"What's your favorite scary movie?" In the '90s, the answer was Scream
, Wes Craven's self-referential little slasher film that reinvented horror and changed all of its rules. Scream
was followed by the equally successful Scream 2
in 1997 and 2000's Scream 3
, which seemed to wrap up the storylines of tenacious survivor Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), tough-as-nails writer Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Deputy Dewey Riley (David Arquette)—at least for a decade or so.
Now, 11 years later, Craven and original writer Kevin Williamson have come together for Scream 4, the best—and scariest—sequel in the series and one that fans will not want to miss in theaters this weekend. Sidney is now a celebrated author who discovers when she comes home to Woodsboro that she has another Ghostface to contend with. Gale and Dewey are back to help, along with a cast of fresh faces that were just kids when the original trilogy came out. One thing is certain this time: No matter how much the rules have changed, "don't f**k with the original."
Before you go to the theater and watch Scream queens Campbell and Cox try to survive another round of scariness, check out the first three Scream flicks, all of which are now available on both DVD and Blu-ray.
The opening scene with Drew Barrymore
alone in a house being harassed by a disturbing caller obsessed with movie trivia has become one of the most memorable moments in the annals of horror cinema. We are then introduced to high school student Sidney Prescott, a girl still dealing with the pain of her mother's murder a year earlier who must now contend with a Ghostface killer slicing up the student body. Courteney Cox
chews into her role as ruthless reporter Gale Weathers and erases any memory of her Friends
character, David Arquette
plays the bumbling deputy that Gale falls for, and Jamie Kennedy is the film nerd who spouts all the rules of the genre. Look for fun cameos by Linda Blair, Henry Winkler and Craven himself as a hall janitor with a Freddy Krueger sweater.
Sidney has gone away to college to study acting only to find that the murders have started again on campus just as the film Stab
, which is based on the events of the first film, is released in theaters. The increasing body count attracts Gale to the campus as well as Dewey, who is understandably worried about Sidney's safety. Someone is copying the Woodsboro murders, and we learn it has something to do with Sidney's mother, Maureen, who is not as innocent as Sidney believes. Look for appearances by Jada Pinkett-Smith
as the sassy first-girl victim, Sarah Michelle Gellar as the "sober sister" at a sorority house, Timothy Olyphant
as the "freaky Tarantino film student," and Jerry O'Connell as Sid's devoted boyfriend.
After surviving two rounds of masked killers, Sidney understandably lives in seclusion in Northern California and works from home as a counselor for abused women. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, a new Ghostface killer tries to lure Sidney out of hiding by killing Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber
)—the man Sidney mistakenly identified as the killer of her mother. Suspecting that Cotton's murder has something to do with the production of Stab 3
, Gale crashes the set and is reunited with Dewey, who is now the bodyguard of Jennifer Jolie (Parker Posey
), who plays Gale in Stab 3
. The cast of Stab 3
starts getting literally cut from the film as the killer leaves old pictures of Maureen Prescott at the murder scenes. When Sidney gets a call from the new killer in her hideaway, she travels to Los Angeles for an unexpected familial faceoff. Craven felt this entry was a little too "Scooby Doo" and subsequently made Scream 4
darker, but Posey is a gas as a Gale imposter and there are fun cameos by Carrie Fisher as a basement-dwelling studio archivist, Heather Matarazzo as Randy's sister and Jenny McCarthy as struggling actress Sarah Darling.