Monday 28 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

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
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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