Director Wes Craven's last film, My Soul to Take was a lame mash-up of movies he'd made before, as evidenced by my buddy Pax Romano's recent review over at Billy Loves Stu. Of course, Craven is one of the pioneers of modern horror, having written and/or directed the original versions of The Last House on the Left; The Hills Have Eyes and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Craven also helmed the non-horror movies Music of the Heart and Red Eye (the latter being an above-average thriller about terrorists attempting to assassinate the Vice President, starring Rachel McAdams and doe-eyed Cillian Murphy). He also directed the underrated voodoo thriller The Serpent and the Rainbow and the nightmarish The People Under the Stairs, as well as more than few failures like Deadly Friend; A Vampire in Brooklyn and the wretched werewolf movie, Cursed.
In the late 90's, Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson created one of his better franchises with Scream, a movie that deliberately pointed out the conventions of the slasher genre, while turning the genre on its ear. Two sequels followed and after 2000's Scream 3, we all thought we'd seen the last of the many incarnations of 'Ghostface.' Flash forward 11 years and Craven and Williamson are back (along with original cast members Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox and David Arquette) for Scream 4, scheduled for release on April 15th (a day that makes many people scream, though for different reasons). Original target Sidney Prescott (Campbell) has returned to her hometown on the final leg of her self-help book promotion tour, only to find things haven't really changed that much - except perhaps the rules of slasher horror.
Campbell, Cox and Arquette are joined by the next generation of B-list stars which includes Hayden Panattiere ("Heroes"); Emma Roberts; Anthony Anderson; Adam Brody and Rory Culkin. Oh, and film and TV legend Mary McDonnell (Dances with Wolves; "Battlestar Gallactica;" "The Closer: " Donnie Darko) is also on hand.
So, will Craven and Williamson pull off another box-office and critical success? Hard to say. Neither have a great track record of late. Williamson wrote the very silly alien invasion movie The Faculty as well as the script for Craven's abysmal Cursed. And we all now know what was going on with Cox and Arquette while they were making the movie. The trailer is promising... I think. But only time will tell. What do you think? Will Scream 4 (or SCRE4M as it's also known) be a hit or a miss? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. You know how much I love it when you do.