Scream 4

‘Scream 4’: When Meta is Not Enough

Scream 4
Neve Campbell contemplates her career. (Weinstein Co.)

Rather than simply make a sequel, or a remake, or reboot the series, Scream 4 does all three! At the same time! Oh, boy.

The environment for meta movies has changed, with more and more filmmakers erasing the conventional boundaries between surreal fantasies and straight narratives. Audiences, the smart ones at least, welcome genre-busting fare that doesn’t color within the lines. A horror film that was truly wild and took its inspiration from something other than the worst slasher conventions of all time would be received much more favorably by the mainstream nowadays, especially when it features the surviving stars of the original series.

Craven ventured into meta territory before, with the superior Wes Craven’s New Nightmare in 1994, featuring Freddy Krueger breaking into the “real” world. That, at least, made the effort to try new things and re-examine what it was that made Freddy such a pop culture phenomenon. And Craven made the scary scenes bloody and spooky and suspenseful, so that die-hard horror fans didn’t feel cheated.

Scream 4 proves conclusively that meta is not enough …

You can read my entire feature at Twitch.

Scream 4 opens wide across the Metroplex today.