Sunday, January 22, 2012

I Dream of Scream

It should be of little surprise to learn that Scream pops up in my dreams from time to time. Not necessarily for any real reason, just Sidney, Dewey, Gale and co appearing as if out of nowhere to remind that they are indeed very amazing. That they take up so much of my brain capacity still doesn't quite explain the tangent my brain took me on last night as I dreamt about a mythical Scream 6 - I am assuming the potential plot for the are-they-aren't-they Scream 5 is so blindingly obvious that my subconscious skipped it and immediately moved on to deeper recesses - that involved a Wes Craven's New Nightmare style meta twist to the franchise. That the Scream franchise is already meta enough means little since we know they're willing to do it.

Still, according to my brain, Scream 6 is all about how the Scream franchise is just a movie. Much like "Stab" was the film within the film world of Craven's four films, Scream is now the film within the film and, much like New Nightmare, Ghostface has returned to kill off the real life actors who played the parts. That means Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox and everybody else is ripe for the stabbing. Even Anna Paquin, apparently, whose brief role as a foul-mouthed Stab-hater in Scream 4 is enough to earn the mire of this new world Ghostface killer. A snippet of my remembered dream involved her True Blood co-star, Ryan Kwanten, running around covered in blood screaming "WHY DID THEY CAST ANNA PAQUIN?!?" Although do we really need another killer stalking Hollywood sets? As evidenced to the right there, there are people out there already making fan posters and writing fake scripts for later instalments to the franchise, so it's not like I'm the only one taking up their time by envisioning this sort of stuff, okay!

It's all completely ridiculous, of course, but I think it my brain trying to tell me "get on with your Scream to Scream, Scene by Scene project, okay!" to which I can hardly argue. Still, this was all just a funny happening, until I saw this this morning (I'm a little late, but what can ya do?) on Wes Craven's personal Twitter account.

Big spoilers ahead of Scream 4 if you have yet to see it! Shim Jembri doesn't care, but I do!

To me, it makes sense that any possible Scream 5 that may eventually get made (the diminished box office returns of Scream 4 made it less of a certainty, but I'm sure we'll still get one at some point, this is the horror genre) should involve Ghostface's "kill tapes" from Scream 4 making it online and a deranged fan deciding to finish the job. Much debate had been made on Scream franchise forums (yes, of course they exist) as to whether Hayden Panettiere's Kirby Reed had died or not. We knew she'd been seen writhing in a pool of blood, which fits in with the idea that nobody is dead in film and television unless you see their unmoving corpse (and even then...), but Dewey never mentioned her as surviving as he spoke to Jill at her bedside. Given that Jill had spoken of having seen all of her friends murdered at the hand of the "killers", that really did seem like something he would mention. "Hey Jill, your best friend Kirby is still alive after all." Maybe she just took some extra time to revive? Given Scream 4's very high mortality rate, allowing two of the new characters to survive hardly seems unfair (Deputy Judy Hicks being the other, of course).

The reason why all of this is so exciting to us fanatics is that, well, Hayden Panettiere's Kirby was freakin' awesome! Equal parts sass and smarts, with a strangely spunky cropped 'do, Panettiere played her pitch perfectly, and - potential issues of bias to the film aside - she's currently in my personal Best Supporting Actress ballot (alongside the likes of Carey Mulligan, Jessica Chastain, Louise Harris and Vanessa Redgrave). Third sequels to horror franchises rarely ever get a gift as strong as Panettiere's performance. It's a fiercely determined piece of acting, I think, and far stronger than anybody would give her credit for purely due to the reception the film received. Wonderfully mixing the film's tension with comedy, Hayden essentially walked away with the film and gave us Scream fans a true cannon character, which is something Scream 3's newbie characters certainly lacked outside of Jennifer Jolie (who was Gale on meth, basically). Scream: All Stars? She'd be there with bells on.


Drew Mackie said...

That's so funny. I was just having a conversation at work about whether Kirby lived and who dishonest it would be to allow her survival to go unmentioned. Still, she was a great character. She made me like Hayden Panettiere.

Remington said...

I literally could not agree more with your assessment of Hayden Panettiere's performance. While I enjoyed "Scream 4" enough, I thought it was widely uneven. Hayden was the best damn thing about it though, hands down. I've liked her since her days on "Heroes" but she really sold me on her performance as Kirby. As you said, she was great with the comedy and great with the tension. She was to "Scream 4" what Rose McGowan's Tatum Riley was to "Scream" or what Parkie Posey's Jennifer Jolie was to "Scream 3". I think my favorite scene of hers was when Kirby was listing off all the remakes. I loved it in the trailer and I loved it even more in the actual movie. She totally nailed it. While I don't want there to be another sequel, if there was one, I'd certainly be happy to know that Kirby lived to see another day.

TonyFilangeri said...

Wow... I actually really dig your idea. The murders being released online, and a fan trying to finish off the movie himself. But I think there needs to be more to it... maybe a third killer from Scream 4... but wait, everyone died.

Brandon said...

I still think that the main appeal for Panettiere's performance was that she is the best of some of the worst characters. Robbie? Charlie? Trevor? Boring, uninteresting ciphers, and I don't think Hayden rises far above it. There's no integral or emotional core in the character/performance which would have elevated Kirby to something special. I hope that if she is alive, that Hayden will deliver something deeper the next go-round.

Runs Like A Gay said...

Kirby was definitely the highlight of an uneven but watchable movie.

I would love to see her pop up in the fifth one should they choose to make it.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Hayden P as Kirby basically stole Scream 4 from her co-stars, and that a new trilogy is going to need a new Sidney. I was, however, put off by her callousness. She has no problem going to the Stab-a-thon after witnessing one murder; she has no problem continuing the Stab-a-thon at home after witnessing a second stabbing.

Give SCREAM's Randy Meeks credit, despite his status as the movie geek of the group, he's the one acting appalled and horrified when he hears of Pembry's murder.

jakey said...

I just watched "Scream 4" the director's commentary today (the box promises it's with Wes Craven, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere and Neve Campbell, but only Craven and Roberts stay for the whole film). While Hayden doesn't stick around long enough for her death scene -- she leaves at around the 80-minute mark -- both her and Wes Craven note that you never see Kirby dead. Considering that the film makes such a point to show us lifeless corpses (Sidney checks Kate's pulse, Dewey checks Robbie's), a "Scream 5" starring Kirby isn't too far-fetched.