Ghostface returns with Scream 4
The brainchild of Kevin Williamson, the guy who put the words into those over-articulate Dawson's Creek kids' mouths, and teen fave bite-fest, The Vampire Diaries; and Wes Craven, the director of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, the Scream series broke (and still holds) box office records, with the first movie the biggest-grossing slasher movie of all time.
Having flirted with controversy - in particular, censorship regarding violence in films, and made self-referential teen cleverness de rigueur for any horror flick ever since, the fourth instalment of the Scream series blasts into UAE cinemas on May 5 with Sidney, Dewey and Gale all hoping to be the last one standing when the credits roll.
e+ delves into Scream's world to discover what made it such a breath of fresh horror air, and whether or not we can expect instalments five, six and seven…
Breaking The Horror Mould
Until Scream took the genre by the neck and, well, slit its throat, horror flicks were filled with one-dimensional characters the audience didn't give a stuff about, tired clichés (erm why are you going down the stairs into the dark cellar… alone!?) and avoided humour at all costs.
One of the first horror flicks to introduce characters the audience actually cared about in terms of whether they lived or (most likely) died, Scream also had enough buzz to attract A-list stars, such as Courteney Cox and Neve Campbell.
"[Director] Wes [Craven] has a really great eye and ear, and taste in people, casting, writing, and all the people who get involved in the film," explains Neve. "He's also just phenomenal with timing, humour and with scaring people."
And co-star Courteney adds, "There's something about Wes, he's like a choreographer when it comes to Ghostface. He's just a great director."
Sound Bites and Big Frights
In the first movie, when Drew Barrymore's popcorn-making Casey calls out ‘Who's there?' Ghostface, on the other end of the phone taunts her, "Never say ‘who's there?' Don't you watch scary movies? It's a death wish. You might as well come out to investigate a strange noise."
And it was tackling the inherent cheesiness of the horror genre that helped propel the Scream movies to the top of the box office.
"I grew up during the wave of slasher films starting with Halloween in 1978. That movie had such an impact on me and was such an exciting thrill ride," revealed Williamson.
"I loved the audience reaction to that film, the way they participated in it and I wanted to make a movie like that.
"What I wanted to do with Scream is write a movie where literally the audience is screaming at the characters on screen what to do… where they are so into it, so I took my love of all those films and sort of put them together."
Williamson added, "You know teenagers are so savvy and smart. They know these films like the back of their hands.
"What if they used their knowledge of these films and found themselves in same situation, what would happen? I sort of started with that kernel of an idea and just ran with it. That's how it all came about."
The Gang Returns
With Williamson thrilled with what he calls "the right cast", there's no denying Scream fans have a certain attachment to Sidney, Gale and Dewey - and David Arquette who plays the hapless cop admits he was excited to be back working with his old co-stars.
"This set, being surrounded by a group of people you've worked with for 16 years, although you haven't worked with them for a while, was really great. It was like a family. To get to know Neve [Campbell] again, and to get to work opposite Courtney, which I don't get to do that often, I really enjoyed that a lot."
And what of the new stars, such as Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere and Adam Brody joining the cast?
"They were good, real good, they came with so much enthusiasm," says Neve.
So, what about the answer to the question we're all asking: Will be a Scream 5?
"You know, it's so far in the future. It's gonna be a year at least, I think," admits Wes Craven.
Before admitting, "Kevin sketched out the general notion for 5 and 6… so, it's gonna be a matter of if Kevin is of the mind to write again in this franchise."
"Never say ‘who's there?' Don't you watch scary movies? It's a death wish."
Here's the plot… don't lose it!
A few years have passed in the town of Woodsboro, and Dewey (David Arquette) is now the sheriff and married to Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), a journo-turned-novelist, who's been suffering from writer's block ever since Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) churned out her own self-help book and knocked Gale off the bestseller list.
With the Stab franchise (the movie-within- the-movie), now in its seventh instalment and inspiring a whole new generation of smart-mouth high schoolers, when Sidney comes back to Woodsboro on her book-signing tour, before you can say ‘I'll be right back', the body count starts to stack up.
With Hayden Panettiere, Emma Roberts, Adam Brody, Anna Paquin and Shenae Grimes all sassing their way to knifepoint in the fourth instalment, US critics have given Scream 4 a huge thumbs-up. We can't wait!
Gale: "If I'm right about this, I could save a man's life. Do you know what that would do for my book sales?"
Tatum: "No, please don't kill me, Mr Ghostface, I wanna be in the sequel!"
Sidney Prescott: "[Scary movies are] all the same, some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can't act who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door, it's insulting."
Randy: "I cannot believe it, they get Tori Spelling to play Syd, and they cast Joe Blow nobody to play me. At least you get David Schwimmer!"