The Scream 4 Trailer: Back, and Meta Than Ever

The first full-length Scream 4 trailer has officially been released—and let’s just say it looks very promising. 11 years have passed since the original trilogy came to a close, leaving its core trio of survivors standing tall among a bloody, gory, meta mess.

We already suspected from the tagline, “New Decade, New Rules,” that writer Kevin Williamson and director Wes Craven would try to re-invent the slasher genre, as they so brilliantly did in 1996 with the original. Happily, this trailer confirms those suspicions. In this post-aughts age of YouTube and instant celebrity, we have a Ghostface copycat killer on our hands, capitalizing on the anniversary of the first Woodsboro murders—fame in his gravelly-voiced grasp. In the Jamie Kennedy role, there’s Rory Culkin and Erik Knudsen, the school’s resident AV geeks, here to tell us all the new rules. “To be the new version, the killer should be filming the murders,” the youngest Culkin tells us. Then, of course, we see a snippet of Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) possibly ending up on the wrong side of a knife whilst being filmed. If that doesn’t make you nostalgic for the time-delayed security video in the original Scream

We had feared that Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell)—or really, any of the original triad—would go the way of Drew Barrymore and be the first one murdered in one of Scream’s infamous, delectable pre-title sequences. But we counted her in at least five different outfits, so unless she’s a quick-change artist, she should be safe for a considerable amount of screen time. The same can be said for Gale Weathers and Deputy Dewey, played by David Arquette. Which leads us to the question: who exactly is the star of this film? In the first trilogy, it was unarguably Neve Campbell and her coupled-up sidekicks. But we were convinced (convinced), what with the hot young new cast being hired for this film, that the old fogies would get murdered right away or at least play second fiddle. We thought they would be like Beverly Hills 90210 or Degrassi original cast members in the new generation’s versions, there to serve as mere expository links to the past. (Speaking of both Degrassi and 90210, we are betting that Shenae Grimes will be the first one offed… she is seen but once in this new trailer, and it is mid-scream. Bye-bye, Annie.)

And what of these new, pretty young things about to be sliced and diced? Among them are Nico Tortorella of the CW’s canceled TBL: The Beautiful Life, Alison Brie of Community and Mad Men fame, Veronica Mars star (and anonymous Gossip Girl narrator) Kristen Bell, vampire consort Anna Paquin, and Adam Brody. And let’s not forget Emma Roberts and Hayden Panettiere, who seem to be getting first billing here among the younger set.  There is something striking about the duo of Hayden, with her cropped blonde hair, and Emma with her long brown locks. Indeed, the best part of the trailer, by far, comes at the end when Hayden breathlessly screams multiple names of horror remakes, in yet another self-reflexive nod to the very film she is starring in. Did she get her trivia question right? No, the killer says. She’s all wrong. Will she survive? We’ll find out April 15, 2011.