Scream 4

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Neve Campell, Courtney Cox-Arquette, David Arquette, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Anthony Anderson, Adam Brody, Mary McDonnell, Marley Shelton, Nico Tortorella, Marielle Jaffe, Kristen Bell, Lucy Hale. Horror/thriller. Written by Kevin Williamson. Directed Wes Craven.

FILM SYNOPSIS: In Scream 4, Sidney Prescott, now the author of a self-help book, returns home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. There she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey and Gale, who are now married, as well as her cousin Jill (played by Emma Roberts) and her Aunt Kate (Mary McDonnell). Unfortunately Sidneyís appearance also brings about the return of Ghostface, putting Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, along with Jill, her friends, and the whole town of Woodsboro, in danger.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Well, I have to give the filmmakers credit. Considering this is the third sequel to a horror movie, itís actually arm-gripping entertainment. This is a town filled to the brim with pretty, young and fit women. And as with any chase-and-hack spookfest, they are prone to grisly demises. For some reason, this has become whatís known as entertainment. We see countless women not just in need of rescuing from the evil-doer by the filmís hunk, but stabbed to bloody death, one after the other.

Amid the crude sexual comments and the gory knife thrusts, Scream 4 contains what has become accepted verbal content, with enough obscene language to appease most standup comedians. Doesnít anybody in Hollywood know how to express frustration and fear without using the s- and f-words? Evidently not.

I know youíre tired of my battle against cinema swearing, but I canít just ignore it here. First, itís not creative, and believe me, Hollywood loves to call movies ďa creative art form.Ē And it is. But too often movies are more a commodity than a creative expression. Plus, hearing crude and offensive language from nearly every movie star now presiding in Tinseltown seems to make it more acceptable amid society. I think it can successfully be argued that the past 40 years of obscenity-laced dialogue in the movies has aided in dumbing down and cruding up our culture. Then thereís that pesky old Bible verse that tells us, ďDonít use bad language. Say only what is good and helpful to those you are talking to, and what will give them a blessingĒ (Ephesians 4:29).

Well, I know for some young people and many who have just left their teen years, the thought of passing on a funny horror flick by Wes Craven, one populated with the likes of Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Kristen Bell and Lucy Hale, is hard to do. But besides all the s- and f-words that easily pop out of each and every one of these young ladiesí mouths, thereís also the profane and dismissive use of Godís name and Christís on several occasions. And to top that, one actress in the film actually utters a blasphemy. Are we now as desensitized to blasphemy as we are to profanity?


Profanity Ė Godís name followed by a curse or the abusive use of Christís name.
Blasphemy Ėthe belittling of God or sacred things; any irreverent act or utterance.
Obscenity Ė A swear word, indecent language.

Though the film attempts to lampoon young peopleís dependence on electronics, from smart phones to portable video cameras, the message becomes somewhat murky, with cells phones and other devices actually aiding the victims, further cementing their social necessity rather than ridiculing a generationís dependence upon them.

Now, about the violence. The joke is, these films are always populated by people dumber than a bagful of hammers. They know they shouldnít open the door or go into the basement. But you know darn well they will. So when they get whacked for their stupidity, we laugh, even though we are laughing at the gruesome visuals of slit throats and stabbed stomachs. After far too many punctured bodies and gallons of blood sprayed about the room and vomited out of every victimís mouth, suddenly, itís difficult to find any humor. At least it was for me. Not sure about others at the screening.

Itís a gruesome movie experience, one with more humor than other slice-and-dice thrillers, but ultimately less satisfying than spooky movies that rely on eeriness rather than gruesomeness.

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Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Dimension Films

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: There are a couple of crude sexual comments.

Obscene Language: Around 70 obscenities, with an equal amount of the s- and f-words, with girls calling each other the b----.

Profanity: Four or five profane uses of Godís name or Christís; and once, a woman says, ďOh my f------ God.Ē Iím sorry to put that in your head, but I needed to bring home the fact that there seems to be no limit to what our stars and starlets will utter on screen these days.

Violence: Though much of the violence is played for laughs - which is in questionable taste, anyway - suddenly the brutality, especially towards women, becomes excessive with countless stabbings and gruesome murders; a teen girl shoot a classmate in the groin, then in his head. Blood: Lots of blood as each stabbed victim spits up realistic quantities of the vital fluid.

Sex: A couple of sexual innuendoes, mostly from teenaged characters.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Lots of teen drinking and some drug use.

Other: A catch phrase in the film Ė ďSick is the new sane.Ē

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: The morbid and moronic.

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