I start all YNTE Horror Nights with a spoiler notice, but since this is a film that is still in theaters, I’m going to double down:
THIS REVIEW IS BASICALLY NOTHING BUT SPOILERS, FROM THE INANE TO THE MAJOR. IF YOU INTEND TO SEE THIS MOVIE EVER, LEAVE NOW, GO SEE IT, THEN COME BACK.
As I said in my last post, I had 3 major predictions going into this movie:
- Whoever they show in the first 10 minutes will die.
- At least 1 of the main returning cast members will die: probably Sidney. Likewise, at least one of the returning cast members will be the killer: probably Gale.
- The film will be a setup for a new franchise using a new, younger, cast. Sid’s cousin, played by Emma Roberts, will take on the role of the “last girl” and will survive this film to be the lead role in future films.
So lets see how right I was!
The movie starts off with two girls, played by Shenae Grimes and Lucy Hale, getting ready to watch Saw 4, which one of them criticizes because “you don’t give a shit who dies”. They get a call from the Ghostface killer, which coincides with one of the girl’s Facebook stalkers who messages her stuff like “Hey, what’s up, you’re hot, I’m going to kill you.”
So of course, after dares both on the phone and via facebook, the killer convinces the girls to open the door and look outside. They don’t see anything, but then the girl gets a facebook message that says “I’m not outside” and promptly gets stabbed by Ghostface, who is already in the house. The other girl turns to run away, and is stabbed by a SECOND Ghostface who was waiting outside.
YOU JUST GOT SCREAMED.
Then the title card for the movie comes up: “Stab 6″, and the camera pans out to reveal that we’ve been watching an in-universe parody of the Scream franchise.
Also watching are Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin, the latter of whom shuts off the movie, criticizing it’s predictable opening, calling it “post-modern, self-aware, meta shit”. Anna Paquin will NOT SHUT UP about how predictable the Stab films are, so Kristen Bell stabs her in the belly, saying “Did that surprise you?” adding that her motive is “cuz you talk to much. Now shut the fuck up and watch the movie.”
YOU JUST GOT SCREAMED. TWICE IN ONE MOVIE.
Then, title card: Stab 7.
Now, we see the two girls who were watching Stab 7, who explain that Stab 7 is “like the twilight zone: a movie within a movie”. I feel like I’m watching Inception again.
One of the girls, Jennie, goes upstairs to investigate a strange noise, when the other, Marnie, hears the phone ring. She answers, and of course it’s Ghostface, except it isn’t, it’s her friend upstairs calling her with the “Ghostface app for iPhone”. Then Jennie hears Marnie get killed on the phone, but she thinks Marnie’s just pranking her. It isn’t, it’s Ghostface for real, who kills her with a garage door in a scene that’s reminiscent of Titsum’s death in the orignal.
YOU JUST GOT SCREAMED AGAIN. THIRD TIME, AND THIS TIME FOR REALSIES.
Sidney shows up in Woodsboro with her publicist, played by Community’s Alison Brie. Alison’s character is kind of a bitch, and has a filthy mouth, which is a nice change of pace from her character on Community. Sid’s in town to promote her book “Out of Darkness” about how she’s moved on and refuses to be a victim anymore.
Dewey gets a phone call. His ringtone is “Crazy Frog”. Not really relevant, I just found it funny.
Dewey and Gale are married, which is nice. I expected them to start the movie bitter enemies. Dewey is Sheriff of Woodsboro now, and Gale is writing fiction now, or would be if she didn’t have writer’s block.
We meet a bunch of the new High Schoolers joining the cast: Sid’s cousin Jill (Emma Roberts), her spunky friend Kirby (Hayden Panettiere), and completely forgettable friend Olivia (Marielle Jaffe). Jill and Olivia get calls from Ghostface (using Jennie and Marnie’s phones). Kirby does not.
When they get to school, they meet film club nerds Robbie (Erik Knudsen) and Charlie (Rory Culkin). Robbie has a headset with a webcam on it. He broadcast everything he sees. I can’t imagine people actually wanting to watch shaky cam of a high school nerd walking around, but hey, a certain suspension of disbelief is warranted. Also Charlie is WAY into Kirby, which is totally obvious to everyone but Kirby.
We also meet Jill’s creepy ex Trevor (Nico Tortorella), who is so creepy that he obviously isn’t the killer, except that this is Scream, and creepy boyfriends are often suspect.
Dewey and his deputy Judy(Marley Shelton), who has a huge lady boner for Dewey, discover the first set of murders and trace the last call they received to a cell phone which is at a promotional reading of Sid’s new book. It turns out the cell phone is in the trunk of Sid’s car, along with the murder weapon and a great deal of blood. This isn’t great for Sid’s “I’m not a victim anymore” mentality, but her publicist gets dollar-signs in her eyes.
Dewey tells Sid she can’t leave town because she is a suspect. This surprises her. THE MURDER WEAPON AND BLOOD WERE IN YOUR CAR. It is not surprising. Sid decides to stay with Jill and her mother Kate (Mary McDonnell, President Roslyn on BSG).
Kirby is over hanging out with Jill in her bedroom and the two are talking to Olivia next door, when Ghostface calls Kirby. He claims to be in the closet, but when she checks and calls him a liar, he busts out of Olivia’s closet next door and makes with the stabbing.
To say he kills Olivia would be an incredible understatement, because WOW. I have not seen this much blood in a bedroom since the blood geyser scene in Nightmare on Elm St. It’s pretty epic.
Sid sees this happen and sprints next door, with Jill following, in an attempt to catch Ghostface, but instead get they get attacked. Jill gets cut pretty bad. They manage to knock Ghostface unconscious, but as soon as they look away for one second he disappears. You’d think Sid would know better by now.
Sidney’s publicist takes this opportunity pitch Sid on a new series of books describing her victimhood and tragedy. Of course that’s not the message Sid wants to write about, so she fires the publicist for being a twat. Then, the publicist gets killed in a parking garage on the way to her car.
Dewey is holding a press conference explaining that they are close to catching the killer, when the conference is interrupted by the publicist’s corpse falling from the sky. I guess that sort of undermined his message.
Gale is upset that Dewey won’t give her full access to the investigation, so she tracks down the high school movie nerds. They agree to “team up” and investigate, if Gale can convince Sid to come to movie club. Gale insists that she was in “Stab” as well as Sidney, but they are completely unimpressed.
At film club, the nerds spout off the “new rules” of modern horror films, though not quite as explicitly as Randy did. The rules include:
- The unexpected is the new cliche.
- Virgins can die now. Anyone can die. Pretty much the only way to be safe is to be gay.
- The killer should be filming the murders.
The film nerds also mention “Stabathon” an underage drinking party where they watch all the stab movies. It fulfills the role of “People are dying, lets party!”
They very explicitly do NOT invite Gale, but she shows up anyway. Ghostface shows up too and stabs Gale in the shoulder. Why didn’t Ghostface stab to kill? It’s point blank range with plenty of time.
Gale is rushed to the hospital, and is totally not dead.
Meanwhile, Ghostface shows up at Jill’s house where Sid is staying and kills the two cops (Adam Brody and Anthony Anderson) in one of the funniest scenes of the movie. Sid realizes Jill snuck out to go to Kirby’s afterparty. Kate shows up and notices that the cops aren’t outside which causes Sid to panic. Ghostface attempts to come in the front door, but Kate and Sid manage to push it closed. Unfortunately, Kate gets stabbed through the mail slot in the door.
Deputy Hicks shows up and starts tending to Kate’s corpse, but as Hicks looks away, Sid books it out the back door and drives away.
Meanwhile, at Kirby’s house, Kirby, Jill, and the two film nerds are hanging out when Trevor the jerk shows up, claiming Jill texted him. Jill can’t find her phone and storms upstairs in a huff. Trevor follows. Robbie also leaves, for no reason.
This leaves Charlie alone with Kirby, Kirby finally makes a move on Charlie and the two share an incredibly awkward moment and almost kiss. Trevor wanders in and laughs at them then leaves again. Charlie leaves in an embarrassed huff. Kirby is now alone in the living room. GREAT PARTY, KIRBY.
Jill comes back in, saying she found her phone and it didn’t text Trevor, and claims also that Trevor didn’t follow her upstairs.
Robbie is outside recording a very drunk video, and gets stabbed by Ghostface. He screams out “But I’m gay!” Ghostface must not have gotten the memo on that particular rule. Or he did and just didn’t care.
Sid shows up to find Jill and tell her that her mom is dead. Dying Robbie stumbles in, followed by Ghostface and Jill and Sid run upstairs and lock themselves in Kirby’s room, pursued by Ghostface. Sid tells Jill to hide under the bed while she opens the window and climbs out onto the roof. Ghostface busts into the room and Sid yells off the edge of the roof something to the effect of “Good job escaping off the roof, Jill! You escaped and Ghostface shouldn’t bother looking in the room since you escaped!”
He chases Sid off the roof and she continues running until she finds Kirby and the two run into a garage or something and lock themselves in. Charlie shows up with blood on his hands and bangs on the window, begging for Sid to let him in. Sid says she shouldn’t let him in unless she trusts him 100%. Kirby backs away. Apparently the threshold for ill-advised makeouts is only 70 I-Don’t-Think-You’re-Going-To-Murder-Me-Percents.
Ghostface jumps out and grabs him, then turns off the lights. When the lights come back on, Charlie is tied to a chair like Drew Barrymore’s boyfriend in the opening of Scream. Kirby’s phone rings, and it’s Ghostface, who wants to play a game in exchange for Charlie’s life. Sid takes the opportunity to sneak upstairs and check on Jill, who is missing.
Kirby answers the first question wrong but seemingly gets the second one right, so she goes back outside to untie Charlie, who then stabs her in the belly, upset that she didn’t notice him until too late. Charlie goes inside, leaving Kirby to die. But she doesn’t die on-camera, so she may come back for a sequel?
Sid runs into Charlie, figures out he’s the killer, and runs away into the OTHER killer, still dressed as ghostface, who stabs her in the gut.
Here’s what I expected to happen: Ghostface unmasks, revealing herself to Gale Weathers, jealous of Sid’s success and Sid’s stealing of her role as the “writer” while Gale was left to be a smalltown housewife. She was in cahoots with the other killer, which is why she only got stabbed in the shoulder.
Here’s what ACTUALLY happened: Ghostface unmasks, and it’s Jill. Jill is jealous that she was always just identified as “Sid’s cousin”, never getting any fame or attention of her own.
There were audible gasps in the theater during this reveal. The whole movie she’d been painted as the “last girl” but she’s actually the killer. I was as shocked as anyone.
While Sid bleeds out, Jill explains her whole plan, how all the murders were filmed and uploaded to the internet in a way that would be traced to asshole boyfriend Trevor, who she pulls out of a closet and shoots in the balls. The world would find her, the last survivor, who valiantly fought off the killer, being catapulted to the same levels of fame Sid was.
Charlie is also on the “last survivor” boat, taking the role of Randy from the first film, but Jill isn’t having it and stabs him too. She stabs Sid again for good measure. Then she stabs herself in the shoulder and runs into glass things so she will be properly wounded to look like she put up a fight. Then she passes out from blood loss, right next to Sid’s corpse.
Jill wakes up at the hospital and Dewey is there at her bedside. Dewey comforts her, and Jill says maybe Gale will help her write a book about the whole thing, with their “matching scars”. Jill comments how sad it is the Sidney died, but Dewey tells her that Sid is alive and is just down the hall recovering, but hasn’t woken up yet after surgery.
Dewey goes back to check on Gale and recounts the whole thing. Gale says “How did she know where I was stabbed” and Dewey realizes that Jill must be the killer and rushes off.
Jill’s already in Sid’s room. As Dewey rushes in, she hits him with a bedpan and steals his gun. Jill threatens everyone for a while, but Sid uses a defibrilator on Jill’s head. Then Sid shoots her in the head.
The movie ends with shots of reporters outside the hospital anxiously awaiting the release of ‘hero survivor’ Jill, and the camera pans across Jill’s body. And maybe it was just my imagination, but I swear she moved just a little.
So lets see how I did at my predictions:
1) Subverted and Lampshaded. Sort of right?
2) Wrong and Wrong. Not only did none of the main three die, they were pretty much the only people who didn’t.
3) Double wrong. Not only is she dead, she was the killer, and won’t be the protaganist in future films. SO WRONG WAS I.
So I, the world’s foremost Screamologist (I’m keeping the title!), was surprised by the events of this movie, and since surprise was the goal of the film, I’m calling it a great success.
Catch up on past installments:
Freddy Vs. Jason
April Fool’s Day (1986)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Jason Goes to Hell – The Final Friday
Friday the 13th Part VII: Jason Takes Manhattan
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