There is a great feeling of nostalgia in the Scream films, the premise has literally been “done to death”, however Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson managed to update the decade old series of slasher films for the Web 2.0 generation, specifically with the aptly and grammatically incorrect, albeit text friendly “Scre4m”. “Scre4m” opens with scenes from the series of “Stab” films, the film within a film inspired by the Woodsboro murders and Williamson’s witty antectote to today’s comical horror genre. On the fifteenth anniversary of the Woodsboro murders, high school students Jenny Randall (Aimee Teegarden) and Marnie Cooper are stabbed to death by Ghostface 2.0, coincidentally it is also when Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour, an arrival that felt eerily reminiscient of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) returning to Haddonsfield, Illinois.
The book signing ends abruptly when Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) and Dewey Riley (David Arquette) reunite with Prescott at Next Chapter book store and Bistro, finding remanents of the crime scene in the trunk of Prescott’s rental car, deemed a suspect, Sidney remains in town with her cousin Jill Roberts ( Emma Roberts) and Aunt Kate (Mary McDonnell). With Sidney back in town, Ghostface continues a murder spree of Jill’s friends and family, dubbing Sidney “The angel of death”.
In the climactic conclusion, Sidney trys to save Jill from an attack only to reveal that Jill along with Charlie Walker (Rory Culkin), a fellow classmate are the killers. Enamored with the notoriety, Jill kills Charlie and shouted,
“People gotta see this shit, it’s not like anyone reads anymore!”
“Do you know what it was like growing up in this family…? Related to you? I mean all I ever heard was ‘Sidney this and Sidney that. Sidney, Sidney, Sidney…’ …You were always so FUCKING special…! …Well now I’m the special one.”
“My friends? What world are you living in? I don’t need friends, I need fans. Don’t you get it? This has never been about killing you. It’s about, becoming you. I mean for fuck sake my own mother had to die, no great loss there, so I could stay true to the original. It’s sick, right? Well sick, is the new sane. You had your fifteen minutes, now I want mine! I mean what am I supposed to do? Go to college? Grad school? Work? Look around, we all live in public now, we’re all on the internet. How do you think people get famous anymore? You don’t have to achieve anything! You just got to have fucked up shit happen to you. So, you do have to die Sid. Those are the rules. New movie, new franchise. There’s only room for one lead and let’s face it. Your ingenue days, there over.”
Perhaps Craven and Williamson are adding to the satirical tone of the slasher film with their own flagrant, bloodsoaked commentary on youth culture, social media and the pursuit of fame, or Jill Roberts ideal—infamy.—Jennifer Jewels