Thursday 17 Apr

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

No Holds Barred

RLJ Entertainment's new Blu-ray for No Holds Barred begins with what seems like dozens of trailers for movies starring pro wrestlers from the WWE talent pool. Each flick went direct to home video, but once upon a time — aka 1989 — one had to go to the multiplex to catch such a spectacle.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Knights of Badassdom

In 2008, the third act of the guy comedy Role Models used LARPing — live-action role-playing, that is — as a backdrop for our protagonists' lessons learned. Today, Knights of Badassdom extends that half-hour into a full feature, to the point where viewers are left not smiling, but exhausted. 
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Switched on

Not everything on television has to appeal to mass audiences. In fact, with the further fractioning of viewership thanks to alternatives like Netflix and VOD, more series can afford to become more niche. Here are five examples of shows both past and present — and new to DVD and/or Blu-ray — that encompass some of the more outrageous ideas ever to go beyond boardroom discussion.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0

Confession of Murder

Seventeen years after slaying 10 women and getting away with it, the charismatic serial killer Du-sok (Park Si-hoo) comes clean with a Confession of Murder, in this 2012 South Korean crime thriller. He does so by publishing a book that dishes all the grisly details.
04/02/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Horror · Scream 4

Scream 4

From a 'Scream' to a whisper

Rod Lott April 15th, 2011

To place "Scream 4" within its franchise, let's talk superlatives: It's the bloodiest, the shortest and the least satisfying.


In the decade that has passed since the previous entry, the landscape has changed greatly for horror films. Gone are the sly, self-aware semi-parodies that the original "Scream" birthed; in vogue is the so-called "torture porn" of the "Saw" series. In its opening scenes, "Scream 4" uses this to its advantage, poking fun at the new kid, saying that approach is grotesque, but not frightening, so if you want to see something really scary, stay tuned.

Well, the only thing that raised my pulse was a car running a stop sign. Perhaps today's high school audience at which this overdue sequel is aimed will have a different reaction, having grown up with the smartphone and webcam technology the movie uses as a crutch. If so, they should take some tips from some of its secondary characters — the film geeks played by Hayden Panettiere (TV's "Heroes"), Erik Knudsen ("Beastly") and Rory Culkin ("Twelve") — and dig into the likes of "Suspiria" and "Don't Look Now" to see what true scary movies are.

Because this isn't it. Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courteney Cox return yet again, as does Ghostface, the slasher underneath the Edvard Munch-inspired Halloween mask. New, prettier cast members join them, but the route director Wes Craven takes them is rote and predictable, because Kevin Williamson's script doesn't ask them to go anywhere else.

In fact, for all Williamson's talk upfront, he delivers a weak motive and more than a couple of cop-outs. Once more, the denouement goes on far longer than necessary — too much, too late. —Rod Lott

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