Total Film

OR IS SCREAM 4 THE FRANCHISE’S BEST?

- Asks Josh Winning

screamake,” it delivers the expected self-referentia­l movie chat, creepy phone calls and gore (this was posttortur­e porn, but pre-iPhone ubiquity).

But most tantalisin­g of all is its central conceit that, in a reboot, the rules have changed and reversals are the new standard. That means cops die, the ‘climactic’ set-piece takes place in the middle of the movie, and the film opens with two Russian-doll-style fake-outs in which we’re actually watching Stab 6 and

7. Even being gay won’t save you, as Erik Knudsen’s Robbie discovers.

And when it comes to the identity of the killer? All bets are off. In fact, Scream 4 drags “everybody’s a suspect” to its natural conclusion with a killer you never see coming. A decade on, the big reveal is even more chillingly relevant. “I don’t need friends. I need fans,” the unmasked killer howls. Anybody who’s ever worried about their Insta following will understand.

Beyond that, Scream 4 is jampacked with hot takes and fresh spins. Gale is ferocious going rogue; the debate about what it means to be a victim adds depth; and Campbell’s final line is badass. The cherry on top? That’d be Panettiere’s breathless, off-the-cuff listing of horror-movie remakes – 14 in total.

With a new Scream in cinemas next year, reuniting the survivors with yet another hip young cast, it’s not the original film that directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett need to beat, it’s Scream 4… or is it just me? Share your reaction at www.gamesradar. com/totalfilm or on Facebook and Twitter.

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