Anatomy of a Trailer: Scream 4 (Contains Possible Spoilers)

I can’t believe it’s been 14 years since the first Scream movie came out in theaters!  It seems like only yesterday that I was sneaking into the movie theater to see it on opening night, having sneakily purchased tickets to some more “family friendly fare.”

That’s right!  Just like, I suspect, many of you, I wasn’t yet 17 when the first Scream came out in theaters . . .

(You know, I’ll never, for the life of me, understand why horror films, like this one, scrabble for the “Hard R” rating, when probably more than half of their movie viewing population has to be dropped off at the theater by their parents, because they don’t have their drivers licenses yet.  I mean, I get that it’s supposed to be this big “Status Symbol” to be “Rated R,” as a horror film.  Yet, all that Big Bad Letter really does is end up getting a lot of Movie Ticket Takers fired, for not properly ID-ing their patrons.)

“I swear, boss.  He totally looked 17 to me!”

But I digress.  There I was, underage, hanging with a bunch of my friends, and viewing Scream for the first time.  I remember when the movie started, seeing Drew Barrymore on the screen  (who was kind of a “big deal” at the time), and kind of rolling my eyes a bit.  “They aren’t going to kill Drew!”  I whispered to whoever was sitting next to me.  “Her face is on the movie poster.  And her name is one of ‘top billed.'”


And then they gutted her like a fish, in the first five minutes . . .

I was HORRIFIED . . . but, at the same time, very impressed.  I knew, right then, that I was witnessing the start of something pretty amazing.  As far as “horror movie cliches” were concerned, all bets were off!  We were all going to be in for quite a ride . . .

I saw the next two films in the trilogy on their opening nights as well.  And while neither had quite the shock value of the first installment  (The minute Jada Pinkett Smith walked into that movie theater at the beginning of Scream 2, I knew not to get too attached to her character . . .

 . . . ditto for Buffy the Vampire Slayer . . .)

 . . . I still found both films to be enjoyable, witty, and surprisingly well-written.

So, I was intrigued, when I started hearing buzz around the internet that the first film of a new Scream trilogy would be “stabbing” its way into theaters in 2011.  Like the first film, Scream 4 will be penned by Kevin Williamson (writer of none other than my current FAVORITE television show, The Vampire Diaries) . . .

 . . . and directed by, that denizen of horror himself, Wes Craven. 

As the poster for the film suggests, the new tagline for Scream 4 is “New Decade, New Rules.”  At this year’s Scream Awards, Wes Craven promised us a movie for  the “next generation” of horror fans.  Here, the same, now- tired, old rules, won’t necessarily apply.  You know what that means, don’t you?  Oh yeah . . . the Ghostface Killer is TOTALLY iPhone-ready.

“Psycho Serial Killer?  There’s an app for that!”

Sure, Scream 4 may be ready for the “next generation of horror movie fans,” but, the question remains, is it ready for us?   After all, in this new culture, of leaked scripts, pirated films, screencapped trailers, and endless film analysis on message boards and blogs, it is REALLY hard to keep a secret, and even harder to genuinely surprise fans.  Because, now, not only are horror movie goers more savvy, as Craven, himself suggested, they are also more well-informed.

For example, we NOW know that when an actress boasts a “cameo” in a horror film, and her character doesn’t have a “name” on the movie’s IMDB page , we can probably expect her to show up in one scene, die a quick but gruesome death, and never be seen again . . .

Usually a lover of all things spoilery, I personally found myself a bit disappointed when, after merely viewing the film’s teaser trailer and perusing the message boards, I already pieced together what will probably be the opening murder sequence (including the “fakeout” that will likely come with it). 

And . . . well . . . why don’t I let you watch for yourself . . .

Now that’s a trailer chocked full of spoilery information, if I’ve ever seen one! 

I’m just going to share a few screencaps with you that I found particularly instructive.  However, you can find ALL the screencaps for this trailer here.  (Special thanks to CNE20, who was kind enough to post these!)

Oh, and for all you Spoilerphobes out there, this would be a good time to STOP READING!

:12 “Welcome home, Sydney!  You’re a survivor, aren’t you, Sydney?  What good is it being a survivor, if everyone around you is DEAD!”

Yes, boys and girls, Scream queen, Neve Campbell (now 37), will be reprising her role as the much-abused Sydney Prescott.  After all this poor woman has been through, you would think she would FINALLY suck it up, and cancel her landline.  Cell phones, Sydney!  They are all the rage these days . . . not to mention that having them makes it much easier to RUN AWAY from the Psycho Serial Killer who always seems to be INSIDE YOUR HOUSE!

:18 – “All you can do is WATCH!”

Anna Paquin (Soookeh! of  True Blood) and Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars) have both publicly admitted to having “cameos” in this film.  (We all know what THAT means!)  Many “experts” have posited that the first “murder” of the film, will not be a “real” murder, but actually a scene from the fictional Scream-like series, Stab (featured prominently in Scream 2 and 3), which Anna’s and Kristen’s characters will be watching at home on DVD.  These same experts suggest that Anna and Kristen, like Drew Barrymore and Jada Pinkett Smith, before them, will be the new film’s first REAL victims.  This scene here, which features Anna, turning off a DVD, while a frightened Kristen looks on, would seem to suggest as much . . .

:19 – “Ahhhhhhhh!”

Golly gee!  For two girls credited as having “cameos” in the film, Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars) and Shenae Grimes (90210) sure got a lot of face time in the teaser trailer!  Many suspect that this is because these two will be stars of the Stab installment that Anna and Kristen are watching, in the film’s opening scene. 

(Note to Kevin Williamson:  It is not too late to CHANGE THIS!  In fact, if this is the actual concept for the opening sequence, and you want to REALLY shock fans, as you have done consistently in the past, you probably SHOULD!)

:21 – “Modern fans have become savvy to the rules of the originals.  I mean, there are still rules, but the rules have changed.”

OMG, Rory Culkin!  My, have you grown!  (I bet you’re taller than Macauley Culkin now . . . and Kieran Culkin, for that matter.)  It looks as though Rory will be inhabiting the “Horror Film Geek”  role, previously inhabited by Jamie Kennedy (who played “Randy Meeks”), in the first two films.

:50 – “Go ahead, if you have the guts!”

This highly controversial, and much discussed, screencap features Courtney Cox, seemingly about to get gutted by the Ghostface Killer.  Could the makers of this trailer be brave enough (or stupid enough, depending on how you look at it) to forecast the death of Gale Weathers –one of the three MAIN CHARACTERS from the original trilogy — so early in the film’s promotional campaign?  (Or will someone come to to her rescue, at the last minute, as is usually the case in these type of movie situations?)

:54 – “Well, it’s time for someone new to die.”

Here’s Rory Culkin again, along with Hayden Panettiere and Marielle Jaffe.  These three will likely function as the “Scooby Gang” to lead player, Emma Robert’s “Jill.”  Hayden will be playing Kirby Reed, “Jill’s” best friend.  The “best friend” moniker should keep her safe for at least the first half of the film.

Marielle will be playing “Olivia,” who, based on this  scene alone, looks and sounds like kind of a b*tch.  Since b*tches never fare particularly well in this genre, I’m guessing “Olivia” will be a goner, fairly early on . . .

:58 – “These aren’t just random killings.”

David Arquette (who I am liking SO MUCH LESS NOW, especially after his ridiculous drunken T.M.I. rant on Howard Stern) will be reprising his role as Deputy Dewey.  Also donning the dorky Rent-A-Cop uniform in this film, will be the adorable Adam Brody . . .

(Seth Cohen is a cop?)

 . . . and the very cuddly, Anthony Anderson . . .

1:00 – iPhone product placement alert!

I said it before, but it bears repeating.  Between the killer videotaping his murders, and the cast members running around with iPhones, it does seem that new technologies will play a major role in the new trilogy.

1:01 –  Emma Roberts alert!

Although she looks like she’s in a pretty tough spot right now, I’m thinking that Emma Roberts, who has been tauted by producers as “the NEW Sydney Prescott” (she plays Sydney’s cousin, in the film), will probably be around for a while.  In other words, if you happen to be watching the film, and really have to pee, the scenes where “Jill” is in “peril” are the best time to go . . .  At least, this way, you won’t risk missing a “cool death scene.”

1:16 – “I hear you like horror movies.”

              “It’s for you.”

I know I showed these two already.  However, this line was the only one in the trailer that actually made me giggle out loud.   It also seemed a bit cheesy, by Scream standards.  This only supports my hypothesis that all scenes featuring Shenae and Lucy are meant to come from the fictional Stab series.  Of course, I could be wrong . . . (I still kind of hope I am.)

Scream 4 scares into theaters April 15, 2011.  Will YOU see it?



Filed under Movie Trailer Recaplets, Scream 4, Spoilers and Sneak Peaks

13 responses to “Anatomy of a Trailer: Scream 4 (Contains Possible Spoilers)

  1. Auds

    One thing that was missed in here (and I honestly wonder if many people caught it) was the scene where Gale Weathers is show taking OFF the ghost face scream mask! I figure it’s meant to lure us into stupidly thinking Gale is one of the killers in the film… tho my own personal twist on the film I think it’d be awesome if Dewey & Gale were the killers & Sidney died, to leave her cousin Emma as the new star of the series…

  2. Auds

    BTW the scene where Gale takes off the ghost face mask is at 1:09

    • Thanks so much for the intel, Auds! Great eye! I totally missed Gale taking off the Ghostface mask! (Or, perhaps, I did see it, and simply interpreted it as something else.)

      I bet you are right, about both of your predictions. I can definitely see the above-referenced scene being used as a red-herring. Gale was probably just using the mask to, somehow, lure the killer out of hiding. Perhaps, they suspect it’s two people performing the murders, like in the first film? This would definitely be a way to get one of them to show his or her face . . .

      I also agree with you about this 4th installment being Sidney Prescott’s (Neve Campbell’s) swan song. Once she bites it, Emma Roberts can kick off the new trilogy in earnest. Similar “plot twists” were used in the Halloween and Freddy franchises.

      Personally, I think it would be kind of fun if Sidney, herself, ended up being the killer in this installment. After all, with all that girl has been through, who WOULDN’T go a little crazy? I’m not sure they will go that route, however. It would probably be much more dramatic if people THOUGHT Sidney was the killer, and she was exonerated, moments before being murdered herself, in a highly tragic fashion.

      I guess we will just have to wait and see . . . Thanks again for your awesome insights. You’ve definitely improved the quality of this post with them. I really appreciate it! 🙂

  3. Delano

    A double double killing. They show they opening scene from stab but make us think its scream but then they turn it off and BAM another bloody opening. Making it very gruesome in the beginning

    • Hi Delano! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! You’re absolutely right. It definitely seems like Shenae’s and Lucy’s murders will be the “fake” Stab murders shown in the opening. Meanwhile, Kristen and Anna, who are watching Stab on DVD at home, will be the first “real” murders. It’s such a clever way to open up the film. I almost wish we all didn’t already know what is probably going to happen, so far in advance of the film’s actual release. 🙂

      Nevertheless, I’m still really psyched to see how it all plays out. Scream movies are just so much fun to watch, no matter who’s getting the axe . . .

  4. Shawn D.

    If they kill sydney Im walkin out the movie theater and never turnin back cus neve made that movie and emma roberts can not act as good as neve can she would drag the movie down but whatever there going to be the ones losing money

    • Hey Shawn! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! You make a good point here. Killing Sydney might put a dark pall over the original trilogy, and seriously piss off Neve’s fans. I think if the writers did it, they would wait until the last few minutes of the film, for a “FINAL SHOCKER” type moment.

      Who knows? Perhaps, they will decide to keep her around for the reasons you suggested. I guess we will have to just wait and see . . . 🙂

  5. Jasonmac

    it would be awsome if neve did another trilogy.

    • I agree Jasonmac. I’ve always liked Neve as an actress. Sure, she’s just a tad older than she was when she did the original Scream trilogy, but, in my humble opinion, she still looks great! 🙂

  6. Howard

    I think that Sidney and Gale will survive yet again but not Dewey, he would be the most expendable of the original three survivors of the first trilogy, the Scream franchise would make little sense if Sidney died, just like the Halloween franchise died when they killed of Jamie Lee Curtis. It is possible that Sidney survives and simply leaves allowing Jill to take over as the new star with Scream 5 &6 revolving around her (Jill)

    • Hi Howard! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. Although it would definitely be shocking if they killed off Sidney, and/or made her the murderer for this installment, I agree with you that it would irrevocably change the tone of the entire film franchise. Plus, it would seriously piss off a lot of Scream purists out there. 🙂

      Perhaps, it would be smarter, as you suggested, to gradually minimize Sidney’s importance to the franchise, in favor of the Jill character. Then, they could still shock fans, by having Sidney be the first death in the third film of the NEW trilogy a la Jamie Lee Curtis in the Halloween franchise.

      • Howard

        My biggest question, who will be the killer(s)? I don’t think the killer will be the obvious quirky character types like Billy, Stu, Mickey, and Roman. The first trilogy had a great backstory that really made sense. I wonder what is going to be the backstory to the new trilogy?

      • Great point, Howard. Since this is the “new age” of horror films, I can definitely see the killer in this trilogy being a a darker, more sinister, character than the quazi comedic wackjob murderers of the original trilogy — someone a bit more like Billy in terms of personality, and “creep” factor, but with less of an obvious relationship to the rest of the cast.

        Personally, I would LOVE to see this trilogy tie into the original backstory, in some real tangible way, without being so convoluted that it alienates the next generation of fans. It’s a tall order, I know. But I think Kevin Williamson is up for the challenge. 🙂

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