Scream 4 adopts the production technique as the other films in the series, to put the viewer straight into the story with an intense ten minutes to open up the film with murder and the arrival of the new ghostface. "It's been a long time between drinks for the Scream series and the latest offering starts out strong with an extended movie-within-a-movie sequence. The content it contains will be familiar to anyone with a passing knowledge of the earlier versions but this time it is expanded on and the slef aware humour is ratched up. Fitting, as the movie sticks to this approach throughout the remainder." (Heinemann, 2011) The movie within movie sequence is the idea of the 'Ouroboros', the snake devouring it's tail with no clear outcome. The audience are unaware each time that the two female characters are actually the cast members of the 'stab' films, the characters themselves believe they are also in the 'real' world commenting on the previous stab film they were watching before becoming the next victims and moving onto the next set of characters.
Scream 4 has a sense of time travelling with it's mash of generations and references to the other proceeding films in the scream series. "In the last of the film's three prologues, Jenny Randall (Aimee Teegarden) accuses Stab 5 of being the worst in the Stab franchaise for stooping to the use of 'time travel'. In fact Scream 4 is probably the best of the Scream sequels, but with its generational clashes and self-concious echoes from the past, the film is already flirting with a 'time travel' gimmick, collapsing the differences between then and now, and making the old heroes, rather than the new villains, the ones who, Michael Myers-like, just keep coming back." (Bitel, 2011) The theme of survival ties in well throughout the series to make the original cast members able to have the experience of the previous incarnations of Ghost Face and the knowledge for the rules of a horror movie. The story centres around another class of generation in Sidney's cousin Jill as if she were starting in the same in high school and susposedly being stalked by a killer and her ex boy friend plays the role of the creep who seems overly obesessed in her. This lays in a lot of puns about the original film because the characters and scenerios are similiar so that Scream 4 no longer needed to spoof other horror films but could successfully influence itself.
The film is a mirror reflection as to what the audience has seen before but also runs in different directions to change the tension and atmosphere. "Now between franchaise boogeymen, Craven who begat Freddy, who begat Ghostface - is happily treading water here, exploding the cliches he exploded so successfully 16 years ago. The result is a brain-dead brainteaser, a mirror reflection of a mirror reflection." (Lovell, 2011) The director, Wes Craven was able to use some of the gimmicks and references he used before because that is what the audience expected to make this film feel part of the franchaise. However the film twists right at the end with the reveal of Jill's true nature and intention and instead of mirroring Sidney's character, she is seen to mirror the character of Charlie her partner in the murders because both characters want acceptance and come out of the dark by killing the friends and family who thought they could trust them. The ouroboros of the whole series has been the three original cast members being triumphant over the killer which is represented with the significant line "Don't Fuck with the Original", which tells the viewer that Sidney, Gale and Dewey always would win because the villain makes many flaws after they reveal themselves to create the oppurtunities to topple them.
Figure 1, (2010), Horror scenario within a horror scenario, @ http://www.flicksandbits.com/tag/emma-roberts/page/3/ , Accessed on: 25th November 2010
Figure 2, (2010), Ghostface stalking Gale, @ http://uk.movies.ign.com/dor/objects/14312631/scream-4/images/scream-4-20101021014200931.html, Accessed on: 21st October 2010
Figure 3, (2011), Jill Roberts, cousin of Sidney Prescott, @ http://cindileejm.blogspot.com/2011/04/scream-4-movie-review.html, Accessed on: 21st April 2011
Bitel Anton, (2011), Eye for Film - Scream 4, @ http://www.eyeforfilm.co.uk/reviews.php?film_id=20162, Accessed on: 22nd August 2011
Heinemann Andreas, (2011), Flicks - Scream 4, @ http://www.flicks.co.nz/news/review-scream-4/, Accessed on: 16th May 2011
Lovell Glenn, (2011), CinemaDope - Scream 4, @ http://cinemadope.com/reviews/scream-4-%E2%9C%AE%E2%9C%AE/, Accessed on: 4th May 2011