If you ask around if I’m a "Scream" fan, you’ll likely find a resounding no followed by a weary chuckle. And this is due in part to my past ranting for "Scream." Well, not past ranting, more like past incessant angry vitriol toward this franchise. Whatever you want to call it I’m about done with "Scream," and I’ve always found that "Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon" did it much better than Wes Craven ever could hope in accomplishing a satire and dissection of the slasher sub-genre. "Behind the Mask" had so much potential not only as a franchise but in showing the world that someone else could acknowledge the doldrums of the sub-genre without resorting to observations we’ve heard a thousand times. With "Scream 4" down the pipeline, fans are enticed to see what Wes Craven has in store for them. He’s promising a new generation with new rules and you know what? It could be good. If not good, then it’s ensuring at least a fascinating sequel in a series that many fans concluded had run its course.
But as we’ve seen over the course of so many years, the horror genre has undergone a massive make over to the point where the once PG-13 slasher films being withheld from theaters and watered down thanks to Columbine, are now embracing the violence and unabashed gore soaked carnage. With the torture porn fad, "Scream 4" has new ground to cover, and we may just see a Ghostface that not only mauls their victims to death, but bathes in their blood and revels in their horrific deaths by the knife. We’ll see the new Ghostface filming his kills–an obvious homage to "Laid to Rest," and there’s always a chance we’ll see a new Ghostface with a new costume. Maybe more than two killers?
With a new series of rules, there’s not even a guarantee we’ll see a knife. Perhaps Ghostface has something that will maim and mutilate their victims. Nevertheless, in spite of the trailers featuring the worst writing I’ve ever heard, "Scream 4" is something of an interesting notion to fathom only because Craven may just have something of his own to say about remakes. I mean this is a man who has willingly sold the rights to his original films for the almighty dollar and explained how he’d love to see new filmmakers tackle his original films, so perhaps we’ll see a Craven freely embracing his own warts.
Or perhaps he’ll just mock other directors. "Scream" has been a series run on old hat clichés thrown back at us with a self aware wink, and most audiences have fallen in love with it for that. I find it a generally repugnant and stale series of nudges to the gut that are absolutely tiresome in its pursuit to convince us that it’s much more clever than we realize, but "Scream 4" may not be the disaster I expect it to be. It will bank like it’s one of Will Smith’s children; I don’t deny that, but maybe "Scream 4" may have something to offer. There are new red herrings, new formulas for slasher films, and yes even the main characters can die. Judging by the newest trailer, we already know one of the three remaining survivors from the original series is killed, I would love it if the first half hour is nothing but all three heroes being killed brutally moving on to the actually narrative where we meet the new players on the field, and the newest heroine to grace the screen, Emma Roberts!
As "The Walking Dead" proved: No one is safe. And in horror it should be a requisite that no character can be safe, not even the virgin. Joss Whedon is not afraid to kill a popular character. Robert Kirkman isn’t, either. Contracts be damned, Craven! I actually really like the newest one sheet we’ve gotten for "Scream 4." If anything, I hope Craven has some balls and kills off heroine Sydney in the finale finally. It would be a change of pace, a new twist on this series, and set the stage for the reboot. If we’re all about new rules and a new generation, how about breaking the pre-established rules and killing off the enduring heroine?
If not then here’s my idea: Everyone has died, pan to Emma Roberts who stands in the kitchen of her home, covered in blood and panicking. She tries to call the police, but the phone is dead! Oh No! She turns and Ghostface appears from the end of the hall. They do battle. After a climactic struggle, she rips the mask off of Ghostface and its Sydney! She now knows her cousin is so beyond the grasp of help she has submitted to the persona of Ghostface. Sydney plunges her knife in to her little cousin’s chest ending her life. Sydney stands over her body lost in her own persona.
Ghostface appears from the corner. Another Ghostface. Sydney looks up at them shocked. They tear their masks off revealing themselves to be Gail and Dewey. After some Don Knotts style double takes and some "But you–and I–and we–d’oh!" they are tickled by this little development. They then take their costumes off and go out for some smoothies and a late night movie. The end. That’s the movie I want to see!