Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Wes Craven|
|Produced by||Wes Craven
|Written by||Kevin Williamson|
|Music by||Marco Beltrami|
|Edited by||Peter McNulty|
Corvus Corax Productions
|Distributed by||Dimension Films|
|Box office||$97.1 million|
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 Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Emma Roberts and Hayden Panettiere. The plot involves Sidney Prescott returning to Woodsboro after 10 years, as part of her book tour. As soon as she arrives, Ghostface once again begins killing students from Woodsboro High, including friends of her younger cousin. 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 for a fourth installment was approved by Bob Weinstein. Depending on the box office, Scream 4 may be the first of a new trilogy. 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 in the franchise, since the first film. It was the final film directed by Wes Craven before his death four years later on August 30, 2015.
The following day, Sidney Prescott returns to Woodsboro 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 being betrayed by her ex-boyfriend, Trevor Sheldon, gets a threatening phone call from Ghostface. Jill and her friends Olivia Morris and Kirby Reed are questioned about their calls by Dewey Riley, who is now the sheriff of the town, assisted by Judy Hicks. Meanwhile, Gale Weathers, 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 her aunt Kate Roberts and cousin Jill while in Woodsboro. Later that night, Olivia, who lives next door to Jill, is attacked and brutally 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 Jill and gets away; Sidney goes with Jill to the hospital. Later that night, in the hospital's parking garage, Ghostface murders Rebecca. Moments later, her body is thrown off the building onto a news van. Sidney and Gale enlists the help of Jill's other friends, 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 stabbed in the shoulder by Ghostface before Dewey arrives; Dewey takes her to the hospital. Meanwhile, two police officers assigned to patrol Jill's house discover a window to be open and are both murdered by Ghostface. Kate, meanwhile, arrives home as Sidney receives a phone call threatening to murder Jill, prompting the two to attempt to save her, as Jill does not answer her phone. It is then revealed that Jill is not at home, but at Kirby's place for an 'after-party'. 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 while 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 leaves her for dead, upset that she took too long to fall in love with him. Sidney is confronted by Charlie and a second Ghostface, who is revealed as Jill. Jill was jealous of the fame and attention Sidney received in the wake of the murders. Jill then pulls Trevor, tied up and gagged, out of a closet and shoots him in the groin for his previous betrayal of their relationship, and then in the head, thus killing him. Jill betrays Charlie by stabbing him to death, intending to frame him as Trevor's accomplice. Jill then stabs in Sidney's stomach, leaving her for dead. She then trashes the house and hurts herself in order to stage the scene. Dewey, Judy, and the rest of the police then stumble upon the carnage.
Sidney and Jill are rushed to the hospital. Dewey visits Jill and tells her that Sidney and Gale are actually still alive; Jill offhandedly remarks that she and Gale would make a good book-writing pair because of their matching wounds. Once Dewey leaves, Jill makes her way to Sidney's room to finish her off and badly injures her. Visiting Gale in her room, Dewey suddenly realizes that Jill's bizarre knowledge of her and Gale's "matching wounds" implicates her in the murders. He finds her in Sidney's room, but she knocks him out, and is quickly confronted by Gale and Judy. Jill shoots Judy, incapacitating her. Just as Jill is about to shoot Gale, Sidney shocks Jill's head with a defibrillator and then shoots her in the chest, finally killing her. It is revealed that Judy was wearing a bulletproof vest and is uninjured. Dewey gains consciousness and calls the police, as media reporters outside confirm Jill as a survivor and a "hero, right out of the movies."
- Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott
- Emma Roberts as Jill Roberts
- David Arquette as Dewey Riley
- Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers-Riley
- Hayden Panettiere as Kirby Reed
- Anthony Anderson as Anthony Perkins
- Adam Brody as Ross Hoss
- Rory Culkin as Charlie Walker
- Mary McDonnell as Kate Roberts
- Marley Shelton as Judy Hicks
- Alison Brie as Rebecca Walters
- Marielle Jaffe as Olivia Morris
- Nico Tortorella as Trevor Sheldon
- Erik Knudsen as Robbie Mercer
- Anna Paquin as Rachel
- Kristen Bell as Chloe
- Lucy Hale as Sherrie
- Shenae Grimes as Trudie
- Britt Robertson as Marnie Cooper
- Aimee Teegarden as Jenny Randall
- Roger L. Jackson as the voice of Ghostface
Scream 4 was announced by The Weinstein Company in July 2008, with Wes Craven saying that he would not mind directing the film if the script was as good as Scream. In March 2010 it was confirmed that he would indeed direct 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".
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. 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. The suit accuses the Weinsteins of surreptitious behavior and "a scheme to force Plaintiffs to walk away from the Scream franchise without compensation," enabling them to cut costs by hiring someone else to produce (Craven's wife, Iya Labunka, not named in the suit). 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.
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.
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.
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". It was reported that the actors were not given the 140-page script past page 75 in order to protect the identity of the Ghostface killer.
In September 2009, Variety reported that Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox would return. 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." 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. 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." In April, over 12 casting sides were released to the public to buy for auditions of the film.
In May 2010, Hayden Panettiere and Rory Culkin signed on. Ashley Greene was offered the role of Sidney's cousin, Jill, but the role later went to Emma Roberts. 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. Nancy O'Dell reprises her role from the second and third films as a reporter. Roger L. Jackson returned as the voice of Ghostface. Lauren Graham was to play Kate Roberts, the mother of Roberts' character, but dropped out a few days into principal photography. 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). 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. Shenae Grimes and Lucy Hale also have cameos in the film.
On a budget of $40 million, principal photography began on June 28, 2010. Filming was scheduled to end on September 6, after a 42-day shoot, but instead concluded on September 24. Filming took place in and around Ann Arbor, Michigan. Scenes portraying Woodsboro High School school featured in the original Scream film were shot at Woodworth Middle School in Dearborn, Michigan. The former 16th District Court in Livonia, Michigan was used as a police station.
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. 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.
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. 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 walked 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.
|Scream 4 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by Various artists|
|Released||April 12, 2011|
|Producer||Buck Sanders, Richard Glasser|
|Various artists chronology|
|Scream 4: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|1.||"Something to Die For"||Jesper Anderberg
|2.||"Bad Karma"||Desmond Child
Ida Maria Sivertsen
|3.||"Cup of Coffee"||Corey Marriott
|4.||"Make My Body"||Christophe Eagleton
|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
|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|
Logan Conrad Mader
|12.||"Jill's America"||Marco Beltrami||Marco Beltrami||3:26|
The film was released in North America on April 11, 2011.
Scream 4 was first released on DVD and Blu-ray in Mexico on August 5, 2011. It was later released in the United Kingdom and Ireland on August 22, 2011, in Canada and the United States on October 4, 2011, and in Australia and New Zealand on October 13, 2011. 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. In the US DVD and Blu-ray rental charts, Scream 4 entered at #2 on its week of release. The film then spent 7 consecutive weeks inside the top twenty of the chart. Scream 4 made its television debut on April 20, 2012 on cable channel Showtime. 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. On April 19, 2013, Scream 4 was added to Netflix's instant online streaming service.
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.
Scream 4 was released in 3,305 theaters on 4,400 screens and grossed over $1 million in its midnight opening, grossing an additional $8.7 million on Friday and another $7 million on Saturday, opening at second place for the weekend. According to "industry experts", the film's $19.3 million opening weekend was "disappointing", experiencing the second-lowest opening of the Scream franchise. 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. In its second weekend in the United States, it fell to fifth place, taking in $7.2 million. Scream 4 has grossed $97,138,686 at the worldwide box office.
|Box office revenue|
|United States/Canada||Other markets||Worldwide|
|April 15, 2011||$40,000,000||$38,180,928||$58,957,758||$97,138,686|
Review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 59% based on 174 reviews; the average score is 5.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The franchise is showing its age, but Scream 4 is undeniably an improvement over its predecessor, with just enough meta humor and clever kills." Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score, gives the film a score 52 out of 100 based on 32 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". CinemaScore polls reported that the average grade moviegoers gave the film was a "B-" on an A+ to F scale.
Roger Ebert gave the film two out of four stars, criticizing the film for using the clichéd formula of the slasher genre, but complimenting Craven's direction and Williamson's dialogue. Empire gave the film two out of five stars, criticizing the film's old-fashioned formula and lack of scare factor. The New York Daily News thought the film was "dated" and that "relying on obvious clichés doesn't seem ironic anymore, just easy." 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. 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.
The Boston Herald wrote that the film is "often amusing" but too long. 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". 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," 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." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the movie two out of four stars, criticizing the comedic overtones.
Writer Kevin Williamson confirmed his contractual obligation for Scream 4 and Scream 5, and had submitted concepts for three films leading up to Scream 6, though his contract for the sixth film had not yet been finalized. In May 2011, executive producer Harvey Weinstein confirmed that a sequel was possible, saying that despite Scream 4 performing below The Weinstein Company's financial expectations, he was still happy with the gross it had accrued.
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- Official website
- Scream 4 at the Internet Movie Database
- Scream 4 at AllMovie
- Scream 4 at Box Office Mojo
- Scream 4 at Rotten Tomatoes