I Scream For The Last Time: Scream 4

  • This film is actually tinged with sadness for me, it’s the last film Wes Craven directed. Please don’t be terrible. Or as it’s called on the package: Scre4m. So to give it it’s full title: Screfourm.
  • I haven’t mentioned this before on any of the others but the DVD extras on this are shocking: the trailer, subtitles, and that’s it. That’s unacceptable. This is the first film in the series in over ten years, at the very least, want a short documentary explaining why it’s back, maybe something about how horror has changed since the first Scream movie came out. The extras on this are like the ones you got listed on the very first DVDs that came out (I remember having 10 Things I Hate About You and the special features on that were “scene selection”, and “interactive menu”, and the DVD itself was actually broken anyway so you had to use the scene selection to start the movie because if you just clicked “start movie” it would just take you back to the menu.
  • I know, I’m surprised I mentioned a rather forgettable 90’s rom-com this early into a liveblog about horror too.
  • The film opens with characters complaining about Saw IV. “It’s all torture porn shit. You don’t give a shit who dies because there’s no character development it’s just body parts spraying everywhere”. This movie would be awesome at liveblogs.
  • “I’m going to cut through your neck until I feel bone”, her response to someone saying this on the phone is to hand the phone to her friend “well you’re the one with the stalker”. Even more reason to not do it.
  • Ah, so the opening of this film is actually just Stab 6. Now we’re actually watching this film.
  • Oh hey, it’s Kristen Bell, I think.
  • Okay, so it turns out people watching Stab 6 were actually actors in Stab 7. Wtf? Actually, I really like that opening, it’s unique and makes the audience know they’re going to have to stay on their toes and pay attention. It’s also quite weird, and I like weird.
  • Hey, it’s the girl from Tomorrowland, I don’t care what people say (and by “people”, I mean “almost everyone”), I actually really like that film.
  • Oh, she’s dead now 😦 I should just stop liking people in horror films, they almost always die.
  • Holy crap it’s The Sounds. Say what you like about this film, I never expected to hear European dance pop-punk in a horror movie.
  • Wow, it’s Alison Brie. Completely forgot she was in this too. I bet she dies 😦
  • Still weird the town kind of celebrates these murders, almost like they’re proud of them. it would be like New York selling 9/11 merchandise, would seem a bit cheap.
  • Wait, this film also has Anna Paquin and Emma Roberts, holy crap this is one hell of a strong cast.
  • “you’re not cheating on your wife if you eat my lemon squares”. Phrasing!
  • “”Here I am with Olivia “don’t look at my tits I have a mind” Morris””. Why is that a nickname? It’s an awful name, basically saying “this person hates being objectified”. Oh no, how awful of her.
  • Marley Shelton is really good in this, she reminds me of the bunny from Zootopia, which is odd as they’re both police deputies called Judy.
  • “Anything with an on/off switch should be off”. Does that include heart monitors?
  • Gale Weathers thinks she should be involved because she wrote the books on the original murders. But she wrote them after the fact, she didn’t really do much during.
  • “your lemon squares taste like ass”, in which case it’s even weirder her husband is eating them.
  • The killer says he’s standing in the closet whilst making the phone call, I could make an obvious “in the closet” joke, but instead I think I’ll take the high road and say “how did he manage to have a conversation on the phone whilst in the closet and the girl not hear him in there? I mean, the closet he was in belonged to a girl who was just standing there not making any noise, so she surely would have heard something?
  • “this isn’t a fucking movie”, hey, that’s my line!
  • “I’m going to slit your eyelids so you see when I stab you in the face”, wow, that’s…..brutal.
  • Just realised Sidney no longer has the necklace. Okay to explain. In the second film her boyfriend handed her a necklace before he died (obviously, would be a bit weird if he did it afterwards). She kept it in the third film, and I always thought that was a nice touch. She’s not wearing it in this one, so either her character has moved on, or the film-makers just forgot.
  • “Olivia Morris, who will officially never go out with me, is dead” this guy is the worst.
  •  Okay, Alison Brie’s character is awful too, saying Sidney should be glad about the murders as it will increase book sales.
  • “the problem with Sidney is she never gets laid”, I’d say the problem is more to do with all the murders.
  • Alison Brie gets stabbed in the stomach, not the most exciting death but well crafted enough.
  • Her body is thrown off car park onto a news van during a press conference. Now that’s better.
  • “you film your entire high school experience and put it on the web?” Why would any high school student do that? Most schools feature much embarrassment and things people would rather forget.
  • So they’re doing a drinking game for a film series consisting of 7 films? They’re going to be white-girl wasted by the end of this.
  • Wait, they’re showing the popcorn scene from the original Stab, then the shower scene. But weren’t they the other way around when they were shown in Scream 2? Unless maybe because that was a preview the studio changed it around. Actually considering someone was murdered at a sneak preview of the first film, how on earth did sequels get green-lit?
  • Cop gets stabbed in the head then random walks down the street, punching the air before falling over. May seem unrealistic but apparently based on videos of people who have been stabbed in the head.
  • “fuck Bruce Willis”, I agree.
  • Stabbed through the letterbox. That sounds like a weird euphemism. We later found out that the mother was intended to die, but how did the killer know that it was her leaning against the door and not Sidney?
  • Okay, they’re all settling down to continue the Stab-athon and finish watching stab 7. Which is weird as the last we saw they were still in the first one. So did all those people get stabbed and then just sit around and watch the first six films before doing anything? Let’s say 90 minutes per film that’s about 9 hours.
  • A history lesson on the slasher genre, I have now added Peeping Tom to my list to watch.
  • “name the remake that” she then reels off about 20 remakes that have been recently made. Very very funny.
  • “this is making a move” *proceeds to stab someone*. Hey, how about that? I have made a move on people before then.
  • So Rory Culkin stabbed someone seemingly out of sexual frustration? Typical white male bullshit.
  • Weird touch here that I’m not sure if it was intentional but both killers are played by people from acting families; Rory Culkin and Emma Roberts.
  • “I told so many lies that I actually started to believe them”. So she’s not only a killer but also a liar. I’m starting to think she’s not a nice person.
  • “old school, like Billy and Stu”, he’s then surprised when he gets stabbed by the other killer, did he not pay any attention to the first movie?
  • “I don’t need friends, I need fans”, actually a killer line.
  • “how do you think people become famous now? You don’t have to achieve anything” lucky me.
  • “you just need to have fucked up shit happen to you”, actually that’s pretty accurate. I mean, I would argue that point, but Madeline McCanns parents got a book tour and to meet the pope.
  • Emma Roberts character maims herself to make her look more like a victim. And we’re talking proper hardcore maiming here. She drives a knife into her own shoulder, runs into a glass picture frame, and throws herself backwards through a glass table. Surprisingly chilling scene. Weird that this is her first horror movie as she’s so damn good at it. She was later in Scream Queens, which again, I recommend everybody watch, even if only to hear one of the best songs you’ll ever hear.
  • Oh no, Marley Shelton got shot 😦 That’s annoying as she was lovely. I really need to stop finding people adorable in horror films, it never works out.
  • “you forgot the first rule of remakes, don’t fuck with the original”. I assumed that’s what all remakes did.
  • So it turns out Marley Shelton is still alive because, as she says, “Wear the vest, save your chest”, and it is a magnificent chest. Wait….
  • Oh fuck that’s how this series ends, with me making a perverted comment. God fucking damn it.

How We Got Through…..April

Films

Life

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Pretty darn good sci-fi. You watch it and think “you know what would be awesome? If x happens”, and then it does happen, or something better happens. Was worried when I saw the trailer that it would be another cliche “parasitic alien takes over people”, but nope, this is an alien beating people using pure brute strength. And the ending? So harsh, absolutely perfect for the genre. Definitely need to see it again, if only to see whether the opening scene was one shot or whether it just had minimal cuts.

Boss Baby

Better than the abysmal trailers would make you think it is. Some genuine laugh out loud moments.

Scream Film Series

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This was the first horror series I liked growing up. I had watched a few horror films before (enough to recognise and be aware of the tropes and conventions) and it was amazing to see this film not only acknowledge them, but tear them apart as well. It seemed to fall apart slightly in the third one (which, fun fact, until I purchased the box set, was the only one I owned on DVD). The impact of the series has been lessened somewhat by the fact that everybody now does what it did. It’s like watching Seinfeld in a modern context, you think “but why does everyone go on about this? It’s just doing what every other sitcom does”. In reality the reason Seinfeld does what every sitcom does now, is because they’re all following its lead. What was once revolutionary is now standard. Will probably be the series that I blog about this halloween (because it’s good, and because I think it’s the only horror franchise I own which I haven’t already blogged about).

Their Finest

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Have you seen Suicide Squad? You know that bit near the end where the fire guy goes “we’re family”, and the audience is like “how? You’ve only known each other for like a day”? Basically that happens here, certain things between characters don’t feel earned enough and feel kind of forced. Which is a shame as it’s actually a really good story, with great performances and impressive dialogue. When I went to see it there were trailers for Dunkirk, and Churchill. So that’s three films this year which are based around World War 2, oddly high amount for one year. If was World War 1 I’d understand it is 100 years since. Has some pretty good lines about truth in film, well, more accurately, the importance of lies in film.

Going In Style

A tale of two films in terms of directing. The opening section is really weirdly shot in terms of colour, kind of ugly. But once the story gets going and the heist gets going, it starts to look a lot better. The main performances are good, but Joey King, who plays Michael Caine’s granddaughter is really good in the short amount of time she’s given. Logical story, but sadly one that doesn’t have the guts to stick the knife in emotionally when it should.

Guardians Of The Galaxy, Volume 2

Did you enjoy the first one? Then you’ll enjoy this. Just as impressive, funny, and brilliant as the first one. Also it has a brilliant soundtrack, possibly the best one of the year so far. Short I know, but it’s highly likely I’m going to give this a blog of its own at some point.

Fanboys

Wall to wall Star Wars references, and I get the feeling if I had actually watched Star Wars I’d realise the references are also ceiling to floor.

Table 19

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I enjoyed it, a lot. It’s what I deem “social mystery” film. Where the audience has to work out why certain characters are who they are, what caused them to be like that. It’s like an Agatha Christie murder mystery if the victim was good manners. It’s a hard film to describe the plot about without it sounding really bad, it’s mostly just people talking. But the characters are so well created and acted that it works. A lot of people dislike this film, and I kind of see why, nothing really happens. But to me it was wonderful, one of the most emotionally honest films I’ve seen in a while.

The Belko Experiment

Not really a fan of it. For this film to work you need it to be one of two things:

  1. Really stylish and brutal.
  2. Really clever.

This is neither. It seems to run out of ideas by the end of the trailer. It would be a really good short film, but for it to be a full length feature it needs something else, it needs a twist, it needs to amaze and surprise you in the final third, it needs something, ANYTHING that you didn’t see coming. As it is….nothing.

The Night Before

Not a bad Christmas film, but not one I can imagine being needed to be seen again. Basically the film equivalent of drinking a Bucks Fizz at breakfast, acceptable at Christmas, a bit weird at any other time of the year

Madagascar: A Journey Diary

Extremely personal, and touching. Everything a short film should be.

Books

Hitchhikers Guide

Really funny, but also kind of bleak and says a lot about humanity. Which is kind of what all good science fiction should do, it should be used to hold a mirror up to humanity and expose all our flaws. Straddles the fine line between being smart and incomprehensible, in the most glorious way possible.

Music

A Poet’s Life – Tim Armstrong

A really good album to listen to in the summer, so of course I listen to it in April. Relaxing and mellow, really good to chill to.

Cex Sells – Blaqk Audio

A LOT of people hate this, probably because it’s not A.F.I. I like it though, if A.F.I is the sound of Davey Havok going through teenage rebellion, this is the sound of him having cocaine-fuelled orgies with strippers.

Blink 182

A really good album, but not very Blink. At least, not the Blink we were expecting at the time.

Dude Ranch – Blink 182

Listening to this album it’s easy to see how they became one of the biggest pop-punk bands. The melodies, the lyrics, and the occasional hint of darkness are all there. It would take until Enema before they perfected their style, but the basic elements of it are here for everyone to see. Nowhere is this more evident than in Dammit, surely one of the greatest pop-punk songs made?

 

A Nightmare A Day: Day 7 (Wes Craven’s New Nightmare)

Director: Wes Craven (Scream, and of course all of the sequels, Music Of The Heart (seriously)

Budget: $8million

US Box Office: $19.7million

  • So this is it. Super excited for this. If I remember correctly this is one of the most meta horror films until Scream practically made it essential.
  • Starts on a movie set. Always fun.
  • Heather Langenkamp is back, she was Nancy in the first and third films. Side note, her and her husband now have a special effects/Make-up business and have worked on Cabin In The Woods, Dawn Of The Dead and Angels and Demons. And here she is, having her on-screen husband show her on screen son special effects and make-up.
  • “it must have been picked up by an AD’s walkie talkie”. If that’s the case then you really need to work on your safety precautions.
  • Possible two deaths here, but not counting them as we’re not sure if they actually die. We see some of the effects from the nightmare, but not on the two supposed dead, so I’m not counting it. Basically: the previous scene was a dream, the claw came to life and killed two tech guys. Tech guys always die on set, we had four set guys crushed to death by a giant clock during Projector. But how else were we supposed to get a clear shot of a clock? Do a close up? Pfft, amateur hour.
  • “you were probably half awake and saw I got my finger cut, dreams are like that”.  He’s true, dreams are strange.
  • Someone phones her home phone and quote Freddy at her. Come on, man, if you’re going to be an abusive dickweasel and abuse people over the phone at least be original.
  • “you played that girl in that movie with the guy with the pfft” wow, it’s like you’ve known her all your life.
  • “I’m hardly a star” Come on, you’re in the back of a limo, you’re clearly either a star or 10 teenage girls.
  • “that movie’s the best, when all that blood comes out of your boyfriends bed” Creepy limo driver is creepy.
  • “we’re approaching the 10th anniversary of the original nightmare on elm street, five very popular sequels” yeah but only four of those sequels were any good.
  • “is there going to be another sequel?” How would she know she was just the actress, you know she didn’t write any of that shit right?
  • “would you trust your co-worker with your son?” What the f*ck is this dude implying? He does know there’s a difference between reality and fiction right? That’s like saying you wouldn’t trust Anthony Hopkins to make you dinner.
  • Ewww, he just touched her legs.
  • It’s odd seeing the hero worship of Freddy, I don’t just mean in this film, I mean in real life. There were actually children’s halloween costumes of Freddy. I mean, really think about that. There were children dressing up as a child molester. That would be like forcing immigrants to wear a UKIP badge (whereas we all know UKIP would much prefer if they wore yellow stars. Yeah, that’s right mother f*ckers, I’m making a holocaust reference)
  • Really cool shot of Robert Englund as Freddy standing in front of spotlights, the lights making his claws look like they stretch out into the infinite abyss. Seriously cool shot that I would love to emulate one day.
  • “just because it’s a love story doesn’t mean you can’t have a decapitation or two”. Considering our first film was a love story set during a school shooting, we wholeheartedly agree with that motto.
  • Oh, those deaths did happen. Time of first and second deaths: 5 minutes I guess? No video available online though.
  • Heather seems really confused by the concept of someone wanting to talk to her.
  • The kid was scared shitless today, and now you’re reading him Hansel and Gretel.
  • Oh, she’s aware of this, but the kid likes the story. Thereby backing up my theory that kids are stupid.
  • “And then their father covered them with kisses and they were safe” I dunno, didn’t Freddy used to do that to people too? (minus the safe part)
  • The kid is guarded by a dinosaur. Well done, kid, guarded by a species known for being dead. Smart move. Kids are stupid.
  • Time of third death: 30 minutes. Heather’s husband falls asleep whilst driving and Freddy kills him. Little sympathy for this death, he fell asleep whilst driving, he deserves to die, I’m just grateful he didn’t kill anyone else. The death isn’t available online.
  • Heather falls asleep at the funeral. I swear, half the near deaths in these films wouldn’t occur if people had some god damn common courtesy.
  • Heather gets scared when her son Dylan climbs something very high in a park and falls off whilst she’s talking to someone. That’s not Freddy, that’s just bad parenting.
  • Robert Englund makes a creepy painting of Freddy. But for some reason he doesn’t seem to realise it until he’s finished painting. This would be like me writing a story, getting to the very end then reading it and going “holy shit, this is a story about a girl called Sybil. How did that happen?” it’s like, “bitch you were creating it so could have guessed what it was like 10% of the way through.
  • Only just realised. This film didn’t have any opening credits.
  • In a nod to the original, Heather gets tongued by the phone.
  • “you haven’t shown him any of your films have you, the horror stuff? She’s done other films you know!
  • “sometimes what a child says will give a clue to what ails him” You mean, speak to someone to find out what’s wrong with them? Genius!
  • So Wes Craven is writing about a genuine ancient demon who has attached himself to the series. I dunno, even ancient demons wouldn’t want to be seen with the franchise after the abomination that was The Final Nightmare
  • “I think the only way to stop him is to make another movie” That’s how I deal with problems too.
  • They literally just showed the conversation they just had as being part of the script Craven is writing. Nice. The middle-est of high fives.
  • Okay, those special effects death were definitely genuine. Either that or they were coincidentally slashed to death.
  • “Dylan’s in an oxygen tent right now” and you didn’t think to tell the mother? The medical staff in these films are the worst.
  • “Freddy, the man from your films?” Bitch she was only in two of them, and her appearances weren’t consecutive. If you want to be annoyed at anyone be annoyed at Lisa Wilcox, she was in both 4 and 5 (before she started a footwear jewellery retailers called ToeBrights with her fellow Nightmare On Elm Street 4 cast member Tuesday Knight, true story).
  • “every kid knows who Freddy is, he’s like Santa or King Kong”. Yeah but now everything thinks of King Kong as something Peter Jackson did, and f*ck that (apparently, I haven’t seen it, but haven’t heard good things).
  • The babysitter Julie attempts to stab a nurse with a syringe “i don’t know what’s in this one, do you?” I like her. She’s fun, adorable and strange
  • She’s going to die isn’t she?
  • Time of death: 80 minutes. Julie dies in a kind of cool homage to a death in the original, being made to crawl along the ceiling and walls. It’s pretty cooler here though through a much better use of angles.
  • A nurse seems surprised by the concept of sleepwalking.
  • Only just figured out that when Heather phoned Robert Englund, the button tones created the original theme song. Nice
  • “hey man, is she okay” Yeah, that’s right everyone, worry about the adult in the middle of the road, not the child that’s also in the middle of the road. I mean, I get it, kids are dispensable, but still, rude!
  • One of the actors (playing himself) slips into his character from the first film. This would have been more effective if they did it earlier I think. This is the main event that causes Freddy to come into reality, and it occurs almost an hour and a half into the film. That’s longer than some of the original films. I get you want a slow build etc, but if you kill two people in the opening scene you can’t then switch to a slow burn. You have to chose between the two, either immediate deaths or slow burn. Can’t have both. This is why the second and third ones worked out so well for me, they were really slow burners but they didn’t feel the need to attempt to “make up” for it by killing off loads of people in the second half, they maintained the pace throughout and were all the better for it. Although I don’t think this film had opening credits so it’s possible this is all just a massive pre-credits sequence.
  • Heather slides down a concrete water path. That was either super fun or super painful to film.
  • Heather is literally reading from the script, incorrectly. “There was only….her….life” she doesn’t pause between the her and life. I don’t think she should either, but that’s how it was written.
  • Freddy looks more tendon-ey and less burn-ey in this one.
  • Freddy, destroyer of dreams, haunter of nightmares, stopped by a small gap.
  • Damnit Freddy stop tonguing children.
  • Snakes, why did it have to be snakes?
  • Freddy wraps his tongue around Heather in a scene that’s actually ridiculous and renders all comments that this film is a dark and serious one moot.
  • Dylan stabs Freddy in the tongue. That’s not the cool part, the cool part is the psycho music playing in the background.
  • More awful special effects.
  • They all go home and find a script which details pretty much exactly what happened.
  • Music comes in far too loudly after quietness. Not in a “jump scare” way, more in a “that was awkward” kind of way.

Actually disappointed with this film. It’s quite meta but isn’t really meta enough. And the whole notion of it being a script brings up interesting ideas about the concept of free will which the film doesn’t seem to pick up on (second time that’s happened in this series). It’s definitely better than the last one, but I don’t like it quite as much as the first few. Luckily Craven would perfect the meta analysis of horror with Scream (which is what I’m thinking of doing for this blog series next halloween). It just seems tonally uneven, uncertain if it wants to go for suspense or gore. It either needed ramp up the deaths (otherwise the opening half hour is basically a woman being scared by two people not turning up to work) or go the other way and make us doubt whether it’s happening or whether she’s just having hallucinations. The characters in the film think she’s just gone crazy, but what if we, the audience did to? It would tell us a lot about the pressures put on scream queens, people who are known for being the scared victim. Overall I think it’s a very good idea that just needed slight tweaking. A part of this is probably the potential, and the advertising campaign. It promises something a lot darker, a lot grittier, but in truth a lot of it is just more of the same. It promises darkness and then just hits the dimmer switch slightly.