David Arquette

Wes Craven

Scream 4 couldn’t have been an easy film to make. Rumored production issues aside — and the fact that movies are just hard to make in general — Wes Craven had to reignite a post-modern franchise after an eleven-year absence. What happened during all those years? Homages, rip offs, and more self-loving meta horror films. The Scream films have influenced many horror installments over the past decade, so what genre trope is left to make a snarky comment on? Not many. Besides that, being meta in itself is a gigantic hurdle to overcome. For one, there’s often a certain degree of smugness that’s attached to that type of tone. Watching a film that goes all, “Look how smart and clever we are!” is like listening to an annoying know-it-all. And, more often than not, those type of films become exactly what they were making fun of. Self-referential can easily turn into self-parody, as Wes Craven mentions below. Here’s what he had to say about carefully deconstructing the genre, his young filmmaker sensibility versus his older one, and more:


Drinking Games

This past spring, Wes Craven brought the Scream franchise back to life with the fourth installment in the trilogy. (That works, doesn’t it?) This time, instead of an homage to horror movies, or an homage to horror movies within a horror movie, Craven serves up a movie within a movie homage to horror movies within a movie. It gets a bit complicated, so you’ll want to relax when you watch it and not try to figure it all out. Cheers! Today, Scream 4 (or SCRE4M, to the cool cats) is available on DVD and Blu-ray, hot off the heels of Craven announcing he’s planning a fifth and sixth movie. Now with four movies available at home, you can enjoy a Scream-a-thon with drinking at this party.



This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in a fabulous blue feather outfit and takes a trip to Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. There, he runs into a couple blue macaws trying to escape exotic bird smuggles, but he’s too busy getting his freak on to help out. Later, he comes back to the states to visit the quaint town of Woodsboro, only this time he’s traded in his fabulous blue feather outfit for a long, black cloak and a “ghost face” mask. After making some calls to random twentysomething girls who are supposed to be teenagers and asking them what their favorite scary movies are, he spent a night in the hospital from a stab wound to the face. Oh, the humanity!



Dewey Riley (David Arquette) is a pretty shitty cop. The killers always get away, people are always dying around him, he breaks as many rules as he enforces, and he’s not nearly as smart as he thinks he is… but he’s also fun, playful, and pretty damn entertaining. Dewey is the Scream franchise. (Well, all but Scream 3, which was like Dewey after a car accident had smashed his brains into ignorant and unfunny jelly that was then devoured by Ehren Kruger and shat out upon a blank page.) It’s been eleven years since we saw Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and friends triumph over her half-brother’s murder spree in Hollywood (decade old spoiler!), and she’s a new woman. Sid has blossomed from eternal victim into best-selling author and is on a book tour celebrating her memoir about making lemonade out of blood spattered lemons. Her last stop brings her home to Woodsboro where it all began, and if the two recently gutted teens are any indication, where it’s about to begin again. Sid’s not exactly the most popular woman in town anymore since being with her is “like being on Top Chef with Jeffrey Dahmer.” That combined with the past films’ body counts has left her with only two friends (and returning characters). Dewey and Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) are happily married now, but while he patrols the streets she struggles to find inspiration to write again. Hurray for murder!


Scream 4 on the Phone

There’s a moment in the second trailer for Scream 4 where Hayden Panettiere’s character is frantically naming off remakes of classic horror films (she cuts through Halloween straight on through to My Bloody Valentine). It seems as though the meta nature that Wes Craven is fond of has found its way to making direct commentary on the state of the genre now. If you missed the first trailer for the fourthquel, it explained the new rules (some of which were suspect). This new trailer seems a bit more traditional. Giving a bit of back story and introducing a few new and old characters before flashing Ghostface around like a parade icon.


Scream 4

This trailer made me incredibly hungry for ice cream for some reason. It’s also pretty damned good. Even though Scream 4 is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, it’s also on the shakiest ground. A return to glory or another flop, it stands to polarize unless it gets every single detail right. As far as the trailer goes, the meta attitude is back, there are now two characters willing to explain the rules of the new horror genre, the kills are going to be bigger, and Kristen Bell is going to be creepy and blonde. In short, it’s a winner.



Against all better judgment and common sense the filmmakers behind the deservedly popular Scream trilogy have returned a decade later with Scre4m Scream 4. Why? Why not? The third sequel (or first in a new trilogy if it makes bank) sees Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) once again being stalked by a killer in the same goddamn ghost faced costume. Her last encounter was over a decade ago, and even though she already has several notches on her belt for knocking these psychos off they just keep coming. The plot sees her on a book tour where she’s pimping a non-fiction account of her ordeal, and she’s joined at least briefly by old friends Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Deputy Dewey (David Arquette). The rest of the cast is made up of recognizable faces sure to be slaughtered in gloriously grotesque ways… provided the series sticks with its R-rating. I guess the question to ask here is with all these fresh, young faces how does this teaser manage to make the movie look so damn old?



I said no food.  I didn’t say there was nothing to eat. Captain John Boyd (Guy Pearce) is a coward.  After inadvertently (and indirectly based upon his cowardice) claiming an opposing stronghold during the Mexican-American War, he is relocated for his actions to an outpost in Sierra Nevadas.  There, he finds himself second in command of a rag-tag group of eccentric, fellow soldiers.  Things take a turn for the eerie when a stranger (Robert Carlyle), half-famished and near death, arrives at their door.  The stranger tells them of a lost wagon train he was a part of, and the unspeakable horrors the group resorted to in order to survive.  The soldiers take it as their duty to seek out the lost wagon train but not before their Native American guide explains to them the power of the Wendigo.  It is a myth that whoever partakes in the flesh of man will gain that person’s strengths and could very well become consumed with this cannibalistic act.  Horror and yes, a little bit of comedy ensue.



In what might have been really exciting news three years ago, it appears there’s confirmation that Scream 4 will get its Dewey and Gale back. But will it matter without Neve Campbell? Or if Wes Craven doesn’t sign on?


Hollyshorts: Hole in the Paper Sky

Robert Fure watches 6 shorts at the HollyShorts Festival so you don’t have to, but after reading what he has to say, you just might want to find them for yourself.



I can’t think of a movie in recent history that has the same feel and attitude, or even remotely the same story. It’s creative and it’s unique. You don’t find that sort of thing at the movies nowadays.


Steve Coogan stars as a high school drama teacher that just doesn’t get “it”…


The Tripper is a dreadfully “fun”—that is painfully mediocre—slasher movie.

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published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.25.2015
published: 01.25.2015

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