Scream 4

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Scream 4
Scream4Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Wes Craven
Produced by Wes Craven
Iya Labunka
Kevin Williamson
Written by Kevin Williamson
Ehren Kruger (uncredited)
Based on Characters
by Kevin Williamson
Starring David Arquette
Neve Campbell
Courteney Cox
Emma Roberts
Hayden Panettiere
Music by Marco Beltrami
Cinematography Peter Deming
Edited by Peter McNulty
Production
  company
Corvus Corax Productions
Outerbanks Entertainment
Distributed by Dimension Films
Release date(s)
  • April 15, 2011 (2011-04-15)
Running time 111 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million[1]
Box office $101,314,231[1]

Scream 4 (stylized as SCRE4M) is a 2011 American slasher film and the fourth installment in the Scream series. Directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson, writer of Scream and Scream 2, the film stars an ensemble cast which includes David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Emma Roberts and Hayden Panettiere. The plot involves Sidney Prescott returning to Woodsboro after ten years as part of her book tour. As soon as she arrives, Ghostface once again begins killing students from Woodsboro High, including her younger cousin's friends. Prescott, Gale Weathers-Riley, and Dewey Riley once again team up to stop the murders, but not before having to learn from a new generation the "new rules" of surviving horror films.

Originally, the series was intended to be a trilogy, but film production was approved by Bob Weinstein. Depending on the box office, Scream 4 is intended to be the first of a new trilogy.[2] Williamson had to leave production early due to contractual obligations and Ehren Kruger (Scream 3) was brought in for re-writes. Campbell, Arquette and Cox are the only returning cast members from the previous films and were the first to sign on to the film in September 2009. Panettiere and Rory Culkin were the first of the new cast to sign on in May 2010. Ashley Greene was initially the choice of the lead character, Jill, but the role eventually went to Roberts. Filming took place in and around Ann Arbor, Michigan in June 2010 to September 2010, with re-shoots in early 2011.

Scream 4 was released on April 15, 2011, and took in $19.3 million its opening weekend in the United States and Canada, making it the second-lowest opening since the first film. The film has grossed more than $101.3 million at the worldwide box office due to a strong international gross. It gained mostly positive reviews, as critics agreed that it was an improvement over its predecessor, and praised Craven's direction and Williamson's writing.

Plot[edit]

On the night of the fifteenth anniversary of the Woodsboro murders, high school students Jenny Randall and Marnie Cooper are attacked and brutally murdered by a new Ghostface.

The next day, Sidney Prescott returns to her hometown to promote her new book with her publicist Rebecca Walters. After evidence is found in Sidney's rental car, Sidney becomes a suspect in the murders and must stay in town until the murders are solved. Sidney's teenage cousin Jill, who is dealing with the betrayal of her ex-boyfriend, Trevor Sheldon, gets a threatening phone call from Ghostface, as does her friend Olivia Morris. Jill and Olivia, alongside their friend Kirby Reed, are questioned about their calls by Dewey Riley, who is now the sheriff of the town, with assistance from Judy Hicks. Meanwhile Gale Weathers-Riley, who is now married to Dewey, is struggling with writer's block. She decides that the new Ghostface murders could revamp her career and begins delving into the case despite Dewey's protests.

Sidney stays with Jill and her aunt Kate Roberts. Later that night, Olivia, who lives next door, is attacked and killed by Ghostface as Jill and Kirby watch in horror through Jill's bedroom window. Sidney and Jill rush to the house, but the killer attacks and injures them and gets away; both are taken to the hospital. In the hospital's parking garage, Ghostface murders Rebecca. Gale then enlists the help of two high school movie fanatics, Charlie Walker and Robbie Mercer, who explain that the killer is following the rules of movie remakes to plan the murders. Charlie concludes that the killer will likely strike at a party being held that night. Gale goes to the party to investigate and is attacked by Ghostface before Dewey arrives; he takes her to the hospital. Meanwhile, two police officers assigned to protect Jill are attacked and murdered by Ghostface. Kate, meanwhile, arrives home as Sidney receives a phone call threatening to murder Jill, causing the two to attempt to save her as Jill does not answer her phone. Ghostface is revealed to be outside of the house and stabs Kate in the back through the front door's mail slot, killing her. Sidney then runs into a suspicious Judy whilst escaping from the house and heads to Kirby's house to save Jill.

Ghostface appears at the party and kills a drunken Robbie soon before Sidney arrives at the house. During a confrontation with Ghostface, Sidney instructs Jill to hide under a bed upstairs, while she narrowly escapes Ghostface. Kirby is forced to answer horror movie trivia to save Charlie, who is tied up outside. After she answers Ghostface's questions, she goes outside to untie Charlie, believing that she has won the game. He suddenly stabs her in the stomach and reveals himself as the Ghostface killer, leaving her for dead. Sidney is confronted by Charlie and a second Ghostface, who is revealed to be Jill. It was Charlie and Jill, who were behind the killings, and making snuff videos out of them. Jill tells Sidney that she was jealous of her fame for surviving the murders in the first film. She betrays Charlie and stabs him, and shoots Trevor for cheating on her, killing them both and intending to implicate Charlie as Trevor's accomplice. Jill stabs Sidney in the stomach. She then trashes the house and gives herself multiple wounds in order to fabricate the scenario. Dewey, Judy, and the rest of the police then stumble upon the carnage.

Jill is then taken to the hospital to be treated. Dewey visits Jill, who believes she is the sole survivor and talks about writing about it with Gale as they have matching wounds. Dewey tells her Sidney is still alive and likely to survive though she is in intensive care. Jill is shocked that Sidney has survived but Dewey mistakes this for concern and reassures her that everything will be all right even if Sidney can't remember what happened. Dewey then visits Gale and talks about Jill's plans for a collaboration and Gale realises there is no reason that she should know she was also injured in the shoulder. Meanwhile Jill has made her way to Sidney's room to finish her off but is unable to complete the task. During the fight, Dewey runs into Sidney's room, and is knocked out by Jill with a metal bedpan. Then Gale arrives, only to be held at gunpoint by Jill, but Judy intervenes and saves her. Jill uses Sidney as a hostage to force Judy to drop her gun before shooting her. However, Gale distracts Jill enough to give Sidney the chance to shock her with a defibrillator. After Sidney goes to take care of the injured Dewey, Jill tries to get back up and kill her, but Sidney manages to fatally shoot her. Finally, Judy stands up to reveal that she was wearing a bulletproof vest, before fainting. Dewey calls in all police units, as media reporters outside confirm Jill as a survivor and a "hero, right out of the movies".

Cast[edit]

For more details on the cast and characters, see List of Scream cast members and List of Scream characters.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Scream 4 was announced by The Weinstein Company in July 2008,[3] with Wes Craven saying that he would not mind directing the film if the script was as good as Scream.[4] In March 2010 it was confirmed that he would indeed direct[5] and stated that, "I am delighted to accept Bob Weinstein's offer to take the reins on a whole new chapter in Scream history. Working with Courteney, David and Neve was a blast ten years ago and I'm sure it will be again. And I can't wait to find the talent that will bring new blood to the screen as well. Kevin is right on his game with the new script – the characters and story crackle with energy and originality – to say nothing of some of the most hair-raising scares I've seen in a script since... well, since the original Scream series. Let me at it".[6]

In May 2010, Cathy Konrad, who produced the first three films in the series, filed a $3 million lawsuit against The Weinstein Company, alleging that they violated a written agreement that entitled her company, Cat Entertainment, first rights to produce all films in the series.[7] The Weinsteins argued that this contract required Konrad's services be exclusive to the franchise, which Konrad calls "false pretext". claiming the previous film did not require this condition.[7] The suit accuses the Weinsteins of surreptitious behavior and "a scheme to force Plaintiffs to walk away from the Scream franchise without compensation,"[7] enabling them to cut costs by hiring someone else to produce (Craven's wife, Iya Labunka, not named in the suit).[8] In April 2011, it was reported that the Weinsteins had settled out of court with Konrad, the details remaining confidential, though it was claimed that she would receive a cash payment plus a percentage of the profits from Scream 4.[9]

Writing[edit]

Craven stated that within the ten years that have passed between Scream 3 and Scream 4, there have been no "real life" Ghostface murders but have been numerous sequels to the film-within-a-film Stab. He also commented on the life status of Sidney Prescott, "She's done her best to move on from the events that occurred in the previous films, even releasing a successful book". Craven said that endless sequels, the modern spew of remakes, film studios, and directors are the butts of parodies in the film. The main characters have to figure out where the horror genre is in current days to figure out the modern events happening to and around them.[10]

In an early draft of the script, Gale and Dewey had a baby, but was changed after it was decided bringing a baby into the film would make shooting "impossible". In another early form of the script, the opening scene involved Sidney going head-to-head with Ghostface and being left for dead. There would have been a two-year gap in the story while she recovered, however, Bob Weinstein feared it would slow the pace of the story and bringing in young characters would work out best.[11]

Scream 3 writer Ehren Kruger was brought in during production to do re-writes. Craven said, "Look, there was a bumpy period when things shifted over from Kevin to Ehren. I signed up to do a script by Kevin and unfortunately that didn't go all the way through the shooting. But it certainly is Kevin's script and concept and characters and themes".[12] It was reported that the actors were not given the 140-page script[13] past page 75 in order to protect the identity of the Ghostface killer.[14]

Casting[edit]

Emma Roberts at the premiere for the film

In September 2009, Variety reported that Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox would return.[15] Craven briefly explained their roles in a later interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying "It's a total integration of those three and new kids. The story of Sid, Gale, and Dewey is very much a part of the movie."[10] At a press conference for Repo Men, Liev Schreiber — who played Cotton Weary in the first three films — stated there were no plans for his reprisal.[16] In an interview with FEARnet, Williamson continued to deny a rumor of Jamie Kennedy returning, "I would love nothing more than to have Jamie Kennedy in the film. However to have Randy in the film, it sort of just takes it... I mean Scream 2 was a lie, you know? It's a false move. So I just won't do it. I can't do that. I just won't do it."[17] In April, over 12 casting sides were released to the public to buy for auditions of the film.[18]

In May 2010, Hayden Panettiere and Rory Culkin signed on.[19] Ashley Greene was offered the role of Sidney's cousin, Jill, but the role later went to Emma Roberts.[20] Lake Bell was to play Deputy Judy Hicks, but dropped out four days before filming due to scheduling conflicts, causing the role to ultimately go to Marley Shelton.[21] Nancy O'Dell reprises her role from the second and third films as a reporter.[22] Roger L. Jackson returned as the voice of Ghostface.[23] Lauren Graham was to play Kate Roberts, the mother of Roberts' character, but dropped out a few days into principal photography.[24][25] Craven, like in the previous three films, has a cameo and took to his Twitter to ask fans to pick his role (the cameo was, however, deleted from the final cut of the film).[26] The Hollywood Reporter reported that Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell have cameos in the beginning of the film akin to Drew Barrymore and Jada Pinkett Smith in the first and second Scream.[13] Shenae Grimes and Lucy Hale also have cameos in the film.[27] Hale was originally supposed to play a different role in the film, but due to scheduling conflicts with her show Pretty Little Liars, the producers gave her a smaller part.[28]

Filming[edit]

Cast of Scream 4 on the set in July 2010

On a budget of $40 million, principal photography began on June 28, 2010.[10] Filming was scheduled to end on September 6, after a 42-day shoot, but instead concluded on September 24.[13] Filming took place in and around Ann Arbor, Michigan.[29][30] Scenes portraying Woodsboro High School featured in the original Scream film were shot at Woodworth Middle School in Dearborn, Michigan.[31] The former 16th District Court in Livonia, Michigan was used as a police station.[32]

In April 2010, while scouting for a bookstore to use in the film, Craven spotted a new bookstore that had not yet opened in downtown Northville, Michigan named Next Chapter Bookstore Bistro. Craven instantly loved the building as well as the name and decided to use both in the film. He also hired the owner's chef to prepare the food and pastry for a scene in the film. The scenes were shot the first week of July.[33] After the test screening in January, Craven and Weinstein did not think two scenes played well for the audience. Aimee Teegarden and Alison Brie returned to Detroit in late January and early February of 2011 for four days of additional shooting. The scenes involved Teegarden's character who is stalked at her home and Brie's character who is attacked in a parking garage.[34][35][36]

The film also extensively used computer-generated imagery for the first time in the franchise. For example, instead of using a "collapsing knife", the knife's blade was added during post-production with CGI effects.[37] Anderson's death scene in which he is stabbed in the forehead and walks a few feet while talking before finally falling to his death, was not in the script but was inspired by a "real-life medical emergency" Craven had seen in a documentary about a person being stabbed through their head and walking into an emergency room. He thought it was "extraordinary if somebody was stabbed in the head and still be alive for a while". Craven also did not tell the studio that he was taking this approach for the death scene, jokingly saying he hoped he would not be fired the next day.[38]

Music[edit]

Scream 4 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released April 12, 2011
Genre Pop, rock
Length 35:51
Label Lakeshore Records
Producer Buck Sanders, Richard Glasser
Various artists chronology
Scream 3: The Album
(2000)
Scream 4 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
(2011)

The Scream 4: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on April 12, 2011 by Lakeshore Records.[39] A score soundtrack was also released, on April 19, 2011 by Varèse Sarabande.[40]

Scream 4: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
No. Title Writer(s) Artist Length
1. "Something to Die For"   Jesper Anderberg
Johan Bengtsson
Fredrik Blond
Maja Ivarsson
Felix Rodriguez
The Sounds 3:42
2. "Bad Karma"   Desmond Child
Ida Maria Sivertsen
Stefan Tornby
Ida Maria 2:55
3. "Cup of Coffee"   Corey Marriott
Jay Marriott
Steve Turnock
Liam Young
The Novocaines 1:30
4. "Make My Body"   Christophe Eagleton
Kamtin Mohager
The Chain Gang of 1974 3:37
5. "Don't Mess with the Original"   Marco Beltrami Marco Beltrami 3:33
6. "Yeah Yeah Yeah"   Jesper Anderberg
Johan Bengtsson
Fredrik Blond
Maja Ivarsson
Felix Rodriguez
The Sounds 3:31
7. "Run for Your Life"   Tamara Schlesinger 6 Day Riot 2:32
8. "Axel F"   Harold Faltermeyer Raney Shockne 3:01
9. "On Fire"   Jesse Laz Locksley 1:54
10. "Devils"   Eric Elbogen Say Hi 2:20
11. "Denial"   Lucas Banker
Logan Conrad Mader
Stereo Black 3:43
12. "Jill's America"   Marco Beltrami Marco Beltrami 3:26
Total length:
35:51

Release[edit]

A test screening took place in Pittsburgh on January 6, 2011.[41] The Hollywood premiere took place on April 11, 2011 at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre.[42] The film was released on April 15, 2011.[6]

Home media[edit]

Scream 4 was first released on DVD and Blu-ray in Mexico on August 5, 2011.[43] It was later released in the United Kingdom and Ireland on August 22, 2011,[44] in Canada and the United States on October 4, 2011,[45][46] and in Australia and New Zealand on October 13, 2011.[47] The film has made roughly $4,103,282 in DVD sales in the United States, bringing the film's lifetime gross to approximately $101,334,702.[48] In the US DVD and Blu-ray rental charts, Scream 4 entered at #2 on its week of release.[49] The film then spent 7 consecutive weeks inside the top twenty of the chart.[50] Scream 4 made its television debut on April 20, 2012 on cable channel Showtime.[51] In December 2012, Showtime featured Scream 4 during a free weekend preview, where the station would be available in over 80 million homes in America.[52] On April 19, 2013, Scream 4 was added to Netflix's instant online streaming service.[53]

To promote the DVD and Blu-ray release, Universal Studios produced "Terror Tram: SCRE4M For Your Life" as an event featured in its annual Halloween Horror Nights throughout September and October 2011.[54]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Scream 4 was released in 3,305 theaters on 4,400 screens and grossed over $1 million in its midnight opening,[55] grossing an additional $8.7 million on Friday and another $7 million on Saturday,[56][57] opening at second place for the weekend.[58] According to "industry experts", the film's $19.3 million opening weekend was "disappointing",[56][59] experiencing the second-lowest opening of the Scream franchise.[57] In its first weekend worldwide the film took $37.3 million from 30 territories, behind only Rio which took $53.9 million from 62 territories. The film topped the box office in the United Kingdom taking over £2 million, came in second in France, third in Mexico and fourth in Australia.[60] In its second weekend in the United States, it fell to fifth place, taking in $7.2 million. Scream 4 has grossed $101,314,194 at the worldwide box office.[1]

Release date
(United States)
Budget
(estimated)
Box office revenue[1]
United States/Canada Other markets Worldwide
April 15, 2011 $40,000,000[1] $38,180,928 $63,133,266 $101,314,194

Critical reviews[edit]

Scream 4 garnered mostly positive reviews, with some reviewers criticizing the film's "dated" formula, but was considered a huge improvement over Scream 3. Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes reports that 58% of critics have given the film a positive review based on 173 reviews, with an average score of 5.8 out of 10.[61] Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film a 52 based on 32 reviews.[62] CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was a B- on an A plus to F scale.[59]

Roger Ebert gave the film two out of four stars, criticizing it for using the clichéd formula of the slasher genre, but complimenting Craven's direction and Williamson's dialogue.[63] Empire gave the film two out of five stars, criticizing the film's old-fashioned formula and lack of scare factor.[64] The New York Daily News thought the film was "dated" and that "relying on obvious clichés doesn't seem ironic anymore, just easy."[65] The Toronto Sun gave the film a mixed review, writing that "this installment is nowhere near the hip, serrated-edge blast of newness the original was in 1996. Suddenly, it's the horror thriller that, like, your parents are excited about"; however, the review praised director Wes Craven.[66] Colin Covert of the Minneapolis Star Tribune gave the film a perfect score of four out of four stars, praising the combination of scares, comedy, and twists.[67]

The Boston Herald wrote that the film is "often amusing" but too long.[68] Lisa Kennedy from the Denver Post stated that Scream 4 "pays plenty of homage to their 1996 original", but that it is not close to its greatness, despite calling it a "cut above most slasher flicks".[69] Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly praised the film, stating "It's a giddy reminder of everything that made Scream such a fresh scream in the first place,"[70] while Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times wrote that "Scream 4 finds a way to live up to its gory past while it carves out new terrors in new ways."[71] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the movie two out of four stars, criticizing the comedic overtones.[72]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Category Subject Result
Scream Award Best Horror Actress Neve Campbell Nominated
Teen Choice Award Best Horror Film Nominated
Virgin Media Movie Award Best Horror Film Won
Best Villain Ghostface 3rd place

References[edit]

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