Scream 4 Part of Weinstein/Showtime Deal

Guess who's coming back?Showtime Networks and The Weinstein Company just announced a 7-year exclusive deal that will see some pretty interesting shows and movies being made. None more interesting, we think, than Scream 4.

And I don’t mean “interesting” in a good way here, I actually mean “ridiculous”. They have the Scanners remake and Alexandre Aja’s Piranha 3-D on the list over at Coming Soon, but they just don’t make the eyes roll like yet another lame sequel in the Franchise That Wouldn’t Die.

Read the whole announcement on Coming Soon if you’re interested, but don’t look for any more Scream 4 details; something tells me this is simply in the idea phase right now. Hopefully someone will realize what a bad idea it is and squash it before it goes too much further. But hey, at least Neve Campbell will have a job again!

Johnny Butane

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  • Ultimo Franco

    Think about the characters in the film. They’re likable. They don’t spend endless amounts of wasted screen time arguing with each other while a killer stalks them. We don’t long for their death because they’ve done nothing but bitch and complain like the casts of most shitty horror films. Some of them are actually portrayed as being smart and resourceful. They actually know things. They appear, at times, to have brains and speak accordingly. Those characters live in a world similar to our own, in that they’ve seen the same movies we have. They share our point of reference as moviegoers. They know the cliche’s and yet they still manage to fall exactly into the same patterns as the typical movie victims used to. It’s like they just can’t help themselves from getting offed. Like years of watching the same horror films we’ve all seen has managed to coach them into how to behave when confronted by a slasher. Does their over-familiarity with slasher films give them an edge in surviving, or does it make them too jaded to notice the signs around them before it’s too lat. Does having seen My Bloody Valentine make them stronger, or just easier pickings.

    Those are, at the very least, some curious ideas to deal with in the middle of a genuinely jump filled horror movie made by a legend working at the top of his game. That’s another plus in the film’s column.

    I also admired that the film included the police as actual characters. That’s the sign of a movie with a plot, with a story. It’s covering a story that exists, even vaguely, in a wider universe than the usual house-bound slasher. Instead of isolating the whole story into another remote cabin, or the same old woods, or the middle of nowhere in Texas, SCREAM actually sets itself back in the middle of suburbia, just as Halloween and Nightmare on Elm Street did many years before. I appreciated that the story opened wide to include a large cast and a richer narrative than we usually get.

    Another cool thing is that SCREAM builds to a climax, using orchestrated set pieces that build themselves to mini-climaxes at the same time. It’s such a well paced movie. There aren’t any wasted filler scenes. We don’t get endless repeats of stuff we already know. The script isn’t just filled with witty lines, it’s wittily constructed as a mystery. It goes somewhere.

    At the end of the film, the characters who remain have done more than just survive the night, they’ve changed. They’ve come through the experience as different people. They’ve grown and hardened. They emerge scathed and with a new outlook, rather than just being lucky and alive. That’s the sign of a well written script. That, and all the memorable death scenes scattered plentifully about, are things that helped SCREAM get people to go back into the theater to see it again. Those are the reasons it was re-released months after it left first run theaters. It came back by popular demand. That doesn’t happen every day. People hadn’t had enough of it. All kinds of people, from heavy metal t-shirt wearing horror fans, to eggheads with PHDs in Pre-Classical Representations of Slasher Film Iconography In Italy.

    SCREAM had an excellent sound design, a terrific score, top notch makeup, and a quick pace that told the story clearly and with maximum scares and unexpected laughs. Interestingly, it also dealt with the always annoying issue of cell phones in horror films by using them to help move the plot along. Instead of hiding from them, or giving them all dead batteries, or making them always lose connection, the script actually utilizes them to mix up info and provide both a clue and alibi. Finally, Rose McGowen in that sweater she’s wearing when she dies is super-fucking-hot. Stunning rack. Add to that Nick Cave on the soundtrack.

    I got more.

  • Blockbuster

    I think that maybe perhaps Terminal was sucked into the pseudo-intellectual bullshit (like the rest of us), and it left a bad taste in his mouth?

  • Ultimo Franco

    The opening pre-credit sequence is a wonderfully constructed mini-movie that starts things off with a nice punch. That final shot of Drew strung up on a tree with her intestines hanging out is a great wrap up to a sharply written opening. The stalk and chase sequences are thrilling and full of pitch perfectly designed jump moments. David Arquette plays an original character no just another faceless leading man like we get in bogus remakes of things like THE FOG or the countless PULSE knock offs. I like him, I like Rose McGowen’s performance and character, I like Jaime Kennedy’s performance and character, the set pieces build as the film goes on. It references other films directly and indirectly, but always lovingly. It’s a movie for slasher fans of all shapes and sizes. It’s not some evil soul sucking remake cash-in. It was clearly made by people who wanted to make it. It doesn’t say none of this has ever done before. It can’t. It’s just a movie. How, exactly, is it “smug”? What scenes appear as “smug”? What moments in the film, specifically are “smug”? Smug about what? Smug like bragging? How? Where? Name some sequences? Back it up. While I certainly agree that it’s self-aware (after all, it virtually wrote the book on what we now see as the post-modern slasher), how exactly is it self-important? Again, what scenes? How can a movie be self-important, anyway? What qualities must it have to achieve self-importance? Where does SCREAM show those qualities? People can act self-important. It’s a psychical act they can put on. It’s a literal mindset and vocabulary they can use to achieve the image of self-importance? But how does a film act self-important? The only importance of a film comes from those who watch it. We give it importance. The film never pretends that these cliche’s “haven’t been done before.” That’s just silly. In fact, the film depends on these things having been done before many, many times in order to have fun tweaking them. Personally, I have no idea what the word “antiquated” means in this case. I’m left to assume it means dated, somehow. It’s kind of a head scratcher when it comes to film analysis. Because SCREAM basically wrote the original book on the post-modern slasher film, setting the stage for films like Behind The Mask and others, I see its contributions as being original – not “the illusion of originality.”

    Like I said in my first post: Maybe you just hadda be there.

  • Gus Bjork

    I saw the first Scream and left just depressed. No exaggeration, I just went down and skipped stones in the river the rest of night. I don’t think I watched a horror film for months afterwards and it was the last slasher type movie I went out of my way to see.

  • Ultimo Franco

    I think the main reason why the first film was such a critical and commercial hit, a film which singlehandedly restarted an entire subgenre, was because it genuinely appealed to fans of the vintage slasher movies as well as an entirely new audience generation. It was a date-night genre movie that managed to deliver expertly timed scares orchestrated by a master with an actual vision for a change. Add to that, it had a plot. Yes, an actual plot with an ensemble of engaging characters, legitimate red herrings of varying degrees, and a mystery buried in the past that still resonates during the film’s present. It functioned as a slasher mystery, not just another by the numbers kill-a-thon. It took place over days, building what used to be called a story. It certainly had more plot and original characters than the endless stream of torture porn knockoffs, DTV sequels, and hand-held found-footage films we’ve been getting for years it seems. It was funny and scary. A popular combo when done well. It made audiences of all ages laugh and scream. Not just pseudo intellectuals, it seems. Although, from what I hear, a lot of them loved it too.

    • Messiahman

      Additionally, it was never once smug or self-important. Indeed, SCREAM doesn’t condescend or talk down to its audience (look to insulting, faux-intellectual claptrap like FUNNY GAMES for *that*). SCREAM is clearly in love with the slasher genre — it functions skillfully as both the first wholly postmodern slasher film (deconstructing the cliches and expectations lovingly, rather than snarkily) as well as a pitch-perfect slasher in its own right. SCREAM is fun, witty and scary — never self-serious, never self-consciously hip. It’s smart but approachable; there are no airs of pretension here. It doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel — it takes a good long look at the wheel and makes some striking, accurate observations. And it appeals to a huge audience cross-section because of this.

      The script is perfectly constructed, the characters nicely fleshed-out, the suspense scenes marvelously staged. It’s the last truly great Wes Craven film, and it’s one of the best mainstream American horror films ever made.

  • frank_dracman

    My wife and I both saw Scream opening night in a packed house. We both liked it, and she even showed a little interested in horror after that. Then we rent it about a month ago. Sorry to say, it does not stand the test of time. It’s been copyed, mocked and satirized(?) so much over the years. Watching it now I can truly see how if you didn’t catch it when it first came out it might seem like a big punchline. Ghostface, to me anyway, has lost his bite. It’s really a shame, for it’s time it was exactly what we needed, now it’s just a bit on every sketch comedy show you’ve ever seen.

  • Sirand

    The first Scream still holds up.

    No surprise that they’re milking it again.

  • jonny_numb

    “Student Bodies” did it first and better.

    Horsehead bookends, anyone?

  • Kryten Syxx

    All I really remember about Scream anymore was Rose’s tits. Wasn’t there also some other silliness about the second killer only doing it because of peer pressure?

    Scream 2 … God did that have direct-to-video written all over it. What about the plot, acting or cast warranted a return to the silver screen?

    The third Scream film should have been called Scary Movie and been done with. This film also marked the point where I no longer considered Neve Campbell talented or even fun to watch. Of course, there was that movie that showed her weird inverted nipples; that could have been the turning point.

    • PelusaMG

      Neve Campbell – I wouldn’t say no… :-0

  • Terminal

    Scream is a smug, self-aware, self-important, antiquated slasher that states the obvious and presents the illusion of originality. What Wes Craven/Kevin Williamson did was put slasher cliches horror fans have been laughing at for years and convinced them that it had never been done before.

    It tricked pseudo intellectuals in to buying its bullshit.

    • Messiahman

      Franco – 4
      Terminal – 0

  • PelusaMG

    “Scream” was a smart, witty and scary film… It also nodded in all the right directions (Halloween, Nightmare…). “Scream 2” had its moments, but could not hold a candle to the first. Williamson was said to have written the script for “S2” in a weekend – nuff said! “Scream 3” was shockingly awful… the story was poor – the lame, “Noooooo! It was really me who was responsible for it all” plot-twist was just plain ridiculous, and Courtney Cox sported one of the worst haircuts I have ever seen in a movie…

    I really have no idea what “Scream 4” could hope to achieve and what anyone could do to rescue this franchise from the gutter it fell into – maybe let Rob Zombie or Paul WS Anderson have a go at it – at least they couldn’t screw things up any more than they have been!

  • Ultimo Franco

    I love the first SCREAM. It stands nicely, all by itself, as a wonderfully energetic love letter to the 70s and 80s slashers that I grew up seeing theatrically. It wrote almost all the rules of the post-modern horror boom, and wrote them well. SCREAM is full of memorable kills, memorable set-pieces, and indelible images, all paced like a wild race horse. Best of all, it put me back in touch with the vintage slasher films that I’d lost interest in years before. I hadn’t anticipated that.

    Seeing films like Night School, Graduation Day, Mothers Day, New Years Evil, He Knows You’re Alone, and House On Sorority Row in first run theaters was an experience I’ll never forget. It made those films seem larger than life. Those movies, and hundreds of others just like them, exist now only as digital reproductions for our home televisions. And that’s great! I love having them so close at hand. But I have to admit, it was a slightly different experience seeing those films splashed across the big screen, week after bloody week back in the day.

    I wonder if that bountiful period of slasher films made a deeper impression on me than it might have, had I only seen them on DVD years after they were made? Anyone with a basic love of the genre can certainly appreciate them, but for me, they somehow resonate with a level of fondness that I can only describe as “you hadda be there.”

    For that reason, seeing SCREAM on opening night, left an impression that I’ll always remember. Plus, it was the work of a genuine master, an lifelong hero of mine, Wes Craven, truly engaged behind the camera again. It was a whipsmart script filled with actual characters played by really good actors. It was fun, had tons of well earned jumps, had humor and scares, energy to spare, and something interesting to say about the nature of the slasher subgenre, and horror in general. Filled with clever quotable dialog, it was a rare cinemascope film that actually used the entire frame to tell the story visually.

    It looked awesome on screen. There’s an image of the sun setting just before the night that Sidney is left alone for the first time and receives her first phone call, that’s just perfect. It’s burned in my visual memory bank. It’s a great shot, perfectly capturing a sense of doomed isolation and the coming of a horrific night.

    SCREAM took me right back to the days when The Dorm That Dripped Blood, Hell Night, Happy Birthday To Me, Prom Night, and Terror Train were first run features rolling out virtually every few weeks. The subgenre that we all know and guiltily love was still in the process of being formed in those heady days. The end may have been in sight, after all, 1986 was fast approaching, but for a few years there were new slasher classics being born every few months, new standouts appearing one after the other. The rules were still in flux. The book hadn’t been written yet. The jury was still out. All was chaos in the land. The concept of the Final Girl was years away from being more than a twinkle in Carol Clover’s eye. We were learning as we went, feeling around in the dark, making it up as we went along, classifying and categorizing, and it was glorious fun. What can I say, I laughed, I cried. You hadda be there.

    I hated SCREAM 2 and 3.

    I dread the idea of SCREAM 4.

    I loath the idea that a fine, stand alone film might end up spawning a direct to video “The Prophesy: Unholy Bullshit Part Fuckyou” style franchise.

  • Blockbuster

    Ok…I’ll be the first to admit that I LOVED the original Scream. It’s one of the movies that made it easy for me to come out of the “horror closet” if you will…I live in rural Oklahoma, and “they look down on them kinds ‘a things ’round here.” Scream was ok for people around here, so it was cool for me to be a horror fan…then I realized that I really didn’t give a fuck what people thought of me, and came out of my shell. However…the series was a (repeat it with me!) TRILOGY! There shall be no more talk of this. Please.