Hayden Panettiere

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:

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr gets in his car and hits the road with a can of NOS energy drink and his shaved head. Too bad his car is a 2006 Dodge minivan with collapsible seats and a back-seat DVD player for the kids to use. He didn’t stand a chance in the street racing against Vin Diesel and Paul Walker. After recovering from the cold, hard truth that The Rock stole his look for Fast Five, Kevin goes stag to Prom and suffers through the direct-to-DVD theatrical release of Hoodwinked Too!: Hood vs. Evil.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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Hayden Panettiere (whose name of course means “Bread of the Earth”) has signed on for a role in the long-in-gestation Downers Grove that sees her playing a high schooler. There’s no surprise there, but instead of trying to break her own limbs to see if they grow back or psychologically torturing a nerd with her good looks, she’ll be doing something far more grisly. Fortunately, famed novelist Bret Easton Ellis (“Rules of Attraction,” “American Psycho”) is writing the screenplay from the Michael Hornburg novel about a young girl with a sex-crazed mother, a sex-crazed best friend, a heroine-addicted brother, violence, the prospect of someone always dying of unusual circumstances just before graduation, and all the destruction of the American family landscape that you might hope for. In other news, the greatly talented Rebecca DeMornay is involved as is Thirteen and Twilight star Nicki Reed (who should definitely not be confused with Nicky Reed when you don’t know how to spell her name and type the normal spelling of her name into IMDB). Panettiere will be seen next in Scream 4, but this Downers Grove role seems to be a complete departure from her normal bubble-gum aspirations. That’s not always a good thing, but it’s always interesting. [MTV]

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Scream 4 might not be on the top of the list of anticipated horror sequels for true fans, but that won’t stop it from happening. And if we’re going to have a fourth Scream film, there are a few elements that will be expected. One is attractive girls getting stabbed to death.

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blackcat-header

If you read a lot of movie blogs, chances are that you’ve seen plenty of suggestions about this week’s top rumor, the question of who should play The Black Cat in Spider-Man 4. You can throw all of those suggestions out the window, because we’ve got our own list of ladies who should be wearing tight outfits and sneaking into NYC banks.

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Iloveyoubethcooper

I Love You, Beth Cooper should be retitled Fuck You, Chris Columbus, but I imagine that would have given it an automatic R-rating, which might have actually given them license to make a good movie.

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FSR

Kevin Carr reviews this week’s new movies: Brüno, I Love You Beth Cooper and Moon.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Neil has gone on a clandestine mission to our nation’s capital, including a visit to the Pentagon to warn our military of the impending threat of giant alien robots. This leads Kevin to meet up with his chubby co-host in the Magical Studio in the Sky, from an undisclosed location (which may or may not be a jail cell).

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hayden-bethcooper-nude1

She is a never nude. Put your pants back on and quit paying attention to this bull.

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heroes-invisiblethread

Nathan (Adrian Pasdar) faces off against Sylar (Zachary Quinto) to keep him from meeting the President (Michael Dorn). Sylar has his own plans for his new partner.

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heroes-1961

Angela Pertrelli (Cristine Rose) and the heroes examine the origin of Primatech, revealing that the family ties extend beyond the ones they’ve grown used to.

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heroes-intoasylum

An alliance is formed between Sylar and Danko, wounds are healed between Peter and Angela and Claire and Nathan, and Heroes prepares to make the next move.

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heroes-coldsnap

HRG convinces Emile Danko, a.k.a. The Hunter, to release Tracy from Building 26, in hopes that she will lead them to Rebel. As Angela evades capture, she turns to an old friend for help. In Los Angeles, Hiro and Ando continue on their latest mission from Rebel to protect the newest hero.

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heroes-shadesofgray

When Sylar (Zachary Quinto) comes face-to-face with his long lost father (guest star John Glover), the reunion proves to be what he least expected.

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heroes-exposed

After receiving a tip from Rebel, Matt (Greg Grunberg) and Peter (Milo Ventimiglia) race to Building 26 to rescue Daphne (Brea Grant) and recover files that will expose the government’s plans for those with abilities.

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heroes-314

I have to admit that we are a little dizzy writing this review, as Heroes seems to be running around in circles when it comes to their story.

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