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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?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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