IMDb; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Wikia; Wikipedia
review sites: Bloody Disgusting; Dread Central; Kindertrauma
streaming sites: Amazon; Google Play; Hulu; iTunes; Vudu; YouTube
Caution: potential spoilers.
This came out in 2011, but I didn't see it until 2020. Ah, this movie. It's one of those things I'm just not sure how highly to rate. I ended up rating it slightly lower than the previous film, but it's possible I liked it just as much or even a little bit more. I'm not even sure if rewatching the third movie would help, because it's not just a memory problem on my part, it's because I'm not sure what I really think of this movie. I know I liked it, though. Mostly because of how many familiar faces it had.
It started with a couple of fake-outs, and I didn't recognize the girls who got killed in the first one (though I probably should have recognized Lucy Hale). But the second one had Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell. After they're all dead, we get into the actual movie, though at first it feels just like the first two scenes, so I wasn't yet certain whether or not the two girls (played by Britt Robertson and Aimee Teegarden) were "real" characters. They were, but they don't matter, because of course they end up just as dead as the "fake" characters. Anyway, I liked the fake-outs, but it was definitely a relief that there weren't more than two of them.
Soon after their deaths, Sidney Prescott returns to Woodsboro as the last stop on a tour to promote her book, "Out of Darkness." (Her publicist is played by Alison Brie.) She soon reunites with Dewey (who is now sheriff) and Gale (who is now a struggling fiction writer); the two of them have been married for ten years now. While in town, she stays with a cousin she barely knows, Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts) and her mother, Kate (Mary McDonnell). With a new Ghostface killer on the loose, a couple of cops are assigned to keep a watch on the house: Ross (Adam Brody) and Anthony (Anthony Anderson, now familiar to me from Black-ish). Ghostface targets not only Sidney, but also Jill and her friends, Olivia and Kirby (Hayden Panettiere). Meanwhile, there are a couple of guys named Charlie (Rory Culkin) and Robbie who livestream pretty much their whole lives (or at least one of them does). They're like the heads of a local club of movie buffs, and host a screening of all seven "Stab" movies. And there's a deputy named Judy Hicks (Marley Shelton) who seems a little too eager to curry favor with Dewey (it almost seems like she might be hoping to steal him from Gale). Another character in the mix is Jill's ex-boyfriend Trevor.
I think those are all the major characters, so what remains is to see who dies, how they die, and try to guess who the killers might be. (It's a given that there are two killers.) Since I don't want to spoil any of that for you, I don't know what else to say. But I definitely felt the plot was mostly fresh enough to have warranted a fourth entry in the series (eleven years after the last movie).
Scream * Scream 2 * Scream 3 * Scre4m * Scream (TV series) * Scream