There is never a wrong time for revisiting any of the Scream films, but with a new installment of the franchise set for release in January 2022, the need to reunite with Sidney, Dewey and Gale before then is inevitable.
Scream is probably my favourite horror franchise. The writing, acting, and directing is next level for the genre, and I love the fact that while psychotic Ghostface remains a constant in each of the movies, the killer’s identity and motive are left to the audience to figure out before all is revealed. It’s a delicious combo of horror and mystery whose villains are as mortal as their victims.
Initially, I considered watching the films in their natural order, but then opted to begin with Scream 4, which was released a decade ago in 2021. (Of the series’ current four films, for me Scream 4 ranks third, behind the classic original and exceptional Scream 2.) I’m glad that I did. I think the film has held up well over time and not very long into it, it was clear to me that Scream 4 was a deserving TRICKS AND TREATS candidate, which is my personal list (presented in chronological order) of some fun observations and curious questions about the film.
Below is the SCREAM 4 edition of TRICKS AND TREATS. Have a read and feel free to let me know if there’s anything you would have added to my list!
1/ At Woodsboro High School, a bust of former principal (and Ghostface victim) Arthur Himbry can be briefly seen to the left of Jill’s locker, where she and Kirby are talking.
2/ I love Sidney’s been-there-done-that (with Billy Loomis) reaction when she discovers that Trevor’s preferred entry (and exit) point to Jill’s second-floor bedroom is via the window. And how is it that wall-scaling Trevor would go unnoticed by the cops deployed to patrol the neighbourhood, especially the Roberts’ residence?
3/ When Rebecca is trapped in her car by Ghostface and another vehicle appears in the parking garage, why doesn’t she attempt to get the other driver’s attention by leaning on her car horn instead of yelling from inside her car? And why doesn’t she attempt to call the cops from her cell phone while still in her vehicle?
4/ Television broadcast vans are NOT a safe place to be near in the Scream movies. In the original, Gale’s cameraman Kenny’s throat is slashed by Ghostface the moment he steps out of a van; in Scream 2, Randy is dragged into a van and murdered by Ghostface; in Scream 4, Rebecca’s lifeless body is thrown from the 6th level parking garage, landing on the roof of the KQWY van.
5/ The first movie poster shown in the Cinema Club classroom is from The Hills Have Eyes (1977), which was also directed by Wes Craven. Also, in the background (behind Trevor) can be seen a poster for another Craven-directed film, The People Under the Stairs (1991).
6/ When Sidney enters the kitchen to speak with her, Jill is shown taking out of the fridge what appears to be a cheese string and a large plastic jug of either apple cider or chocolate milk, which she then shakes. However, when Jill exits the kitchen, she doesn’t bother to pour the freshly shaken beverage into a glass, but simply takes the entire jug with her up to her bedroom. Was there not a clean glass to be found in the kitchen, is she just being lazy, or is she really THAT thirsty?
7/ Immediately following Gale’s attack in the barn, Dewey’s aim is beyond terrible when with what appears to be only a short distance separating him from Ghostface, the Sheriff somehow still manages to miss his target. TWICE.
8/ After helping Sidney to fight off Ghostface, Kate Roberts’ eventual death is courtesy of a knife to the back through the front door’s mail slot. Points to Ghostface for creativity!
9/ When Sidney’s vehicle tears out of the Roberts’ driveway, I was surprised how there wasn’t any sign of the cop car that was parked in front of the house. In a later scene, Deputy Judy informs Dewey that the two patrolling cops’ bodies were found TWO BLOCKS AWAY from the Roberts’ house. Why was their vehicle so far from the Roberts’ residence?
10/ It’s revealed that Kirby’s home address is 329 Whispering Lane; the perfect address in a horror movie (or Hallmark Channel rom com) don’t you agree?
11/ More indirect shout-outs to director Wes Craven when Kirby is being taunted—er, tormented—er, quizzed by Ghostface with references to Craven films A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), specifically Freddy Krueger and his “razor hands” (uh, hello, they’re called “finger knives”, Kirby, the definitive description provided by Tina in the original ANOES), and The Last House on the Left (1972).
12/ A curiosity many fans of Scream 4 share is whether Kirby survives being attacked. The character is last seen bleeding out on the patio after being stabbed. Does she die? And, if she didn’t, will Kirby make a return appearance in the 2022 Scream film? I’m a huge fan of this character, so fingers crossed that Kirby is alive and well…and ready to kick some ass!
13/ Exactly how far away from the Roberts’ house is Kirby’s residence? It seems like Dewey and the rest of the Woodsboro police force take a very long time to get to Kirby’s home, conveniently arriving right after all the home carnage is over, and not a moment sooner.
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