Each opening in a Scream movie is almost like a mini film itself. The first one is iconic, killing off the biggest named actor in the flick in the first ten minutes. (In fact, Drew had been cast as Sidney originally.) The second Screams' beginning is my personal favorite, featuring a murder right there in a movie theater, packed with raving fans, many of whom are dressed as Ghostface. The opening scene in the third movie is much like the rest of the third movie. Weakest of the three, but not quite terrible. Scream 4's open is easily the most fun, and most complex of the series, and I won't spoil it for you. It's funny and brutal, and it's a great way for Mr. Ghostface to return.
The rest of the movie fares just as well, with a couple jump out of your seat moments, and way moe than a couple good laughs. The dialogue it witty and sharp, much like the first two were, with none of the clunky and tired horror cliched dialogue that was found in the third one. Kevin Williamson wrote the first two, and the outline of the third. He gets sole writing credit here, but it's no secret he had some sot of falling out with one of the Weinsteins and dropped out/was pushed out of the project partway into shooting, leaving the guy who butchered Scream 3 to return on some rewrites. Whatever happened, the final product doesn't seem to suffer in any way.
Seeing the Big Three back was awesome, even though looking at the cosmetic surgery ravaged Courtney Cox is kind of a bummer. Dewey gets a few choice Dewey moments, squinting his eyes and flashing that goofy smile. Sid is Sid, and seems to simply choose to take on any danger that comes across her path, maybe feeling a bit more bold and confident after three rounds of psychos trying to kill her, and besting each and every one.
The new cast is fantastic, and everyone will surely find a favorite. The kids (and a few cops and the such) are fleshed out I found myself genuinely bummed out when someone would kick the bucket. The third act is great and filled with carnage, and the motive of the killer/killers is believable and better than some of the motives of past Ghostfacers. The film feels sort of like the first and only direct sequel to Scream, owing a lot to the tone of the first movie, and for the fact that it's set in Woodsborro. The younger folk in the town are way into the Stab movies (The movies within the movies, the first thee based on the events of first three Scream movies.), and feel a perverse excitement to live where it all started.
I only have two complaints. A one liner that hits, but is sputtered by someone seconds away from dying. (Really, you're not going to be funny as your literally keeling over.) My second complaint is that it felt a little too short, especially the climax, thought that could just be me wishing for more since I'm a die hard Scream lover.
In the end, Scream 4 is a worthy sequel, a great addition to the franchise, and might end up being my second favorite film in the series.
Thundermatts Grade: A
And for those interested, my grade on the first three:
Scream 2- A -
Scream 3- C+