Thursday 21 April 2011

128: Review - SCRE4M

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

20 April 2011. Location: Cinema

A lot of other reviews have focused on the Scream Trilogy's deconstruction of the genre, and how it started cleverly but tailed off towards the third film. If I'm being entirely honest, I enjoyed that aspect in the first film, but thought it was already lazy by the second, never mind the third. Especially with Wes Craven's New Nightmare pulling much the same trick around much the same time. This fourth instalment is so self-referential that they've forgotten to put the tension in the film that would make it work.

For a movie that enjoys claiming it's rewriting the rules, it's surprisingly identical to its predecessors. If you can leave behind the constant exposition and identikit cast, it's okay.

Anyhow, this is the first Scream I've seen in the cinema. My introduction to slasher-horror was through home video, and for the most part, that's the way I like it. The thought (and indeed the minimal experience I've had) of sitting in a room of jumping, screaming people failing to be able watch a film fills me with dread. Sadly, it's the only dread I did feel tonight. Even the rest of the audience behaved themselves for the most part. The jumps and shrieks are in the right places, but only (as is becoming too frequent for my liking), if you haven't seen many horror movies before. The cast are competent in what they're doing, and the editing and direction seems fine. But then, it did in the other films, too. It's the concept that needs an overhaul.

I can't work out if it's a good thing that the film knows it's by-the-numbers. Probably not, though. Speaking of numbers, putting that many references to Facebook and Twitter into your movie will date it faster than calling it Scream 2011. Props also go to Woodsboro police force for allowing everyone in the neighbourhood to contaminate a crime scene. No wonder they keep getting killed as fast as the kids…


I didn't expect a lot, and I wasn't let down.

Oh, as a side note: There are sixteen stabbings in this film, thirteen of which are fatal. There are also two gun deaths, one is a chest-shot, one a head-shot, both at point blank range and both fully shown on camera. That's a bodycount of fifteen people, killed by real-world weapons (ie not by the supernatural etc). The BBFC have rated this film Certificate 15 as it "Contains strong violence, gore and language". I'm not having a go at them for that. I understand that times are changing and kids are exposed to horrible things on the news on a daily basis. But…

The same BBFC have also rated Your Highness a Certificate 15, as it "Contains strong language, sex references and comic bloody violence". Which, if you read my review, basically means is has the fuck-word in it a lot. Again, I can't blame the BBFC for this as the film seems to have intentionally bad language just to raise the certificate.

But isn't there something a little bit fucked up with a system that puts the lazy use of bad language and fifteen explicit onscreen deaths in the same bracket?

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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