of all, I don't think this trailer gave as much away as you suggested. Seeing the posters with the tagline "New decade, new rules" made me curious and nervous about the movie and the trailer only eased my nerves about whether this film would solely cater to "the extreme torture-porn addicted, YouTube-using future" as you put it. However, I think the trailer really appealed to the fans of the originals and showed enough to make someone like me confident that this COULD be yet another great Scream film that uses an updated version of horror conventions from the past to remain relevant and realistic to our skeptical modern audience. Yes, it may seem extreme, but in many ways, so is our culture.

    As far as trailers giving away too much of the movie, I am afraid that the next few trailers to come (however many there may be before this film is actually out) WILL give too much away and ruin my excitement for it as this, unfortunately, happens so often.

    I'm with you on hoping that this sequel isn't terrible.

  2. Matt said...

    The emphasis on rules is what I dislike so much about this marketing campaign. Scream 1 and 2 worked so well, in part, because they are simply great genre pictures and that’s generally true of most great revisionary films. A strong respect and understanding of convention is necessary to use them effectively. Scream is this by not only telling you what's going to happen but also make that knowledge scary and surprising. Craven has such a rich understanding of this idea that he can even make the “I’ll be right back” bit work.

    What the Scream 4 trailer shows is Jamie Kennedy 2.0 telling us exactly what we're in for: revision and the ghost-face. It all seems so safe and familiar unlike that first film. The explaining of the rules, the first scene kill, David Arquette, phone calls; Scream is now the convention. Scream is the genre. Perhaps, the idea of Craven’s meta-universe caving in on itself like this is part of the scare, but I think we’d be better suited, after ten years, to put Craven and Williamson’s brain to work on a new project, one that actually reflects the changing trends of the day rather than resurrecting one simply because it’s easy and familiar.

    I do agree with you, though; I LOVE the first two Scream films, and even though I think “My Soul to Take” is garbage, I think Craven is a great filmmaker. Let's just hope he isn't relying too heavily on conventions from his own franchise rather than the horror films in needing revision.

  3. Anonymous said...

    Ah, I see what you're saying now and I like your ideas.

    I still like the familiarity that Scream 4 offers and that seems to be why we have different takes on the trailer. I like that I am already invested in certain aspects of the film, like the characters, because hopefully it will provide the movie with more depth than the traditional horror film. Maybe the movie is being done because it is easy and familiar and well, a nice way to make some money, but I am really looking forward to seeing a promising balance of old and new which is really what Wes Craven has done with this series from the beginning anyway. Hence the whole, "do you like scary movies?" thing. Recycling the old and building off of it until it is sheer brilliance is kind of his thing.

    I know us horror fans are all so badly craving innovative, intelligent, surprising, and scary because let's face it, it's been lacking but I'm still putting my faith in Craven and this next film.

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