Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Movie:: SCRE4M - Hands Full of Hope and Fists Full of Fear 3/22/11

"What’s your favourite scary movie?

Scre4m is due to hit cinemas in April this year, Wes Craven’s latest teen slasher vehicle, driven at the helm by a cast of old survivors - on screen spouses Courtney Cox’s Gale Weathers and David Arquette’s Dewey Riley, and of course the toughest victim to kill Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott. What makes Scre4m a cut above the other three Scream’s perhaps is the arrival of new blood; including Emma Roberts as Sidney’s hapless cousin Jill, Hayden Panettiere as Kirby Reed, and Rory Culkin as Charlie Walker. From the outset, the draw of the new blood appears to be a re-working of old successful characters from the previous three movies. However Scre4m isn’t a remake, far from it, the movie is most definitely a sequel to Scream 3 and deliberately takes on the horror genre’s recent bout of remaking yet not re-imagined classics. Scre4m seems to be taking the franchise further down the path of what horror sequels can achieve.

With the movie poster’s tag line declaring ‘New Decade, New Rules’, the bar has been raised to what we can expect from the latest instalment from the Craven empire. Welcoming back Kevin Williamson on screenplay duties, having written the first two Scream’s and with Ehren Kruger taking over on the third, it appears that Scre4m is also returning to its origins, in front and behind the camera. Classic horror movie dynamics are now broken, changed and manipulated to mark new beginnings for the teen slasher genre, bringing it into the new decade. So the question is will a fourth instalment putting void to all previous rules be a welcome return to a franchise that relied so heavily on the loyal audiences’ and character’s knowledge of horror codes?

Scre4m is also about passing the torch from the old to the new, with the new victims (Culkin, Roberts and Panettiere) enlisted to bring a fresher and younger audience to the franchise, with many of Scream’s original fans now well above the average age of the teen slasher market. What can be said about the much hyped trailer and anticipated release is that whilst Craven is making a conscious effort to turn the teen genre on its head - paving the way for new codes, expectations and parodies to be followed, (now virgins can die!) he’s actually reinventing the genre and allowing it to start all over again, without remaking it. What’s always been of great interest in a genre where the killer always has a motive that’s usually explained away in the closing third is that in the Scream franchise, the killer is never the same. So with new rules, new victims and possibly the start of a new trilogy, which character will the killer be this time?

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