So We’ll Be Holding Off On “Scary Movie 5”, Then …

You know, people were taking me seriously after 'It's Kind of a Funny Story' ...Well, there you go: No one else sees much of a need for another “Scream” movie, either. “Scream 4” came in a distant second at the North American box office over the weekend, grossing a disappointing $19.5 million while the animated adventure “Rio” pulled an impressive $40 million.

Can’t say I’m disappointed. There’s still room at the megaplex for a savvy slasher film, but “Scream 4” wasn’t it; the last thing the franchise needed was a lazy, largely superfluous sequel, but that’s exactly what Wes Craven and writers Kevin Williamson and Ehren Kruger delivered because no one challenged them to do anything else.

I think the problem is the same problem that’s plagued every sequel to a freak hit; the inventive spirit of the original is quickly buried under the need to play to a larger, more mainstream-minded audience. “Scream 2” worked because it had fun with the idea of a sequel to a movie that didn’t need one; “Scream 3” got bogged down in smirky asides about trilogies that had no bearing on the film we were watching, and “Scream 4” has the same problem with circuitous conversations about reboots and remakes. It’s easy to pin the bulk of the blame on Ehren Kruger, who scripted “3” and rewrote “4”, but the real responsibility lies with Bob Weinstein, who forced the series to continue well beyond its sell-by date.

Some franchises just don’t need to be franchises. Oh, wait, someone’s at the door — I’ll be right back.

One thought on “So We’ll Be Holding Off On “Scary Movie 5”, Then …”

  1. Scream 3 also suffered from Ehren Kruger’s penchant to stop a film cold on Pause, and have a character step out and explain to the victim (er, audience) ‘Here’s where we are, here’s who I really am, here’s why I’ve been doing these wicked things to you and yours, here’s what I’ve planned for you, and here’s a few I-bet-you-didn’t-know curve balls to make your little wee head spin around before I move onwards with Plan C.’

    Arlington Road… Reindeer Games… Scream 3. Same third act structure.

    – MRH

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