Saturday, April 16, 2011

In Defense of My Desire to See Scream 4

Over the last few days, I've mentioned to some people that I wanted to see the new Scream movie. For the most part, these friends and co-workers scoffed. They had a tendency to stare at me in disbelief, unsure of why I would be willing to pay money to see such a thing. It's as if they had passed judgment on the film without even giving it a chance to live up (or down) to their expectations.

First of all, I'm a movie guy. I'll see pretty much anything at least once. I'm going to tell you this, but I hope you'll keep your mocking laughter to a minimum. I saw Dude, Where's My Car? in the theater. That's right, I paid money to see that one. And you know what? I laughed. Not a lot, but it happened. Secondly, I'm not so sure that Scream 4 is going to be bad. There's not a great chance that it'll be good, granted. No matter the franchise, sequels can be a risky venture. I mean, who would have known that Spider-Man 3 was gonna suck so bad, especially after the awesomeness that was Spider-Man 2. On the flip side, look at Toy Story 3. I've heard a lot of people say it's the best of the series, and I would agree.

But sequels that come around a decade or more after the previous installment are even riskier. Toy Story pulled it off very well. Superman Returns did not. Indiana Jones did not. But I went to see those movies. I wanted, very badly, to see those movies when they were released. Why? For the same reason I'll be seeing Scream 4. Nostalgia.

Superman Returns wasn't a great movie. I don't think it was as bad as a lot of people say it is. But sitting in that theater while the opening credits flew by, I felt like a little kid again. Same with the latest Indiana Jones film. Not a great picture, but when you see Indy's silhouette and he knocks the dust off his hat while that classic music starts playing, you're easily transported back to a simpler, more innocent time.

Not that the Scream franchise represents innocence. And I don't have a lot of hope that Scream 4 will be very good. As the original trilogy progressed, they tended to get worse. That should say a lot. But still, there's a certain amount of nostalgia to it. I saw the first Scream in the Grandin Theater in Roanoke. It was a creepy old theater that had a skeletal gargoyle looking thing sitting up in the balcony next to the screen. The thing was always staring down at the audience. It just made seeing a scary movie that much scarier.

I won't have that same effect when seeing Scream 4 in high definition surround sound at my local theater. But watching Ghostface slice and dice will pull out so many different memories. Maybe, for a little while, I'll remember what it was like to be a 16-year-old kid watching a scary movie with his friends, trying to anticipate the jump scenes that will inevitably come.

Scream, as far as I can recall, was my first experience with watching a movie where the creators seemed to love movies as much as I did. All of the references to other films were great. Even rewatching it recently, it's amazing to see just how much respect the creators had for what came before. Knowing that those same creators have gotten together for the latest sequel makes me want to see it all the more.

And finally, there's one more reason to see this movie. Alison Brie. You might remember her from such TV shows as NBC's Community and AMC's Mad Men, or from previous blog posts like this Question of the Week. I'm not stupid. I realize that she'll probably show up for two scenes and then get carved up like a pumpkin in time for Halloween. But is that really the point? It's Alison Brie. On the big screen. Usually I have to settle for reruns of Community through Hulu on my laptop screen. Does not do the woman justice. Okay, I'm done with my obsessive crush ramblings.

So yeah, I'll be seeing Scream 4 this afternoon. I'll come back tonight to let you know what I think of it after the fact. Stay tuned...


  1. What a fun read! I'm with you, I'll see almost anything once, and who knows, Scream 4 might be an academy award nominee. You'll never know unless you see it. Have fun! Looking forward to the review.

  2. Husband and I just re-watched the Scream trilogy this weekend. We will be watching Scream 4 in the theater soon. Can't wait!

  3. My best friend and I talked about going to see Scream 4 for the same reason as you.

    I was 15 when the first one came out and it was the first scary movie I ever watched.

    We just watched the first one again a few weeks ago and plan to watch the 2nd and 3rd again before we go see the 4th.

    Looking forward to seeing what you thought about it.