Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Foot: The Potential of Scream 4

Last night, the Scream Awards aired on SpikeTV. Naturally, I forgot about the entire show despite interest in it. I wanted to see the tribute to LOST (and I did...it was rather unnecessary). Well, the LOST tribute sums up what I wanted to watch. I learned, courtesy of televisionwithoutpity.com, that the Scream Awards premiered the official Scream 4 trailer. Immediately, I searched the Internet to find the trailer. Joblo.com had a story for the trailer with the trailer embedded. I watched the glorious one minute and forty second trailer.

I've been following the production of Scream 4 since news broke that there would be a Scream 4. The Scream franchise is a favorite of mine. It sparked my interest in screenwriting. 12-year old me wrote a bunch of Scream ripoffs with a pencil and paper. I also wrote a lousy Halloween 8 script and Jason X script. I digress. The biggest story surround Scream 4 was whether or not Neve Campbell would return. Indeed she did and she gets the first frame of the trailer. Along with Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers and Dewey return for the fourth installment. Plus, a whole new group of teenagers populate Woodsboro. And you know what? I'm excited. I saw Scream 3 thrice in the theaters--arguably the worst of the three.

Folks on the message board are speculating about the surprise opening scene murder. Will it be Gale Weathers? Sidney Prescott? Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin? Williamson and Craven are in a fairly good position regarding the speculation. Scream 3 opened with the murder of Cotton Weary--downright shocking. Many speculate Bell and Paquin only joined the cast to be part of the iconic opening scene. It seems too easy. If Williamson kills of Sidney Prescott in the opening scene, it would be ripping of the opening scene of Halloween: Resurrection when Michael Myers kills his sister. Gale Weathers would be Cotton Weary 2.0. I'll guess that it'll be Bell and Paquin though. No matter what happens it will be a dynamite opening scene. Kevin Williamson is the master of the set-up, the hook and the reveal.

Rory Culkin seems to be the Randy of Scream 4. He explains the new rules of horror. Certainly, the horror genre has changed since 1996. The original Scream is an excellent commentary on the horror genre. One would argue that Williamson should've stuck to his guns and kept Billy Loomis motive-less considering he and Stu emphasize the terror of acting without a motive. With the landscape of the horror genre throughout the last thirteen years, I wonder what kind of movie Scream 4 will be. The only horror movies similar to the Halloweens, The Friday the 13ths and the Nightmare on Elm Streets are the remakes of those classic films--the much gorier remakes of those films. The remakes of those films are connected by a certain amnesia about what made the originals classics. Horror filmmakers' chief interest hasn't been simply scaring the audience--they want to gross the audience out or make them feel repulsed.

Kevin Williamson knew the horror genre, knew how to scare people. The original Scream is a homage to the classic slasher films. Using those movies as his template, Williamson created his own classic--a movie that effectively scared the audience, remained true to the spirit of the classics while creating a whole new identity for the modern horror movie. Unfortunately, many films that followed Scream failed to grasp what made Scream successful. The Scream genre (as I'll call it) died with the third installment. Slowly, the torture porn genre began to emerge. Violent and extreme films that cared more about the kills (a brief digression: the trailer for the forthcoming Saw movie boasts about the various new torture devices...are you kidding me? Digression over). Torture porn, or gorn, and terrible remakes have populated the horror genre in the last 10 years.

Rory Culkin's character tells other characters that the rules have changed--the killer has to be way more extreme, the unexpected is the new cliche, while his friend adds, "virgins can die now." Culkin's character notes that the killer films the kills, and the trailer features shots of Ghostface using a camcorder and an iPhone. The characters are even more hyper-aware--when the killer calls a young girl and asks her if she likes horror movies, she casually passes the phone to another girl in the room. Scream 4 should easily stand on its own, and apart from the first one, because the foundation for the original Scream has disappeared. Williamson uses Culkin to tell the audience that. The question is: what does that mean for Scream 4?

Many people, entirely on the message boards, speculate about the types of kills, and the gore level for each kill. Such things do not concern me as a fan of this franchise. I wonder what Kevin Williamson has up his sleeve. Williamson's a smart guy.

The current horror genre suffers from a lack of imagination. One could argue that making a fourth Scream movie lacks imagination; however, Scream 4 possesses the potential to be an original and imaginative film because Scream is unlike any other horror movie. It can do what other horror movies cannot such as comment on itself and its genre. In his review of Scream, Roger Ebert wrote, Scream is about knowledge of horror movies. With knowledge comes power, and with power comes great responsibility. In this case, that responsibility is: save the horror genre, Williamson. Remind Americans what makes good horror.

NOTE: Due to the Phillies game, my Terriers review won't be up until the AM.

SCREENPLAY OF THE DAY

Buffy, The Vampire Slayer--"Some Assembly Required"--Written By Ty King--http://buffyworld.com/buffy/scripts/014_scri.html

THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK

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About The Foot

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.