So the tagline says that it's a new decade and therefore it's new rules... does that mean that it will break with the rule of diminishing returns for sequels then?...
It was 15 years ago that one of the brightest-but-then-fading lights in the horror genre came back for one final "stab" (sorry, pun intended) at rejuvenating not only his career but the genre that had been done to death so much so that laughs were more on the menu for audiences than screams.
Now, original director Craven and scribe Williamson have reunited to breath life into the franchise that unfortunately opened the gates for the likes of "Saw." This time though, the patient hasn't made it to the ER in time - it's a flat-liner.
What doesn't help the film is that "Scream 2" did already what they've tried to do here - both knowingly say they are sequels and give a large nod to the rules and twists that every other horror sequel feels they have to adhere to. There's even a group of avid horror movie teens discussing the new rules in a classroom, but the ironic value and fresh feeling of this was all dished up back in the second installment, with alot more humour to boot. It feels kinda like you can't teach an old dog new tricks, so just give them new corpses instead.
Now don't go thinking that "Scre4m" is a total waste of time - it does have some genuine delightful moments thanks to Williamson's script - only gay people can survive horror films now as everyone from virgins to main characters are expendable - but the actual scares are few and far between. It's a worrying thing when the biggest audience jumper is a close-call car accident.
As Ghostface says to Campbell's character, "Sydney, you're only good at one thing...surviving," you do wonder whether, by the time the 3 false endings have finally given way to the end credits, that she wasn't so good at it. As they say in the ER, "time of death... 15 years ago."
UK release date: 15.04.11