The first Scream flick was a good movie. You know it was. It infused horror films with a type of style and humor that was fresh and easy to consume. The film knew that it belonged to a greater catalog of horror films, and it made clever use of this knowledge. The first Scream paid homage to horror films of old, but it did so in a way that recognized and lampooned existing horror film formulas. The sequels got old, to be sure, but that original Scream movie seemed to hit all of the right notes.

The same is true with Scream 4. Seriously. It captured that old, self-aware, self-deprecating vibe of the first film, but it still brought an updated, fresh take to the whole franchise. Reboot jokes were commonplace. Scream 4 never took itself too seriously, but it still pushed all the right horror buttons without coming across as stale. It poked fun without turning tired. That’s not easy to do.

Let’s be clear, this isn’t some breakthrough film that’ll change the way movies are made. It’s just a fun trip down a familiar path. It had old stars and new faces, a smart intro and plenty of cameos. Add in some amusing death scenes, a good bit of intrigue and some serious plastic surgery, and you got 111 minutes of quality slash and laughs.

I didn’t have massive expectations for a fourth Scream film. How good could it be? We’ve seen it all before. So when AXE Shower hooked us up with tickets to the Scream 4 premiere at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood, our expectations were minimal at best. Before the film started, Bob Weinstein said that if it were up to his brother, they would’ve made a bunch more of these films. We were skeptical. And the lively, supportive crowd likely played a factor, but after watching the thing, I wasn’t thinking about what didn’t work in this film. I was thinking about all the things that did work – the stuff that makes you happy you went to the movie theater.

The fourth Scream installment is not just watchable, it’s actually enjoyable. Were there things that could’ve been better? For damn sure. The acting with the younger crowd was lacking a bit. Did the movie force you to suspend some bit of critical judgment in favor of having a good time? Of course. You just gotta know what you’re getting into and have fun with it.

Bottom line, Scream 4 is unexpectedly entertaining, and well worth a visit to your local movie spot. I’m sure it’ll blow up this weekend.

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