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15 years of Ghostface: Scream 4

Writer: Wong Wei Ling

After "Halloween", before "Saw" - that's where "Scream" is.

With the tagline "New Decade, New Rules" for the fourth movie, what is director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson going to present the audience? You can read that Craven has signed on to direct both "Scream 5" and "Scream 6" as well, while Williamson already has an outline for the new trilogy.

David Arquette, Neve Campbell and Courtney Cox returns to "Scream 4".

Whatever the intended reboot holds, original stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courtney Cox are back in "Scream 4" (2011). Campbell will be continue her character as primary victim of Ghostface, Sidney Prescott. The real-life pairing of (apparently separated) David Arquette and Courtney Cox play married couple Sheriff Dewey Riley and Gale Weathers-Riley, while the killer's voice by Roger L. Jackson also returns!

In one published interview, David Arquette admits that the main reason for returning to the set was the chance to re-team with his co-stars and director Wes Craven. Of course, he is pleased with the script at the same time. "It's an exciting movie ... 'Scream 4' I think is going to be the best of the sequels by far. It's got a really amazing beginning, and throughout it it's great and then the ending is pretty cool, too."


A scene in "Scream 4".
The returning players from "Scream" (1996) will be joined by a relatively young cast that includes Hayden Panattiere, Emma Roberts, Anthony Anderson, Alison Brie, Rory Culkin, Erik Knudsen, Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Emma Roberts ("4.3.2.1", "Valentine's Day") will be portraying Jill, one of the new trilogy's primary heroines. The role of Jill was originally for "Twilight" star Ashley Greene but the Weinstein Company announced that the role for Greene went to the "Nance Drew" (2007) star instead.

A lot of fans are speculating that everyone from the class of '96 will die in this fourth movie, considering the number of new characters that are included. Even if they survive this movie, they'll probably be the first victims in "Scream 5"!


Emma Roberts in "Scream 4".
Also, the brother of Macaulay Culkin, Rory plays a potential love interest for Jill, we've heard. "Scream" fans predict that Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin are most probably the first victims for "Scream 4", as evident from Wes Craven's preferred style in previous movies where the celebrities get killed off early. For example, Drew Barrymore in "Scream" (1996) was the first victim of a Ghostface attack.

Look away now if you don't want to read a possible spoiler - there are rumours that Randy (one of the main character in the earlier trilogy is returning for this fourth movie. However, actor Jamie Kennedy who portrayed Randy in the earlier movies reportedly gave a tricky comment: "I can't tell you that! You will have to watch it and find out!" If Randy appears, could it be a twin play?

All these stars, yet people sometimes forget the primary terror that makes the franchise work - Ghostface. Our less-than-friendly neighbourhood menace Ghostface will be officially 15 years old in 2011, so what can we expect from him this time around? Let's analyse Ghostface through the first three movies.

In the name of Hatred

In the 1996 original "Scream", Ghostface kills in the name of hatred. It was the hatred that stemmed from a broken family that sowed the seeds of a tragic murder. The twist in this is that there's a partnership killing, similar to real-life killers Leopold and Loeb who murdered their friends and pursued the execution of a perfect crime.

The first Ghostface, Billy, claims that Sidney's mother had an affair with his father and caused his mother to leave; so that's why he kills. The second Ghostface, Stu, claims that peer pressure pushes him to kill.

In the name of Vengeance

In "Scream 2" (1997), the tag-team idea continues, the motive being vengeance. Ghostface #1 Mickey is the best friend of Billy (the killer in the first movie) and is used by Ghostface #2 Mrs. Loomis, who happens to be Billy's mother. She claims revenge as the motive. Mickey willingly helps her so that he can be a hero. But why would Mrs. Loomis care about Billy since she was the one who abandoned him in the first place? Perhaps she's just taking revenge for herself by killing Sidney who's the daughter of her husband's lover.

In the name of Jealousy

In "Scream 3" (2000), Ghostface finally goes it solo. He happens to be Sidney's half-brother, Roman. Born as an unwanted and then rejected by his mother, he decides to kill out of a broken heart. The root of his evil goes back to the jealousy and anger at Sidney as she had a mother, which should be his mother as well. Like most killers in this situation, he probably thinks that what he did is only fair. It is also revealed that Roman is the one who caused Billy to kill. Perhaps people just want to kill and make up reasons as they go along!

The twists and turns in the trilogy all revolve around the identity and hidden motives of the killer (or killers) so it's going to be very interesting to see what direction "Scream 4" is going to take. It's widely reported that "Scream 4" (2010) will start with Sidney, who is now a book author and is trying to move on with her life.

In late June 2010, director Wes Craven reportedly posted a photo of three masks – but it was immediately removed. According to fans whom have seen the photo, there is an original Ghostface, a scarecrow version Ghostface and a zombie version Ghostface. Let's see if these come into the movie!

"Scream 4" opens in Singapore, Malaysia and most other territories worldwide in mid-April 2011.

Cinema Online, 14 December 2010

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