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Scream 4 Press Conference Coverage: Anthony Anderson, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere and Rory Culkin

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Undoubtedly, the original Scream movies remain one of the most influential modern franchises in the horror genre, and now that director Wes Craven has re-teamed with the ghoulishly demented Ghostface for another installment in the franchise, it only seems right that we get to know the new blood in Scream 4

At least before a few of them end up on the pointy end of Ghostface’s knife when the movie hits theaters on April 15th.

Recently Dread Central caught up with Scream 4’s new cast members during their Los Angeles press day to find out how they felt coming on board one of the biggest horror franchises and how the rules have changed this time around in Scream 4.

Read on to hear more from the newest members of the Scream family, including Anthony Anderson, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere and Rory Culkin.


For Roberts, who portrays Sidney Prescott’s niece, Jill, who still lives in Woodsboro and in the shadow of what happened to her aunt some ten years back, the decision to come on to do Scream 4 was a quick one to make.

“I don’t know if I was necessarily intimidated to come into the franchise, but I was definitely excited to be a part of it. The only expectations I went into Scream 4 with were that I wanted the people to be cool, the script to be good and the movie to end up being great; and I definitely think all that happened with Scream 4,” Roberts added.

Panettiere, who is a bit of geek goddess herself due to her impressive performance as an indestructible cheerleader on the NBC series “Heroes”, felt the transition to doing horror was pretty easy based on her previous work.

“Seriously, who wouldn’t want to be in a Scream movie?” said Panettiere. “I was lucky enough to be on a show for four years that was sort of in this same genre world as horror since we did have some horror-type stuff on ‘Heroes’ every once in a while. So it’s very exciting for me to be a part of something this big again so early in my career. I am really lucky.”

“Plus, I love how long it’s been since the last film so Scream 4 is like a sequel but kind of a remake but also a combination of the two, which ultimately makes it its own stand-alone movie. It cleverly remembers where it comes from and grows along with the fans from the original but brings in a lot of new things for a brand new generation of fans, too,” Panettiere added.

Anderson was in a unique position when he signed on to Scream 4 since he was part of Scary Movie, the franchise of movies that spoofed the success and clichés of the original Scream trilogy. Anderson weighed in with his thoughts on being part of Craven’s latest genre effort. “Wes was really great at making us comfortable and encouraging all of us actors on a creative level to do things in scenes that may not have even been in the script, and that’s a dream gig for a lot of actors, but especially me. What’s funny is that there’d be a lot of times I’d show up on set and we wouldn’t be doing the scenes we thought we’d be doing, which can normally be nerve-wracking, but Wes always made the set a great place to be. There aren’t a lot of directors working today that are like that.”


Scream 4 – Trailer Two
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Even though Craven was very supportive of his actors, that doesn’t mean he was willing to let most of them in on some of the secrets surrounding the killers in Scream 4. Both Anderson and Panettiere, who hadn’t seen the movie at the time of the press conference, were surprised to find out they were duped early on by both Craven and producers about the film’s resolution.

Anderson said, “I actually haven’t even seen the movie yet so I just found out who the killers were today during an interview. That will tell you how secretive everything has been on Scream 4. My script never even had an ending on it- That’s how tight Wes kept things. Besides, you can’t trust actors with anything these days so I think that was a good idea on his part.”

“I still haven’t seen the movie either so I think they kind of lied to all of us on set to keep us confused, too, because I know they told me at one point who the killer was. But from what I’ve heard today, that’s definitely not who they told me was Ghostface so even we were kept in the dark. But that’s part of the fun of the Scream franchise- You just never know who the killer will end up being,” Panettiere added.

With new victims and a new generation of fans, that meant Craven and writers Kevin Williamson and Ehren Krueger had to come up with some new rules. Scream 4’s newcomers discussed their thoughts setting some new rules of the horror genre.

“Being the only person of color in this installment, you might think you know what’s going to happen to my character, but you never know,” explained Anderson. “Since it’s a new decade and new rules, I might actually make it out of it alive- Or at the very least, I should make it through the opening credits.”

Panettiere added, “Well, since my character Kirby is most definitely not a virgin, it’s quite possible I may not make it out either. But I guess with the new rules, though, even virgins can die so there are a lot of possibilities on victims in part four. No one is safe around Ghostface this time.”

Roberts said that there is one hard and fast rule that hasn’t changed since the first Scream hit theaters in 1996. “The one thing that hasn’t changed is that if you’re in your underwear, you’re dead. No one besides Sidney in the first one ever has ever survived Ghostface after being in their underwear onscreen. He apparently doesn’t like girls running around in their bras or something.”

Culkin, who plays film geek Charlie in Scream 4, discussed why he thinks Ghostface has become an iconic horror killer and what has kept him a chilling onscreen presence for fans for 15 years now.

“One of the reasons I think Ghostface is so scary is because he’s always a different person with different motives,” explained Culkin. “At the start of each movie, you don’t really know what this Ghostface’s motives are, and that uncertainty makes him so terrifying.”

“One of the really creepy things to me in Scream 4 is that everything is back in Woodsboro, and this massacre and Sidney’s legacy has been hanging over the whole town for ten years now. But the people there are actually celebrating it and celebrating Ghostface, which is a little twisted if you ask me,” Culkin added.


Don’t forget that we are hosting an exclusive live chat commentary with Dan Farrands and Thommy Hutson during the premiere of A&E’s BIO Channel’s “Scream: The Inside Story” on Wednesday, April 6th, at 8pm ET / 5pm PT, right here on Dread Central. Add this Facebook Event Listing to your profile as a reminder.

 Scream 4 Press Conference Coverage: Anthony Anderson, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere and Rory Culkin

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French Thriller Series Glacé Now Streaming on Netflix as The Frozen Dead

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New to Netflix this month to kickoff the year for the killer crime genre and miniseries streams, is “The Frozen Dead,” translated from its original French title, “Glacé.” It made its debut on our screens as the next foreign language series to bring us chills and thrills since the German-language time travel series, “Dark,” released in October of 2017. It looks like we can look forward to more of these international inclusions on our bloody palette.

So, if you are looking for a serial slasher in an icy setting to hold you over this winter and give you an investigative mystery fix, watch “The Frozen Dead” for a six-episode look at the bloody chaos the mind of a disturbed killer spews on The French Pyrenees.

From the very first introductory scene and the creepy children’s chorus that accompanies the goosebumps – inducing snowstorm view that is in the show’s theme, the eerie tone is set pretty early on. If that does not offer enough incentive to go watch, the camerawork and imagery alone throughout the show are incredible and worth appreciating. These striking visuals are significant if you know it is a television adaptation based on Bernard Minier’s dark novel. All-embracing, the series carries an increase in dread and suspense all throughout, so be prepared to be uncomfortable and most of all, confused as you unravel.

If you happen to enjoy this chilling setting that forces a detective to confront an unsettling past, you’ll be happy to know I found that same cold-evoking, murder mystery intrigue in Christopher Nolan’s work on Insomnia (2002), a film in which Robin Williams unconventionally and successfully jarringly plays the enigmatic man being chased by Al Pacino’s detective character. There’s a film to check out (if you haven’t already that is) if that parallelism interests you – after bingeing the six hours of “The Frozen Dead” that is.

Synopsis:
A grisly find atop a mountain in the French Pyrenees leads investigator Martin Servaz into a twisted dance with a serial killer in this icy thriller. Starring Charles Berling and Julia Piaton. Available now on Netflix.

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Editorials

We Need to Stop Our Alarming Obsession With Child Actors

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On Sunday, January 21, Buzzfeed tweeted an article with the byline “Millie Bobby Brown just Insta-confirmed her relationship with Jacob Sartorius and I have butterflies”. Quite quickly, the tweet was met with a barrage of comments, ranging from mild tuts that it was in poor taste to extreme condemnations of pedophilia and sexualization of a minor (Brown is 13-years-old as of this post). I personally weighed in on the matter.

Earlier that day, CNN ran a video and story where actress/director/producer Natalie Portman opened up about her own experiences being a young girl in Hollywood. Portman’s breakout role was at 12-years-old in The Professional, a movie that celebrated her phenomenal acting abilities. Per CNN, she received her first fan letter a year later, after the film had come out. In it was a rape fantasy. Her local radio show began counting down the time until her 18th birthday, when she would be of legal age. Mind you, she was 13 when all of this was happening, the same age as Millie Bobby Brown.

The parallels between these two stories should immediately be understood and seen. The sexualization and fanatical obsession with children, much less celebrities, is a plague that can only cause damage and harm to those who are on the receiving end. It is time that we recognize that this practice needs to stop. It is time that we all held ourselves accountable.

A cursory search of Browns’ name on Buzzfeed will bring up at least 50 separate articles, on top of the one previously mentioned. These include what was said between “Stranger Things” co-star Finn Wolfhard and herself before their kiss in the second season. There’s a strange obsession with Brown’s instagram account and the conversations between her and other celebrities. There’s even one that states Brown looks like a young Natalie Portman. The irony here is undeniable and it seems very difficult to say that the site doesn’t have an obsession with the young actress.

Hollywood is under a great deal of pressure, rightfully so, from the #MeToo movement as well as Corey Feldman’s pursuit of revealing the truth about widespread pedophilia in that world (watch as he’s shut down by Barbara Walters). His claims have been echoed by Elijah Wood, although he himself states he did not suffer at the hands of any abusers.

Eliza Dushku’s alleged abuser Joel Kramer was recently let go from his agency twenty years after supposed events took place. When those who wonder why the actress didn’t come forward sooner, they overlook the fact that she went to authorities at that time. She details everything in an emotional post on her Facebook page.

The issue, however, does not just lie within those who create in Hollywood. It is exacerbated and pushed on by those who report on Hollywood’s actions and those that read it, lapping up the non-news proclamations with unabashed glee, not recognizing that they are feeding the same system that many are fighting against. Then, even more worrying, is that these “fans” feel entitled to these children, as though they are objects for their pleasure at any time, puppets that need to dance when beckoned.

Sophie Turner weighed in with her thoughts on the matter:


Wolfhard himself has asked that the infatuation and near assault of him and his co-workers come to an end:


And yet even on that particular tweet, Wolfhard’s fans responded with, “Ma babe trust no body“, “I love the right person bixo ♡“, “Love you finn“, and more. “Fans” are declaring their love for a 14-year-old boy that they’ve never met, a person that they’ve only really seen playing someone other than himself.

A culture has been established and reinforced that celebrities are somehow open for our sycophantic obsessions. This needs to stop. We need only to remember our own experiences as children so that we can apply them to these kids today. As Kevin Brown so wonderfully put it on Twitter:

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Reviews

Ruby Blu-ray Review – ’70s Drive-In Psychic Shocker From VCI

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Starrign Piper Laurie, Janit Baldwin, Stuart Whitman, Roger Davis

Written by George Edwards and Barry Schneider

Directed by Curtis Harrington

Distributed by VCI Entertainment


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and director Curtis Harrington’s Ruby (1977) is paying it to a few of the ‘70s most notable horror films. Cribbing liberally from such better pictures as The Exorcist (1973) and Carrie (1976), this is a picture that could have worked well despite being a pastiche because it begins with a decent setup and the elements for something interesting are present. Unfortunately, nothing ever gels like it has to and Ruby loses focus early on, dashing from one death scene to the next and allowing for little salient connective tissue to tie it all together. The big mystery presented early on should be easy enough for horror fans to deduce, and the film never brings the scare factor. A few of the deaths are novel in their inventiveness, especially the use of the drive-in theater surroundings, but a couple kills do not a movie make and Ruby spends too much time middling and being weird to be of any note.

Florida, 1935. Low level mobster Nicky Rocco (Sal Vacchio) is gunned down by a lake as his pregnant girlfriend Ruby watches on in horror. Just before dying, Nicky swears vengeance on whoever did this to him. Cut to sixteen years later and Ruby (Piper Laurie) runs a drive-in movie theater and lives in a home nearby with her daughter, Leslie (Janit Baldwin). Ruby is a tough broad, quick-witted and foul-mouthed; able to hold her own with the guys. But those guys are beginning to vanish one by one as the bodies start piling up at the theater. Ruby suspects there’s something off with Leslie, so she brings in her own psychic doctor, Dr. Paul Keller (Roger Davis), to examine her daughter. Leslie, as it turns out, is acting as a conduit for the wayward soul of Nicky, who blames Ruby for his ultimate demise. Possessed and programmed for vengeance, Leslie and Ruby have an all-out battle in a search for the truth.

The second half of this film is where things go right off the rails, with scenes aping The Exorcist so much it feels like a knock-off. This isn’t always such a bad thing because knock-offs of better films can always turn out great (see: most of the post-Gremlins little creature features), but Ruby never makes a clear case for introducing these fantastical elements in the third act. This is a story that could have worked better by exercising restraint, playing closer to something like J.D.’s Revenge (1976), a similar gangster-soul-out-for-justice film, than a wild, possessed ride.

What does work, for me, are the drive-in theater setting (I’m a sucker for movies that also involve the craft of film in some way) and the kills, a few of which make great use of the theatrical setting to deliver fitting fatalities. One employee winds up stuffed into a soda machine, with his blood getting pumped into a dark, syrupy drink and served up to guests. Another meets his end on the screen, impaled by the pole on which car speakers are kept. Harrington does inject this picture with a strong sense of atmosphere, too. The locale is woodsy and feels remote; the countryside is dark and foggy, the perfect setting for something grim to occur. None of these elements are enough to fully save the feature, though they do bring enough production value to ease to burden of a poor script.

Personally, I’m a sucker for almost any horror from bygone eras – especially the ‘70s and ‘80s – so, deficiencies aside, Ruby is still worth a spin if you enjoy reveling in this particular era. This is far from an unheralded gem or little-seen treasure, but it does, at the least, rip-off good pictures in spectacularly bad fashion.

This is a rough film and every bit of work done for the 2K restoration still can’t do much to polish it up any better. First, a note: there is a video drop-out for approximately ten seconds around the 21-minute mark. VCI is offering replacement discs via their Facebook page, so check there for further details. Future copies will be corrected, and those should already be on “shelves” now, so consider this an FYI. The 1.85:1 1080p image is frequently soft and murky, darkly shot and poorly lit. Shadow detail is virtually non-existent. The color temperature looks a bit on the warm side. Film grain is noisy and occasionally problematic.

An English LPCM 2.0 track carries a clean & balanced audio experience. Voices sound a touch muffled at times, though nothing too severe. The murders scenes are accompanied by creepy ambient sounds, adding a slight chill. The film’s closing theme song is awesome cheese that must be heard. Subtitles are available in English SDH.

There are two audio commentary tracks; the first, with David Del Valle and Nathaniel Bell; the second, with Curtis Harrington and Piper Laurie.

The film’s original trailer is included in HD.

Also included are a few interviews with Harrington, conducted by David Del Valle, including “2001 David Del Valle Interview with Curtis Harrington”, and “Sinister Image Episode Vol. 1 & Vol. 2: David Del Valle Archival Interview with Curtis Harrington”.

Special Features:

  • NEW 2K RESTORATION from the original camera negative
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • Audio Commentary with Director Curtis Harrington & Actress Piper Laurie
  • New Audio Commentary with David Del Valle and Curtis Harrington historian Nate Bell
  • Two Interviews with Curtis Harrington by Film Critic David Del Valle
  • Photo Gallery
  • Optional English SDH subtitles
  • Ruby
  • Special Features
2.3

Summary

A simple plot becomes wildly unfocused but Ruby does have intermittent camp value fans of ’70s horror cinema should dig. VCI’s Blu-ray is no beauty by any means, though it’s likely to be the best this poorly-shot feature will get.

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