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Face-Off: Scream 3 Vs. Scream 4

04.29.2015by: Mike Catalano
The majority clicked "like" with the winner of our last online evil Face-Off which had Ghost in the Machine shutting down FeardotCom. Although both flicks weren't exactly considered classics, Ghost did seem to have the edge in terms of story/style. Regardless, that battle has now been dragged to the trash.

Today's brand new bout has spawned from all the current jibber-jabber about that upcoming MTV Scream series, which may or may not be a faithful update/retelling of the film quadrilogy. Suffice to say, I'm not fully on board yet, but am willing to give it a watch. I am also willing to weave some Face-Off action out of this by calling up the last two entries in the film series and see who can make it to the end alive. So, follow the rules of a scary movie and definitely DON'T say "I'll be right back!" because it's time for Scream 3 Vs. Scream 4!

Opening
After the grand openings of parts 1 and 2, it was going to be tough to come up with a killer beginning to part 3. So, here comes Cotton! I'm not saying that part 3's opening is better than the first two, but it still packs a pretty good punch! Killing off a true regular of the series was a pretty smart way to up the stakes and assure the audience that all bets truly were off.
The opening to part 4 began very smart with its whole "meta" beginning by showing a movie within a movie and commenting on the current state of horror films. That was cool, plus the bit with Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin added some sweet starlet power. However, I feel it soon became a bit of an overkill once the meta part ended and we get into the actual opening kill. Kinda uninspired stuff that doesn't match the initial first few moments.
Hello Sidney
Sid's been in hiding for a while when we first meet her in part 3. Who could blame her? At least she has channeled all that she's been through into becoming a crisis hotline consultant. However, when ol' Ghostface comes calling, she bravely decides to step back into the spotlight and kick some ass. This is a much more mature version of the Sidney we were used to and it is a very nice upgrade.
We witness the full evolution of Sidney in part 4. She's moved on, confronted all her fears, and is no longer afraid. She's channeled her tumultuous life into a best selling book and is now a full blown celebrity. However, she hasn't let fame change her and still exhibits all her usual good girl qualities. And when Ghostface comes a-knockin' she has no trouble reverting into bad ass survivor mode. How refreshing!
Ghostface
This is the biggest incarnation of Ghostface in terms of motive and sheer audacity. He clearly has an extensive knowledge of what makes a scary movie work and is willing to stop at nothing to get what he wants. He smartly maneuvers in and out of anywhere, racking up quite the body count. And unlike every other film in the series, he is only ONE person.
Well, we get back to the two killers for the price of one schtick with part 4's G-Face. He definitely has a good (and deadly) sense of humor this time around and is fully aware how insane it is coming back for the fourth time. Alas, the general motive ends up being kinda weak and just a touch silly. And Emma Roberts is DAMN annoying!!!
Supporting Characters
The cool thing about part 3 is it has the usual Scream players plus their "Stab movie" dopplegangers. Parker Posey is definitely a stand out as a crazy, over-the-top version of Gale Weathers, who gets lots of laughs. Patrick Dempsey lends some fresh blood as a Hollywood cop. Scott Foley and legend Lance Henrickson also add some nice injections to the sequel.
For part 4 we are back in high school mode and are given a pretty non-diverse collection of kids. Hayden Panettiere and Erik Knudsen are the stand-out youngins as movie buffs on opposite ends of the popularity spectrum. On the adult side, Adam Brody and Anthony Anderson are a nice pair of not-too-bumbling cops. And the gorgeous Alison Brie is a spirited addition as Sidney's cutthroat publicist.
Scares/Laughs
The whole character doppleganger thing definitely scores plenty of good laughs as well as Dewey's continuously bumbling ways. And, of course, there is Randy's video tape cameo. This is all counterbalanced with a couple of pretty good scares. It's not easy to keep Ghostface scary, but by utilizing Sid's dead mother, we are devlivered some fast jolts.
Part 4 does have a nice source of laughs thanks to its skewering of the latest trends in the horror genre. The back-and-forths between Gale and Dewey also provide some good comedic instances. There aren't any huge scares on hand here, though. I suppose we get a somewhat tense stalk scene in a parking garage, but nothing too crazy.
Scream 3
Well, it looks like this game is over! And Scream 3 has apparently stabbed part 4 to pieces! I'm a little surprised at how this one went down. I mean, I am a fan of the entire series in general, but initially thought that number 3 was the weakest of the bunch. Upon further repeat viewing, it seems that the upgraded, modernized version that was Scream 4 actually didn't hold up quite as well when compared to the original trilogy. Kind of similar to what Sidney says to Emma Roberts before taking her down in number 4: "Don't f*ck with the original." But now, I want to play a new game... tell me your thoughts on this battle! Stab them bullets below! And feel free to send any future Face-Off ideas to me at mikecatalano@joblo.com

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