A Decade in Horror / 'Scream 4' Trailer

                                                                      Photo: IMDB

It's been about eleven years since Scream 3, and since then, many new horror trends have emerged. The mindless teen-slasher renaissance seems to have come and gone (for the most part), giving way to big-studio remakes and reboots of classic horror franchises (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Dawn of the Dead, Friday the 13th, etc.). Films such as Saw and Hostel have come along and completely changed, and in some ways revitalized, the mainstream horror landscape. And though Saw has become a tired, hopeless franchise of late, we still have the original film to thank, in part, for the mainstream accessibility of torture-porn, snuff killings and excessive bloodshed in the mainstream.

There's an overwhelming fascination with what I'll refer to as throwback exploitation, or films that attempt to mimic the style of and pay homage to cult exploitation films of the '70s and '80s. In fact, many of the landmark exploitation flicks from decades ago are getting stylish, mainstream-friendly rehashings via major Hollywood studios (The Hills Have Eyes, The Last House on the Left, I Spit On Your Grave, The Crazies, etc.). These types of films, while once notorious for their low-budget grit, shock value and graphic nature, are ironically being exploited by Gen-Y Hollywood and remade into watered-down, cliche-ridden mainsteam schlock.

The Scream franchise is unique in that it self-consciously satirizes mainstream horror conventions and cliches. The first three films focused primarily on prototypical slasher franchises such as Halloween and Friday the 13th. The last Scream film came out roughly eleven years ago, so the new one is going to have quite a lot of ground to cover. From the looks of this trailer, it seems that director Wes Craven has no intention of departing from the franchise's trademark neo-slasher template. However, new doors have opened for the franchise just as they have for mainstream horror films in general over the past ten years.

Scre4m is to be released on April 15, 2011. Check out the trailer below.

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