"Oh The Horror!" with Hesta Prynn - Installment 5 Scream 4
Thu, 21 Apr 2011 13:39:39
Scream 4 – I liked this movie but I wanted to love this movie. What’s the difference? Who has the patience to watch the entire movie these days? Who has the time to listen to a full record? When I sat down to write this review my first instinct was to break it down list style – likes vs. dislikes. Likes: Hayden Panetierre, Culkins in general, post-modernism lite, Heather Graham playing Drew Barrymore, Neve Campbell’s natural looking face, intestines, the beginning, the ending. Dislikes: the middle, bad haircuts, boring pacing, the lack of commitment to a tone, Courteney Cox Arquette’s plastic face, Cox vs. Arquette in the tabloids, references to Facebook in films, overuse of cell phones in general, campiness-lite.
Why can’t I commit to Scream 4? Why can’t I write a full and focused review of this slasher film like it is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Psycho or even Wolf Creek a modern slasher that showed us particularly gory new methods of torture? I don’t know the answer (and who has the time to even ponder this q with my Twitter buzzing away??) but I might guess that it’s because Scream 4 doesn’t treat us like real committed film viewers. Understandably so, because we’re not traditional film viewers. We are horror fans.
We’ll go see your sequels even knowing that there will be a level of behavior displayed in the theater that would never fly during Water for Elephants. Is horror the redheaded stepchild of film genres because of who’s going to see these movies and how they behave when they get there? I saw Insidious last week and didn’t write about it because all that stood out to me about the experience was a full conversation between two girls in my row and blinding Smartphone screens hitting me from every direction. Somehow impropriety, silliness – campiness really – has become part of the experience of seeing these films. Could that be better illustrated than a screening of Scream (Stab) to a party full of “teen-scream” (here called Stab) groupies mid-way through Scream 4? Heather Graham plays Drew Barrymore, they know all the words, they throw popcorn and drink beer and act the fool. It’s the film that invented a genre by poking fun at a genre being shown in the 4th sequel of said film to a group of people that the genre was created by, about and for. Scream 4 was the Inception of horror movies and while I liked it on paper I have to say I found myself bored in the theater.
Is it because an idea – the film about the film – does not a… film… make? To me this film played like vignettes. I’m not someone who likes short stories, I like to get lost in a novel and lose track of all time and place. Wes Craven knows that many of us don’t do this anymore though, I mean where’s the romance in getting lost in your Kindle? Without consistent tone and character development I can’t really lose myself in the dark of the theater and enjoy your entire movie. I know that by the time I remember everyone’s name they’re just going to get killed off, and you know this about me because the girl discussing your movie before it even begins in the (first) post-modern false opening of Scream 4 says the exact same thing. Seriously dude, are you fucking with me?
Look, I get it. You think I have no patience because I’m seventeen years old and addicted to my iPhone. I only listen through the first chorus of a song before instantly judging it. I “friend” my fans, “like” my friends and don’t really want to work that hard at anything. So… Is your Brechtian teen horror sequel over my head or is it just half-baked? Honestly, who cares?