Scream 4 film poster.
|Directed by||Wes Craven|
|Produced by||Kevin Williamson|
|Written by||Kevin Williamson|
|Starring||David Arquette |
|Music by||Marco Beltrami|
|Distributed by||Dimension Films|
|Release date(s)||April 15, 2011|
|Running time||111 minutes|
|Preceded by||Scream 3|
|Followed by||Scream (2022)|
Scream 4 (styled as SCRE4M) is a 2011 slasher film and the fourth installment in the Scream film series. It was directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson, returning from the first two films, Scream (1996) and Scream 2 (1997). It is the final film ever directed by Wes Craven who passed away in 2015.
As with the other films, it combines straight-forward scares with dialogue that satirizes conventions of slasher films; in this case slasher film remakes, which became trendy in the 2000s, reboots, and endless sequels. It also parodies the "torture porn" horror sub-genre that developed in the same decade, and the rise of internet culture, such as social media, vlogging and fame.
The film is led again by Neve Campbell; it also stars David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere and Marley Shelton among others. Rewrites were done by Ehren Kruger, Craven himself and several others, including Paul Harris Boardman, by request of Bob Weinstein.
Despite this, Williamson is sole credited writer of the project, and Craven stated the film is still entirely Kevin's themes, concepts and ideas. Williamson desired it to be the first act of a new trilogy, but Weinstein intervened, opting for a stand-alone project, feeling a television series would be a suitable successor later on.
Principal photography began on June 28, 2010 and concluded on September 24, 2010. It was extended from the planned September 6 conclusion. Re-shoots occurred in January 2011, following poor test screenings for the original Jenny/Marnie opening sequence and Rebecca's death. The film was released on April 15, 2011, coinciding with the fifteenth anniversary of the original film's first day of production.
Nearing the end of her book tour, Sidney Prescott returns to her home town after ten long years. As she catches up with old friends, her return not only brings back memories but also beckons the return of Ghostface.
On the fifteenth anniversary of the original Woodsboro murders by Billy Loomis and Stu Macher, (although originally implied to be 2010 and the 15th anniversary, the sequel states the events as occurring in 2011), two high school girls - Marnie and Jenny - debate the quality of the dwindling Stab series after watching the opening scene of Stab 7.
Jenny goes upstairs to try and prank Marnie. She attempts the Ghostface voice but reveals herself by laughing before Marnie mysteriously goes silent. Her voice is replaced by that of Ghostface, who taunts Jenny until she steps in near the front door. Marnie's bloodied corpse flies through the glass and Ghostface chases Jenny into the renovated garage. This is where she is stabbed and partially crushed by a falling automated garage door before being stabbed again.
The following morning, Sheriff Dewey Riley is awakened by his cell phone and he's called down to the main street of town to sort out a prank involving Ghostface costumes being put on the lamp posts. Dewey arrives to find his deputy, Judy Hicks, waiting. They share saucy banter over Judy's lemon squares while Dewey receives a call about the murders of Jenny and Marnie.
and her friend, Olivia, who lives next door. Jill gets a weird, threatening call from Ghostface using Jenny's phone and Olivia reveals that she got a similar call from Marnie's phone earlier that morning. They arrive at school, flocked by film geeks and avid bloggers, Robbie and Charlie, who question what their favorite scary movie is in honor of it being the anniversary of the events from the first film.
At home, Gale Riley attempts to begin writing again after seeing Sidney on television, promoting her autobiography/self-help book. She comes up with nothing. Across town, Sidney and her publicist, Rebecca Walters, arrive at a bookstore for the final stop on Sidney's tour. However, Sidney's pep-talk ends and she sees Gale has arrived. After very little small talk, Dewey and Hicks storm in claiming that the cell phone used to call the two murdered girls is somewhere in the area.
Outside, a cell rings and Rebecca tosses Dewey the keys to Sidney's rental car. He opens the trunk to reveal a bloody knife, the cell phone, and pictures of Sidney, smeared with the girls' blood. There are also a couple of copies of Sidney's new book. At the station, Gale has a fight with Hicks, claiming her pastries "taste like ass" followed by a disagreement with Dewey, who refuses her offer to help solve the case. Jill, Olivia and Kirby are interviewed about the phone calls and Sidney is told she can't leave Woodsboro since she is technically a suspect. Sidney elects to stay with Jill and Jill's mother, Kate.
That night, Jill gets a visit from her ex, Trevor, who is scared away by Sidney. Later, while Kirby and Jill are watching Shaun of the Dead, Jill talks to Olivia, who is changing next door, while Kirby deals with a call from Ghostface, who seems to be calling from Trevor's phone. Ghostface gets serious and claims that he's in the closet. Kirby checks but finds no Ghostface. Upon calling him a liar, he counters with, "I never said I was in your closet!" As Kirby realizes his meaning, he breaks out of Olivia's closet, proceeding to stab her repeatedly and knock her around her room with Jill, Kirby and Sidney watching.
Rushing over, Sidney breaks in and gets upstairs in time to find Olivia's corpse, laid out on the bed with her intestines in a pile beside her. Ghostface calls her this time and Jill arrives, remembering Olivia's tendency to dub Sidney as "The Angel of Death". Ghostface pops out again, this time slashing Jill's arm, before being tackled and thrown down the stairs by Sidney. In the ensuing fight, Sidney seemingly knocks Ghostface unconscious but he disappears when she turns to see Detective Hoss and Deputy Perkins arrive, along with Kirby and Trevor.
Outside Olivia's house, as the police investigate the crime scene, Jill apologizes to Sidney after many neighbors shout things at Sidney about her being just like her mother and that this was her fault. Later at the hospital, Sidney fires Rebecca after she tries to take advantage of the current murders to sell Sidney's book and, obviously, her career. Heading to her car, Rebecca is attacked and thrown off the parking garage's roof onto a news van during Dewey's press conference regarding the murders. Meanwhile, Gale makes a deal with Robbie and Charlie: if they let her get an insight into the killings since they know the conventions of modern horror, they get her and Sidney to appear at their school's Cinema Club as special guests.
At the cinema club the following afternoon, Charlie goes through the horror-genre and how the rules have changed since the 1990s. During this conversation, Robbie talks about the Stab-a-thon, an annual party where the local teens get together and watch the Stab films while playing a drinking game. Gale tries to get the location but cannot convince the boys to tell her. Charlie and Robbie also say that the murders are related to the original movie of Stab, as two kids died in their house (Steve and Casey = Jenny and Marnie) then the hottest girl in school is killed (Tatum = Olivia).
Jill remains at home since her mom won't let her go while Kirby heads to the party. Gale is revealed to have followed the teenagers to the abandoned barn where the party is happening and proceeds to place cameras, her identity hidden by a Ghostface mask. Once she slips out to watch, Gale sees that someone is tampering with her cameras. She calls Dewey, convinced it's the killer and threatens to go back inside if he doesn't get there quick. Gale investigates her cameras and finds a webcam, planted to watch her.
Outside, Dewey watches through a camera, one of Gale's that she is holding back as the killer approaches, and rushes inside to save her. Gale is chased around the bales of hay but her cries for help aren't heard over the opening scene of the original Stab. Gale is pinned down and Dewey spots her. He yells at the killer to freeze while aiming his gun and three things happen at once: the killer stabs Gale in the shoulder, Gale pushes him away with her foot, and Dewey shoots. Dewey misses, the killer runs off, and Gale falls into the crowd of shocked teens, blood streaming from her right shoulder. She quickly warns Dewey about the webcam on the upper level before apparently losing consciousness.
At Jill's house, Detective Hoss goes on his rounds after Perkins said the fatal words, "I'll be right back." On his rounds, Hoss sees that Jill's bedroom window is open and returns to the car, finding Perkins slumped over the steering wheel. This turns out to be a cruel prank but neither laugh when Hoss is brutally attacked from behind and Perkins is stabbed in the forehead, citing "Fuck Bruce Willis!" before dying. Inside, Sidney takes down the wind chimes because they're off balance and she isn't sure how to fix them. A few moments later, she tenses when she hears them again. Surprising her, it's revealed that it's her aunt Kate, who comes in clutching grocery bags and leaves again to grab another one. Ghostface calls Sidney and makes a comment about her family being most important to her. This prompts Sidney to go check on Jill but she finds the room empty with Jill's laptop on the bed. Sidney opens it up and sees the messenger is left open, revealing that Kirby took Jill to her house for an after-party.
Downstairs, Kate reveals that the cops are no longer out front and Sidney grabs her hand, intending to lead the way to the car. When they open the back door, they see Ghostface's reflection on the wind chimes and turn around. At the front door, Ghostface wrestles to get inside but Kate successfully closes the door by sitting down and propping herself between the door and the nearby archway. Unfortunately, Ghostface stabs her through the mail slot killing her.
Hicks arrives and checks on Kate but Sidney runs off. At Kirby's house, Trevor arrives, causing an upset amongst the others around: Kirby, Jill, Robbie, and Charlie. He claims he was invited through a text from Jill's phone. Jill denies this and finds her phone has gone missing. She leaves to go upstairs in an attempt to find it and Trevor follows her. Robbie heads outside, leaving Charlie and Kirby alone. They nearly have a moment but are interrupted by Trevor. Charlie leaves, clearly frustrated because his kiss with Kirby was interrupted. Trevor, partially embarrassed by what he walked in on, leaves as well.
Jill comes back downstairs, claiming Trevor didn't follow her upstairs. A drunk Robbie tries to stream his live video blog but is surprised by Ghostface, who mercilessly stabs him and leaves him to die in the bushes. Sidney arrives with news of Kate's death and Robbie struggles to the door, gasping "run" before finally dying. Jill and Sidney run upstairs (pursued by Ghostface) while Kirby runs off somewhere downstairs. Sidney locks her and Jill in Kirby's room, ordering Jill to hide under the bed while she fakes Jill's escape out on the terrace. Ghostface seemingly buys it and Sidney calls Dewey. She is forced to let go of the terrace to escape Ghostface. Downstairs, Sidney finds Kirby and they lock themselves in a room in the basement. Charlie arrives, hands soaked in blood and begs to be let inside. Sidney warns Kirby not to open the door unless she is 100% sure she can trust Charlie. Since Kirby doesn't trust him enough, all she and Sidney can do is watch as he is attacked by Ghostface before the patio lights go out.
When they reactivate, Charlie is duct-taped to a chair and Kirby is forced to become the new Casey Becker to his Steven Orth in order to save his life while Sidney sneaks back upstairs to find Jill. Kirby answers her first question wrong but Ghostface gives her a pity "last chance" question. Without hearing the whole question, she answers by listing every possibility there is. When Ghostface doesn't respond after she's finished, she assumes she answered correctly. Rushing outside, Kirby sees a shadow slip away and frees Charlie while claiming she won. She is surprised when Charlie stabs her in the stomach and reveals himself as one of the killers. He claims that "four years of classes together" is too long for Kirby to wait before trying to make a move on him. Charlie runs inside, leaving a bleeding Kirby for dead. By the time he abandons her, she is still moving after being stabbed, with her fate uncertain.
Sidney, seeing Jill is gone, goes to get Kirby but is caught by Charlie, who holds Sidney at knife-point. She struggles free but runs straight into a second killer's blade as she races for the front door. The second Ghostface is then revealed to be Jill, who is the mastermind being the murder spree. Jill claims that she never had a true identity. She was simply the girl related to Sidney Prescott and grew up in the shadow of a woman she had never even met. Charlie and Jill voice their intentions to become this generation's Sidney Prescott and Randy Meeks, with Jill expressing her anger and jealousy of the fame that Sidney received for surviving the previous murders.
Charlie reveals Trevor, who was gagged and bound in a nearby cupboard, and Jill says he's the one who'll take the fall for the massacre. This is meant to include the attacks on Jill and Charlie, the only survivors. Jill shoots Trevor in the groin as punishment for cheating on her after taking her virginity then shoots him in the head. When Charlie asks her to stab him in the shoulder, copying Billy and Stu's botched attempt to fake injuries in the first movie, she instead stabs him in the heart.
Charlie is surprised by this and Jill informs him that being the sole survivor would win her far more fans. As Charlie dies, Sidney asks how she could have done
this to all of her friends and Jill declares that she needs "fans... not friends!" He became the "Stu Macher" of the remake. Jill continues her jealous rant to Sidney before stabbing her once more for good measure.
Jill goes on to clean off the gun and leave it by Trevor's corpse. She uses his hand to scratch her cheek and pulls out a handful of her hair. Jill stabs herself with the knife by running against the wall pressing the knife into her shoulder. Then she cleans the knife, runs into a glass frame, and purposely falls onto a glass coffee table to cause herself more believable injuries then collapses near Sidney. She mirrors her "death pose" exactly. Dewey, Judy and the rest of the police arrive shortly after and stumble upon the carnage.
At the hospital, Jill is hailed as a hero and she jokingly says that she and Gale could write a book together due to their matching shoulder wounds. Dewey tells Jill that she might not be the sole survivor: Sidney is in the I.C.U. but hasn't woken up from surgery yet. After Dewey leaves, Jill sneaks out of her room and goes to the I.C.U determined to kill Sidney. Jill proceeds to attack Sidney as she awakens, choking her and throwing her against the glass door of a nearby medicine cabinet. Dewey and Gale quickly realize the truth when they remember that Dewey never told Jill about Gale's attack, or about her wounds. Dewey rushes off to find Sidney, calling Hicks for back-up.
Jill hides in the supply closet when she hears Dewey arriving and attacks him with a bedpan when he bursts in, only to be interrupted by Sidney. Jill regains the upper hand and pushes her knee into Sidney's stitches, causing them to become undone. Gale intervenes but is nearly shot by Jill, who has stolen Dewey's Glock 17. Hicks jumps into the room, throwing herself and Gale over the nearby bed.
Jill orders them to come out, on the threat of shooting Dewey. Hicks slowly comes up and gets down her gun as instructed. However, when she tells Jill not to do anything stupid, Jill gets annoyed and is apparently shot dead. Gale gets up, too, and sees Sidney moving. Stalling for time, Gale fumbles over words in a poor attempt to stop Jill as Sidney silently reaches for the shock paddles. Begging for one last word, Gale says, "Clear." Jill questions this and then is electrocuted by Sidney, who puts one paddle to each temple. Sidney told her she forgot the first rule of remakes: "Don't fuck with the original."
Gale and Sidney see, that Dewey's alive. Behind them, a shadow moves and Jill jumps up, pouncing at Sidney with a glass shard, only to be shot in the chest by a knowing Sidney. Sidney, in all the action, her injuries, and exhaustion lies back down next to her cousin's body and whispers, "I don't know about you but I feel a lot better."
Outside, loads of reporters are praising Jill for having single-handedly ended the Woodsboro killings, finally giving her the fame she so desired. The final shot is of Jill's dead eyes, as the whole town is about to realize that their supposed "savior" is actually the mastermind behind it all. Sidney, Gale, Judy, and Dewey told everyone the truth, they all believed them, realized that Jill Roberts tricked everybody, was one of the killers, framed Trevor, and her "fame" was replaced with infamy.
Cast & Characters
- Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott: Sidney has taken her trauma and used it to publish a self help book called Out of Darkness. She returns to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour which just happens to coincide with the 15th anniversary of The Woodsboro Murders. Little does she know a new 21st century Ghostface has started a new spree of killings and wants to reinvent her story.
- David Arquette as Dewey Riley: Dewey is now the sheriff of Woodsboro and has been married to Gale for twelve years. There is strain in their marriage as Gale is not happy with the small town life and wishes to be the big time reporter she once was. Dewey is partnered with Judy Hicks as his Deputy and Judy is clearly harbouring feelings towards Dewey and resentment towards Gale.
- Courteney Cox as Gale Riley: Gale has left her reporting life behind and is now a small town wife in a small town life. She is unhappy with her low-profile life. When the murders start again, she sees this as her chance to restart her career and write a new non-fiction book on the 21st century killings that will make her famous once again. There is strain in her marriage to Dewey, causing her to isolate from him and go off on her own.
- Emma Roberts as Jill Roberts: Jill is Sidney's cousin and has always had ill feelings towards Sidney as growing up in the Roberts family it was always about Sidney and how special Sidney was. Jill resented this and wished to seek this fame for herself, so she teamed up with Charlie Walker to start a new spree of killings in which Sidney would die and Jill would be the main victim, essentially becoming the 21st century Sidney.
- Hayden Panettiere as Kirby Reed: Kirby is Jill's best friend and a horror film fanatic. She attends Woodsboro High and is initially weary of a 21st century Ghostface attack, however she tends to ignore the rules of a remake and eventually finds herself being betrayed by her love interest, Charlie, as he stabs her and leaves her for dead. Her fate is undetermined until the sequel, where she is subtly revealed to have survived.
- Rory Culkin as Charlie Walker: Charlie is a student of Woodsboro High and runs the cinema club. He had a desire to be the 21st century Randy and together with Jill they formed a plan to start their own spree of killings in which they would emerge as the Sidney and Randy of that generation. However he is betrayed by Jill who stabs him in the heart and plans to frame him as this century's Stu Macher.
- Marley Shelton as Judy Hicks: Judy is the Deputy Sheriff of Woodsboro and works closely with Dewey, harbouring romantic feelings for him. She resents Gale for her treatment of Dewey and tries to drive a wedge in their marriage. Judy is also a former classmate of Sidney's and is a suspicious character throughout the movie.
- Nico Tortorella as Trevor Sheldon: Trevor is Jill's ex-boyfriend who cheated on her with Jenny Randall. Trevor is setup to look suspicious to the other students, making everyone believe that he could be this century's Billy Loomis in the new spree of killings. In the end he is killed by Jill for being a shitty boyfriend as well as to frame him as the mastermind.
- Erik Knudsen as Robbie Mercer: Robbie is a student of Woodsboro High and Charlie's best friend, whom he helps run the cinema club.
- Alison Brie as Rebecca Walters: Sidney's publicist who comes with her to Woodsboro. She is not at all focused on Sidney's followers who are supported by the book, instead only caring about the money. She eventually meets her maker when Ghostface stabs her and throws her off the roof of a parking garage.
- Aimee Teegarden as Jenny Randall: A student at Woodsboro High whom Trevor Sheldon previously cheated on Jill Roberts with. She is one of the two first kills of Ghostface which is used to start the 21st century killing spree. She is best friends with Marnie Cooper.
- Brittany Robertson as Marnie Cooper: A student at Woodsboro High who is best friends with Jenny Randall. She is a secret horror movie lover and is one of the two first kills of Ghostface which is used to start the 21st century killing spree.
- Anthony Anderson as Perkins: A police officer in the Woodsboro Police who works closely with Hoss and Hicks. He is assigned to watch over Sidney 24/7. It is stated that he is close to retirement on the day that he is killed by Ghostface.
- Adam Brody as Hoss: A rookie police officer in the Woodsboro Police who works closely with Perkins and Hicks. He is assigned to watch over Sidney 24/7. It is stated that his wife is expectant with a baby on the way soon on the day that he is killed by Ghostface.
- Mary McDonnell as Kate Roberts: Sidney's aunt and the sister of Maureen Prescott. She is still haunted by her sister's murder, claiming to have scars from it just as Sidney does. In order to stay true to the original Stab, Jill kills her mother like Maureen.
- Marielle Jaffe as Olivia Morris: A student at Woodsboro High and the friend of Jill and Kirby. She is the 21st century Tatum and is the third Ghostface kill and one of the more brutal kills of the movie.
- Roger L. Jackson as Ghostface (voice)
- Nancy O'Dell as Reporter
- John Lepard as Mr Baker
- Mark Aaron Buerkle as Dr Orth (brother of Steven Orth)
- Director Wes Craven as Man at Out of Darkness book signing event / Coroner (deleted scene)
- Lucy Hale as Sherrie
- Anna Paquin as Rachel
- Kristen Bell as Chloe
- Shenae Grimes as Trudie
- Heather Graham as Casey
Rules of a Horror Film Remake
A signature device, started in Scream and continued in future films, was the typical "rules" for that type of horror movie being stated by the characters. These rules were made up as the story moved along. They were shared by Charlie Walker, Robbie Mercer and Sidney Prescott. The rules are:
- 1. "Don't fuck with the original." (Stated to be the first rule by Sidney.)
- 2. "You pretty much have to be gay in order to survive. Everybody dies."
- 3. The original ending is a false ending in the remake.
- 4. The killer is always behind you.
A fourth film was announced by The Weinstein Company in July 2008, with Wes Craven saying that he wouldn't mind directing the film if the script was as good as Scream (1996).
In March 2010, it was confirmed that he would indeed direct and stated that, "I am delighted to accept Bob Weinstein's offer to take the reins on a whole new chapter in Scream history. Working with Courteney, David, and Neve was a blast ten years ago and I'm sure it will be again. And I can't wait to find the talent that will bring new blood to the screen as well. Kevin is right on his game with the new script – the characters and story crackle with energy and originality – to say nothing of some of the most hair-raising scares I've seen in a script since... well, since the original Scream series. Let me at it".
Cathy Konrad, producer of the Scream Trilogy sued The Weinstein Company for allegedly developing Scream 4 behind her back and defended the move on false pretences. Her company, Cat Entertainment Inc., had a first-rights deal with the Weinsteins to produce all films in the franchise, but said that the Weinsteins cut her out based on the false pretext that her company's services were supposed to be exclusive to Scream 4. Konrad said, "[that argument] was merely a scheme to force her out of the project without payment so The Weinstein Company could produce the project on the cheap – through Scream 4 director Wes Craven's wife, no less".
Craven stated that within the ten years (though the fifth film revises this as eleven years) that have passed between Scream 3 and Scream 4 and there have been no "real life" Ghostface murders but have been numerous sequels to the movie-within-a-movie Stab. Craven also stated on the life status of Sidney Prescott, "She's done her best to move on from the events that occurred in the previous films, even releasing a successful book".
Craven said that endless sequels, the modern spew of remakes, film studios, and directors are the butts of parodies in the film. The main characters have to figure out where the horror genre is in current days to figure out the modern events happening to and around them. It was reported that the actors were not given the script past page 75 in order to protect the identity of the Ghostface killer.
Previous cast members
Jamie Kennedy told iFMagazine in 2008 that he was in talks of reprising his role as Randy Meeks. Despite the character being killed off in Scream 2, Kennedy said, "I actually had a conversation with somebody very big in the organization, and there's a way. I don't know what's going to happen, but they have plans for a lot of things. You can see new faces you wouldn't expect and you can see old faces that you wouldn't believe. There's a way to bring a lot of things around." Williamson continues to deny such rumors and has since poked fun at the idea of Randy returning, saying things like "I don't know where the Randy/S4 news came from. He's kinda dead" and referencing the white horse in Halloween II, which was ridden by a character that died in the previous film, the remake of Halloween.
In an interview with FEARnet, Williamson continued to deny the rumor saying, "I would love nothing more than to have Jamie Kennedy in the film. However to have Randy in the film, it sort of just takes it… I mean Scream 2 was a lie, you know? It's a false move. So I just won't do it. I can't do that. I just won't do it". At the 67th Golden Globe Awards, the Arquettes discussed the possibility of their return and also that of Neve Campbell and Craven; stating that Dimension Films hoped to get all of them back.
In September 2009, Variety reported that Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox would return. Craven briefly explained their roles in a later interview with Entertainment Weekly, saying "It’s a total integration of those three and new kids. The story of Sid, Gale, and Dewey is very much a part of the movie." At a press conference for Repo Men, Liev Schreiber who played Cotton Weary in the first three films—stated there were no plans for his reprisal. In April, over 12 casting sides were released to the public to buy for auditions of the film.
New cast members
In May 2010, Hayden Panettiere and Rory Culkin signed on. Ashley Greene was offered the role of Sidney's cousin, Jill, but the role later went to Emma Roberts. Rutina Wesley was to play a character called Marcie Perkins but was dropped due to budgets cuts. The Marcie character was scaled down and gender-swapped for Anthony Perkins, portrayed by Anthony Anderson.
Panettiere was announced as Kirby, Jill's best friend, "a nerdy film geek"; while Culkin was announced to play Charlie, a potential love interest for Kirby. Lake Bell was to play a police officer who knew Sidney from high school but dropped out four days before filming due to scheduling conflicts.
Nico Tortorella announced via Twitter that he had been cast in the film. Nancy O'Dell reprises her role from the second and third films as the reporter. Roger L. Jackson also returns as the voice of Ghostface.
Lauren Graham was to play Kate Kessler—which later became Kate Roberts—Jill's mother, but dropped out a few days into principal photography, which was announced on July 1, 2010. The Wrap confirmed Graham dropped out for "scheduling conflicts", likely with her NBC series, Parenthood, though it was also rumoured to be stemming from script re-writes reducing the role down to a cameo.
Adam Brody was announced to play Deputy Hoss, a college graduate who grew up on the CSI TV series. Marley Shelton and Alison Brie were announced to portray Deputy Judy Hicks and Rebecca respectively on July 2, 2010, the former replacing Bell, and the latter portraying Sidney (Campbell)'s personal assistant that is "jealous of her fame and fortune". Erik Knudsen was cast as Robbie, a comic relief to the film.
Principal photography was originally slated to begin in May 2010 but was moved to June 28, 2010, following principal cast members dropping out and script re-writes. Filming ended on September 24, 2010, three weeks ahead of its initial planned conclusion. Re-shoots of two sequences were made in January 2011. Wes Craven approved all deletions, revealing three hours of footage was shot and trimmed in the editing room, but expressed disappointment at Bob Weinstein's decision to remove the aftermath crime scene involving Marnie and Jenny's corpses, as it pertained to the remake theme.
Filming took place in and around Ann Arbor, Michigan. High school scenes were shot at the Woodworth Middle School in Dearborn, Michigan. The former 16th District Court in Livonia, Michigan will be used as a police station until August. In April 2010, while scouting for a bookstore to use in the film, Craven spotted new bookstore that had not yet opened in downtown Northville, Michigan named Next Chapter Bookstore & Bistro. Craven instantly loved the building and the name and decided to use both in the film. He also hired the owner's chef to prepare the food and pastry for a scene in the film. The scenes were scheduled to begin shooting the first week of July.
Resemblances to the Previous Movies
- Originally, Marnie Cooper and Jenny Randall's deaths were intended to be a remake of Casey Becker and Steven Orth's deaths. In the original filmed version, Marnie is killed after Jenny, not the other way around, and Marnie is also dressed and appears similar to Casey. Test screenings disliked this element to the opening scene, and it was changed.
- In the official canon released version, Marnie dies off-screen and Jenny Randall's death is a callback to the death of Tatum Riley in the first movie.
- The scene where Charlie is tied to a chair and Kirby being quizzed by Ghostface is a reference to the opening scene of Scream.
- The Stab-a-thon in an isolated Barn hosted by Charlie and Robbie is similar to Stu Macher hosting a party in his isolated house as a set for the finale of the Woodsboro killing spree.
- The two "Stab" opening scenes reference the openings to the first two Scream films. In the first scene (from "Stab 6") two teen girls, home alone, receive menacing phone calls before being killed (like Casey in Scream). In the second scene (from "Stab 7"), a girl is stabbed in the gut by the person sitting next to her while watching a "Stab" movie (like Maureen in Scream 2).
- Officer Hoss and Officer Perkins are homages to Detective Richards and Detective Andrews from Scream 2. Like the Detectives in Scream 2, the Officers in this movie die in/next to the vehicle whilst protecting Sidney and her loved ones.
- Judy Hicks wears a bulletproof vest to defend herself from the gunshot. This a reference to Scream 3.
- Ghostface calls Sidney to tell her to turn on the news where she sees a reporter talking about Gale's attack, and telling her everyone is going to die while all Sidney can do is watch, similar to another Ghostface calling in Scream 3, who wants her to turn on the news where she sees news reporters talking about the death of Cotton Weary and asks her if she thinks the killings are over.
- Kirby Reed checks her closet for Ghostface in the identical manner that Principal Arthur Himbry does in Scream.
- Rebecca Walters is thrown from the hospital's parking garage after being stabbed. This is similar to the deaths of CiCi Cooper and Tyson Fox from Scream 2 and Scream 3 respectively, who were both stabbed before being thrown off balconies.
- Robbie Mercer is brutally attacked by the killer but manages to muster enough strength to walk up to the front door of Kirby's house and warn of the killer's presence before dying. This is similar to Steven Stone's death from Scream 3, who is also brutally attacked by Ghostface but manages to walk up to the front door of Jennifer Jolie's house before dying.
Films Mentioned in the movie
- Saw IV (mentioned in Stab 6)- the movie Trudie and Sherrie were supposed to watch. Trudie finds the movie gross instead of scary.
- Halloween- mentioned by Kirby when quizzed by Ghostface. Jill also mentions Michael Myers the killer of the movie.
- Texas Chainsaw Massacre - mentioned by Kirby while quizzed by Ghostface. Charlie mentions Leatherface the killer of the movie.
- Dawn of the Dead
- The Hills Have Eyes
- Black Christmas
- Last House on the Left
- The Amytiville Horror
- Bambi- Kirby's 'favorite scary movie' as a reply to Robbie's question.
- Peeping Tom
- Don't Look Now
- Shaun of the Dead- watched by Jill and Kirby.
- Prom Night
- Final Destination - Olivia says the Final Destination franchise should be about Sidney since everyone who meets her dies.
- Sorority Row
- Child's Play
- A Nightmare On Elm Street
- The Exorcist
- Friday the 13th
- When a Stranger Calls
- House of Wax
- My Bloody Valentine
- The Fog
- The Grudge (Chloe mentions "little Asian ghost girls", an obvious allusion to The Grudge. Robbie mentions the film in a deleted scene).
|Scream 4 has a Photo Gallery.|
- Last film directed by Wes Craven before he died due to brain cancer on August 30, 2015, at the age of seventy-six.
- Filming ran for two weeks longer than planned.
- Originally planned for an October 2010 release date, but after writing delays the scheduled release date is April 15, 2011.
- With four installments, this landmarks the Scream franchise as being one of the only horror franchises to have both its main characters as well as its director (Wes Craven) return for all of its sequels.
- Intended to be the first of a new trilogy, but Wes Craven's death put a stop to that.
- Out of all five Scream films, this film has the highest body count with fourteen.
- In July 2009, after years of rumors and negotiations, David Arquette and Courteney Cox signed up to reprise their roles. Neve Campbell was confirmed in September 2009.
- This is the first movie where Dewey doesn't get stabbed in some way. Instead, he's hit over the head with a bedpan in this installment.
- In the scene where Charlie (Rory Culkin) is tied to the chair, all bloody and Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) is behind the glass door looking at him, on the phone to Ghostface answering scary movie questions to save his life, this entire sequence mirrors the opening sequence from Scream (1996). The first film has Drew Barrymore's character looking onto Kevin Patrick Walls' character, attempting to answer scary movie questions to save his life.
- This is the first movie to not feature a character named "Steven". The first Scream (1996) had Steven Orth played by Kevin Patrick Walls, killed in the first scene. Scream 2 (1997) had Phil Stevens played by Omar Epps, also killed in the first scene. Scream 3 (2000) had Steve Stone played by Patrick Warburton, killed when Ghostface used a voice synthesizer to disguise himself as Dewey.
- After Jill is shot, Courtney's last line is, "We need a doctor, goddammit." But with the commentary of the DVD playing, after Sidney's last line, Courtney has an additional line, screaming in the hall, "Where the hell is everybody?"
- This movie is the sequel with the most homage count to its original.
- Sidney's Blue Climax scene outfit closely resembles her blue jacket and undershirt in Scream.
- Dewey says the line, "Gale, behind you." in this movie and in Scream 3 and 2.
- This is the third movie that Sidney falls from a height. In Scream, she falls off the roof onto a boat. In Scream 3, she jumps out of the window of her mothers "murder room scene" and in this movie, she slips off the roof.
- This movie still involves The Stairs Chase scene.
- The protagonist/s see a dead body, then the killer gives chase. This is featured in the first and fourth movies. I.e. In Scream: Dewey with the knife in his back being witnessed by Sidney then the killer chases her. In Scream 4: Robbie bleeding to death being witnessed by Sidney, Jill and Kirby then the killer runs after them.
- Several of the new characters appear to be based on/resembles the characters of the first movie:
- Jill Roberts (Sidney Prescott and Billy Loomis), Kirby Reed (Tatum Riley and Sidney Prescott), Trevor Sheldon (Billy Loomis and Neil Prescott), Charlie Walker (Randy Meeks and Stu Macher), Robbie Mercer (Randy Meeks and Kenny Jones), Judy Hicks, Anthony Perkins, and Ross Hoss (Dewey Riley), Rebecca Walters (Gale Weathers), Olivia Morris (some similarities with Tatum Riley), Kate Roberts (Maureen Prescott, Sidney's deceased mother).
- The killer was featured on the movie poster for Scream 4. That hadn't been done since the 1st Scream movie.
- There is a scene in the film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back where Jay and Silent Bob appear to be running from security guards and they end up on the set of a fictitious Scream 4. This movie is from 2001 and the fictitious Scream 4 scene involves the actress, Shannen Doherty, playing a character who ends up unmasking Ghostface after knocking him out. As an obvious parody, Ghostface is actually a monkey and Shannen calls cut. She asks Wes Craven, who is also in the scene, "A monkey, Wes? I mean, Jesus, you guys aren't even trying anymore, are you?" Wes says everybody loves monkeys. This cues Jay and Silent Bob to run through the set, grabbing the monkey, and saying, "We love this monkey!" The scene ends with Wes saying to Shannen, "See?" Then we see security chase the boys offset.
- As of this movie, there are only 3 original survivors left.
- During the scene in the Cinema Club, posters from various other movies directed by Wes Craven were seen. These include The People Under the Stairs and The Hills Have Eyes.
- This is the first movie that the motive doesn't have to do with or relate to Maureen Prescott's murder, although her death was mentioned and recreated, Jill even stated that her own mother had to die in order to stay true to the original.
- Scream 4 is referenced in British Drama Waterloo Road.
- Scream 4 is referenced for a mistake in Great Movie Mistakes III: Not In 3D.
- This is the first Scream film where two characters of the same gender were killed in the opening scene (The first 3 Scream films opened up with a male/female death).
- Every film in the franchise until the fifth one features at least one person getting murdered in the opening scene.
- The end credits song is Bad Karma by Ida Maria.
- As seen in the gag reel, there was an on-going prank on-set where somebody dressed in the Ghostface mask would jump out and scare an actor or actress at a time when Ghostface wasn't scripted to appear. For example, an actor or actress would open a door expecting nobody to be behind it, and instead, somebody in the mask would jump out. In at least one instance, this prank was pulled on an actress during a scene where she was scripted to be chased by a killer, rounded a corner and met an unscripted appearance by Ghostface.
- To make the acting more intense, Director Wes Craven didn't allow the actors and actresses to meet who was on the other end of the line when Ghostface contacted them.
- For the first time in the franchise, a CGI-added knife was used because Director Wes Craven wanted to avoid using prop knives that are rubber, cardboard, and collapsible.
- Neve Campbell and Emma Roberts, two of the lead actresses in this movie, admitted to being terrified of horror films. Emma Roberts stated she was hiding under the covers while watching the first three Scream films. Incidentally, Emma appeared in seasons three and four of American Horror Story (2011), as well as Scream Queens (2015). Also, Neve Campbell stated a while back that she can't watch the films because she doesn't like being scared.
- The roles of Chloe and Rachel were written with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan in mind.
- In June 2010, Wes Craven asked his fans following his Twitter account what his cameo should be. The cameo was ultimately cut from the film.
- At a table read on June 25, 2010, the actors and actresses were told to stop reading at page 75, to prevent those already cast in the film from knowing the climax.
- Screenwriter Kevin Williamson had repeated clashes with the Weinsteins (Bob and Harvey Weinstein), resulting in them once again hiring Ehren Kruger for re-writes, and the script varied heavily from the original drafts.
- The scene where Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) says that her favorite scary movie is Bambi (1942), mirrors the scene in Scream 2 (1997), where Randy (Jamie Kennedy) tells the killer that his favorite scary movie is Showgirls (1995).
- (At around eighteen minutes) A bust of Henry Winkler (former Principal in Scream (1996)) can be seen briefly in the hallway.
- The fourth installment brings the total number of killers throughout the franchise up to seven.
- Deputy Perkins' first name is Anthony, making his name Anthony Perkins, the same name as the actor who played Norman Bates in the Psycho film franchise. In Psycho (1960), Norman Bates' line: "We all go a little mad sometimes" was repeated by Billy (Skeet Ulrich) in Scream (1996). He also shares his first name with the actor that plays him, Anthony Anderson.
- In the deleted scenes, Dewey (David Arquette) explains to Gale (Courteney Cox) that Neil Prescott (Lawrence Hecht) (Sidney's father) has passed away since appearing in Scream 3(2000) and this is the first time Sidney (Neve Campbell) has returned to Woodsboro since his death.
- The role of Deputy Perkins is played by Anthony Anderson. Anderson appeared in several of the Scary Movie sequels. Scary Movie (2000) was a spoof of the Scream films.
- In an early draft of the script, Gale (Courteney Cox) and Dewey (David Arquette) had a baby, but was changed after it was decided bringing a baby into the film would make shooting "impossible".
- A dummy of Tatum (Rose McGowan) stuck in the pet door (a moment that is also echoed by the movie's opening sequence) is visible at the "Stabathon". Audience members dressed as Dewey and Gale can also be seen.
- Kevin Williamson, the writer of this film, has expressed a subtle annoyance towards the release of the film. During production, Producers Bob and Harvey Weinstein brought in Ehren Kruger (the writer of Scream 3 (2000) to polish up the script. Wes Craven later stated that the main ideas, story, and the concept of the movie were written by Williamson, with minor changes made by Kruger.
- Patrick Dempsey was rumored to reprise his role from Scream 3 (2000). Screenwriter Kevin Williamson claimed the rumor to be false. Also, Dempsey would be filming Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) at the same time for shooting this movie, whereas it would be unlikely for him to have the availability to reprise his role.
- Lucy Hale and Shenae Grimes-Beech became good friends after shooting.
- Before shooting the movie, Hayden Panettiere (Kirby) had a burglar break into her house and while the police were on their way she climbed out on to the roof and waited until they arrived.
- Emma Roberts' first horror movie.
- (At around twelve minutes) There is a copy of Sidney's book Out Of Darkness on Dewey's bedside table.
- Scout Taylor-Compton and Shane Dawson auditioned for roles in the movie.
- Each of the six actresses in the opening sequence was also a main actress in a series. Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars (2010)), Shenae Grimes-Beech (90210 (2008)), Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars (2004)), Anna Paquin (True Blood (2008), Aimee Teegarden (Friday Night Lights (2006), Britt Robertson (The Secret Circle (2011).
- As of this movie, Sidney (Neve Campbell) is shown to no longer be in possession of the Greek necklace that Derek (Jerry O'Connell) gave her in Scream 2 (1997) (and she subsequently wore in Scream 3 (2000)). This may imply that Sidney moved on from his death in the decade since it occurred, or the necklace was simply lost.
- Selena Gomez was considered for the role of Jill Roberts.
- The outfit that Trevor (Nico Tortorella) wears in the final act of the movie is the same outfit that Neil Prescott (Lawrence Hecht) wore in the final act of Scream (1996). Trevor is also bound and gagged identically to Neil Prescott.
- This is the first Scream film in which Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber) and Randy (Jamie Kennedy) do not appear.
- Shane Dawson auditioned for a part and got a callback, but one of the producers thought he was a nothing at the time and he didn't get a part, although he was invited to the premiere.
- Emma Roberts grew up watching the Scream movies.
- Lucy Hale didn't have to audition for her role.
- Rory Culkin, Emma Roberts, and Nico Tortorella appeared in Twelve (2010).
- Despite the unrealistic way Deputy Perkins (Anthony Anderson) walks around after being stabbed in the head, this is actually medically accurate. Director Wes Craven was watching a television special about a man who was stabbed in the head just the way Perkins is in the film, and the man actually took himself to the hospital.
- Unlike nearly every other character in the franchise, the fate of Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) was never confirmed. According to Wes Craven, the shooting script included a scene near the end where Kirby is revealed to have survived, but the scene was cut during production. Later on the DVD commentary Craven stated, "As you can see, Hayden was still moving... not saying she's coming back for sure.". She was later confirmed to be alive in Scream 5.
- Many fans of Scream (1996) have pointed out that although Tatum's (Rose McGowan's) death was a great set piece, garage door motors are not strong enough to lift a person off the ground, and have safety mechanisms in place to make her murder impossible. The opening sequence of this movie, however, has a garage door close on Jenny Randall, then rise again once the safety sensors are tripped. This is more akin to what would actually happen if one were to try to crush someone in a motorized garage door.
- As of 2011, the only Scream film where neither one of the killers is shot in the head.
- Including Maureen Prescott's (Lynn McRee's) death, the total body count for the four Scream films is forty-three.
- Has the shortest killers in the series with Emma Roberts only five foot two inches, and Rory Culkin only five foot six.
- The scenes when Jill (Emma Roberts) cuts her face, throws herself in front of a glass picture and then on top of a glass table were done by her stunt double Allison Caetano.
- In every one of the Scream movies a person who is from Woodsboro gets killed. In Scream (1996) and this film, most of the victims lived there. Also in Scream 2 (1997) Randy Meeks was from Woodsboro and in Scream 3 (2000) Cotton Weary was from there.
- At "1hr 28min" in, Jill & Charlie explain their plan and Charlie shows Sidney footage of one of them killing Marnie; the video is actually footage of the alternate opening to this film, where we see Jenny die first then Marnie get stabbed in the gut by GhostFace.
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