- Film Festival
Self-referentiality is the soul of the "Scream" series, but its fourth installment carries so much franchise baggage that director Wes Craven never really gets around to making a new movie. "Scream" and its sequels skewered then-modern genre tropes—a decade later the mind reels to imagine how the modern horror landscape might lend itself to parody. From the proliferation of "torture porn" to the endless deluge of remakes, one would think the 21st century meant easy pickins for satirists. But if "Scream 4" is any indication, the barbs are only as sharp as their inspiration.
Hollywood horror films draw from a grab bag of assorted Halloween party favors, but amidst all the cheap plastic spider rings, director James Wan inserts a tarantula or two for good measure. His latest, "Insidious," takes a see-what-sticks approach that can sometimes be as frustrating as it is refreshing, but in a cinematic climate where scary movies are becoming an increasingly on-rails experience, every goose bump is worth its weight in gold (and I imagine it adds up).