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Welcome back, Woodsboro

Say what you will – but when it was revealed this week that Wes Craven was talking Scream 4, revealing the film’s first official poster, talking set, talking cast, talking story – I was one happy and excited little movie fan.

It was 1996. Drew Barrymore an acting icon of my generation had hit a few snags coming off the made-for-tv movie “The Amy Fisher Story” with a string of so-so films like “Mad Love,” “Bad Girls” and “Everyone Says I Love You.”

Then came word that Barrymore would be in the new horror film driven by master Wes Craven. She was all over the posters, buzz was mounting and theaters were packed opening weekend.

By the end of the opening scene, Barrymore, Craven and audiences were in the middle of what would be a cult hit.

One trilogy and more than ten years later, the opening scene to Scream is as delicious as ever. Which is saying something, considering the film is written and designed to be creepy the first time you see it and campy every time after.

Now Craven is talking Scream 4, which will welcome back all of our favorite Woodsboro characters, reportedly Sidney (Neve Campbell), Gail Weathers (Courtney Cox-Arquette) and Deputy Dewey Riley (David Arquette).

Filming is apparently scheduled to begin this summer and Ann Arbor Michigan will serve as the fictional, quaint town of Woodsboro. Craven and writer Kevin Williamson will return as well.

The film’s release is slated for April 15, 2011.

For all the cliche that comes along with horror films, Scream not only embraced the camp but owned it. The film’s dialogue was quick and witty and characters not only talked about the quintessential formulas of the horror genre but even threw a few punches Craven’s way.

Scream 2 and Scream 3 weren’t exactly as original. Poor girl killers are after grows up a little and goes to college, moves on, draws attention, is almost killed again by some obscure tie to the first film … then goes into hiding resurfacing just in time for the third installment where the nightmare she thought she left behind reemerges with a dark and brooding police officer on the hunt for a killer stalking both an entire movie within a movie set and the poor girl killers are always after.

But I’m not going to get into the technicalities of the genre. Scream is fun. Even when it’s predictable. Even when it’s exploring the idea of a movie within a movie and dragging out the storyline of Sidney’s mother. If you were in a theater in 1996 watching Barrymore get compared to Janet Leigh’s turn in Psycho, watching Courtney Cox make eyes at David Arquette, watching Neve Campbell, sadly underused these days, get typecast – odds are you had just as much fun at Scream as I did. Odds are, you went to Scream 2 and Scream 3 because you couldn’t believe most of the characters signed on for the trilogy.

Odds are you recognized Patrick Dempsey as the dark and brooding police officer in Scream 3 and winced at the opening scene in the bathroom stall of Scream 2.

For all the criticism the trilogy might get now, Scream, Scream 2 and Scream 3 all were well worth watching. Opening weekend back in 1996, a fresh take on the horror film scared audiences nationwide and sweet talked them into sticking around for more.

So what’s ahead for the Woodsboro alum in Scream 4? Talking to Entertainment Weekly, Craven says Sidney Prescott has moved on from her tragic, blood spattered past.

Just in time.

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One Response to “Welcome back, Woodsboro”

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