First off, this is my go-to in my Scream 4 rewatches. I have seen this version just as many times as the theatrical release. It's just a smoother experience and plays out better than what was released theatrically. It feels like the Ehren Krueger influence on the script is tamped down and a lot of the Wes Craven rewrites fit better with what was in the original production.
The meta film-within-film-within-film in the open is brought way down (perhaps a little too much, as I don't know if I fully understand the dialogue about how Stab 7 starts with the Stab 6 open, as that's cut out here). However, once we are with our real opening scene, I feel this is a much better mix of the originally shot open and the reshoots. It's much more effective for me and a lot less clunky than the released version.
Just wonderful to see Sidney back and even utilizing some trailer shots that were removed for no reason whatsoever. Seeing Dewey be a leader in several deleted scenes bring his character more to the forefront and he's much less the goofy guy who's out of his element. Here, he has more control and has a guiding hand in the investigation and protection of Sidney. Gale is also stronger, trimming down a little bit of her dressing down of Hicks making Gale's arc more about her feeling relevant TO HERSELF and not to others. Also having Gale's trailer line "Go ahead if you have the guts!" should have never been removed.
Hicks, Rebecca, and Kate all benefit in this edit. Hicks is less the red herring, Rebecca is less over-the-top, and Kate feels slightly more like a character (there's only so much you can do here).
The new cast is all elevated in the new cut with some deleted moments back in the film, audio from the PPV cut, and some very smart trims to the Kirby after-party which removes humor that doesn't work, without cutting out what does. The reveal of the killer is much more effective here and doesn't devolve into camp by going to far. It's effective and brutal.
The fake-out ending works really well here, HOWEVER, I do feel that it takes too long to get back to the hospital ending. I love the idea that the credits would start with a cliffhanger, but the scene should have continued after the mid-credits instead of a full post-credits finale. That way we have a bit of the fake-out but it doesn't go too far in the execution.
All told, this is an excellent edit of Scream 4 and it's my third favorite in the franchise (I have yet to have seen 5), being just a tiny sliver under Scream 1&2. Excellent work!
Do you recommend this edit?
Owner's replyFebruary 20, 2022
Thanks for the review! I see a lot of people commenting on the fact that the epilogue should be moved earlier in the credits, but my intention was to recreate the cliffhanger of the original Williamson script as close as possible. I only included the rest of the ending after the credits to keep the series' canon.
Great job Butcher. I love what you did in the opening scene, best version I've seen so far. There are a few small cuts I'd do here and there but that's just my editor mind screaming, it happens in every single edit I watch lol. Oh, and the audio goes slightly out of sync in the final scene in the hospital. But overall, congrats, great edit.
This edit is remarkably well done. From a technical standpoint, it looks great. The audio mix is a little unbalanced at times. I found myself riding the volume quite a bit, almost always during deleted scenes that were reincorporated. Narratively, all of the extra scenes do a great job at fleshing out the characters more. Personally, I am a fan of the extended false opening of the theatrical cut, and some of the bits that were cut out ("Fxxx Bruce Willis"). I see why they were cut but I would love a version that keeps everything in. Also, the false ending and post credits epilogue are great, however the credits are too long and it takes forever to get back to the story. I think the scene should be moved up to the mid-credits, then the rest of the credits could play after. Still an excellent edit. This Scream fan is VERY happy!
Scream 4 is a film that has some good ideas but is brought down by a lot of bad dialogue and some poor acting. The effort here to trim much of those away is very appreciated. On the other hand, a lot of the deleted scenes and extended material is added back IN (a big difference from other edits) and honestly: most of it isn't that good.
The quality of the editing here is fantastic (although I had the same error another poster mentioned: the post-credit audio was not synced). Many of the choices about how to restructure the narrative are creative and clever. What we're left with is a very worthy successor for the middle part of the film. There is meta-narrative, red herrings, some good hints but good choices about things to exclude so as not to make it too easy to figure out.
However, the original material is just very weak in the beginning and ending. I personally think Emma Roberts' acting veers more into her dad's ability (Eric) than her aunt's (Julia), and that REALLY comes out as a weak point in the end, even with the edits here. The two actresses in the beginning also do not manage to sell the poor writing their saddled with, and it's some of the worst executed directing of Craven's, too. I'd honestly prefer an edit that just disposes of the too-clever beginning entirely and starts on Sidney returning to town. Then include brief scenes of the original killings as flashbacks when SHE finds out. Similarly, if there's a way to trim even MORE of Roberts after she changes up her acting style, that would be helpful for the film.
So what we have here is almost six of one, half a dozen of the other. Good omissions, but not enough. A few good additions, but mostly bad stuff. I can recommend this as better than the theatrical cut, but (for me) it's not the best possible "fix" for the movie.