Scream 4 Mercy... And They'll Still Do It Anyway
It was a done deal anyway but Dimension Films has given Scream 4 the go-ahead with Wes Craven back directing, Kevin Williamson writing and, sigh, the "triumvirate" of Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courtney Cox Arquette (second only in history, methinks, to Caesar, Magnus and Crassus, but I digress...) reprising their roles. The release date -- mark it now, kids -- is 12 April 2011 and said to be almost 11 years to the day since the last film of the trilogy slashed into cinemas. You could measure the years since you stopped caring about Ghost Face and discover it's almost exactly the same time frame.
Look, I thought the first three were good fun, though the law of diminishing returns applied, with the third installment akin to the desperate gurgles from a sucking chest wound: signs of life but just barely. Still, kudos to Craven and Williamson for re-energizing the horror genre and dragging it, for better or worse, into the post-modern world. But surely that job is done. Some would argue done too well and that horror's yet to recover from the notion that multiplex maniacs have to be served up with self-referential winks at the audience. Others see the excesses of torture porn as a reaction to a genre that "went soft" after the Scream franchise made megabucks.
In any case, I'm not convinced there's a rabid fanbase salivating at the prospect of the fourquel -- or whatever you call it. Has anyone out there been wondering what Gayle, Dewey and Sid have been up to for the past decade? (Okay, apart from the band of devotees who've been writing fan fiction to keep the dream alive.) And the prospect that Scream 4's success will trigger a new trilogy is just dispiriting.
If you're going to do it, why not ditch the original cast and go for a Lucas-like prequel? Or maybe just not bother. I mean can anyone think of a "number four" that's actually worth remembering?