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Scream 4 (stylized as SCRE4M) is a 2011 American slasher film directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson. Produced by Outerbanks Entertainment and distributed by Dimension Films, it is the fourth installment in the Scream film series. The film stars David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Anthony Anderson, Alison Brie, Adam Brody, Rory Culkin, Marielle Jaffe, Erik Knudsen, Mary McDonnell, Marley Shelton, and Nico Tortorella. The film takes place on the fifteenth anniversary of the original Woodsboro murders and involves Sidney Prescott returning to the town after ten years, where Ghostface once again begins killing students from Woodsboro High. Like its predecessors, Scream 4 combines the violence of the slasher genre with elements of black comedy and "whodunit" mystery to satirize the clichés of film remakes. The film also provides commentary on the extensive usage of social media and the obsession with internet fame.

The series was originally intended to be a trilogy, concluding with Scream 3 in 2000. However, in June 2008, The Weinstein Company announced a third sequel was in development, with Craven confirmed to direct in March 2010. In September 2009, Arquette, Campbell, and Cox were announced to be returning, after which the casting process lasted between April and September 2010. Principal photography began in June 2010 and ended in September that same year, taking place in and around Ann Arbor, Michigan. Scenes set in and around Woodsboro High School were actually filmed at Woodworth Middle School in Dearborn, Michigan. During production, Ehren Kruger, who previously wrote the screenplay for Scream 3, was hired for script rewrites. Reshoots were filmed in early 2011, following test screenings.

Scream 4 premiered at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on April 11, 2011, and was released in the United States on April 15, 2011, by Dimension Films. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the performances, direction and humor, and criticism for its lack of scares and reliance on clichéd formulas. However, many considered it to be an improvement over its predecessor, and it has enjoyed several positive reappraisals since, particularly for its prescient examination of the impact of social media. It grossed $97 million worldwide on a budget of $40 million, becoming the lowest-grossing film in the Scream franchise.

Scream 4 was the final film to be directed by Craven before his death in 2015. It was followed by Scream, an anthology television series, developed for MTV without the involvement of the main cast or crew, although Roger L. Jackson returned to voice Ghostface in the third season. A fifth film that acts as a direct sequel, simply titled Scream, is scheduled to be released on January 14, 2022, by Paramount Pictures.

Plot

On the fifteenth anniversary of the original Woodsboro massacre, high school students Jenny Randall and Marnie Cooper are murdered by a new Ghostface. The following day, Sidney Prescott returns to Woodsboro to promote her self-help book with her publicist Rebecca Walters. After evidence is found in Sidney's rental car, Sidney becomes a suspect in the murders and must stay in town until they are solved. Sidney's cousin, Jill Roberts, who is coping with the infidelity of her ex-boyfriend, Trevor Sheldon, gets a threatening phone call from Ghostface, as does her friend and neighbor Olivia Morris. Jill and Olivia, alongside their friend Kirby Reed, are questioned about their calls by Dewey Riley, who is now the town's sheriff, while his deputies, Judy Hicks, [[Anthony Perkins (Scream 4)}Anthony Perkins]] and Ross Hoss assist him in the case. Meanwhile, Dewey's wife, Gale Weathers, is struggling with writer's block and decides to investigate the murders, much to her husband's dismay.

Sidney stays over with Jill and her aunt Kate. Later that night, Olivia is killed by Ghostface as Jill and Kirby watch in horror. Sidney and Jill rush in to save Olivia, but the killer injures them and escapes. At the hospital, Sidney fires Rebecca after learning of her plan to exploit the murders to increase book sales. Rebecca is subsequently murdered in the parking garage by Ghostface. Gale enlists the help of two high school movie fanatics, Charlie Walker and Robbie Mercer, who explain that the killer is using the rules of movie remakes. Charlie concludes that the killer will likely strike at a screening party for the Stab franchise being held that night at a farm. Gale attends the party to investigate but Ghostface stabs her in the shoulder and flees when Dewey arrives. Meanwhile, Hoss and Perkins, who were assigned to guard Kate's house, are murdered. Ghostface then calls Sidney, threatening to harm Jill. Sidney discovers that Jill has left for Kirby's and informs Kate. Ghostface attacks them and kills Kate, before disappearing again. After Hicks arrives, Sidney drives to Kirby's house.

Jill, Kirby, Charlie, Robbie, and Trevor are at Kirby's house when Ghostface shows up and kills a drunken Robbie. Sidney arrives at the house to leave with Jill until they are both chased by Ghostface. Sidney evades the killer and calls Dewey. As Sidney tries to find Jill, Kirby is forced to answer horror movie trivia to save Charlie, who is tied up outside. After Kirby answers Ghostface's questions, she goes outside to untie Charlie, who immediately stabs her and reveals himself as Ghostface, before leaving her to bleed out. Sidney is confronted by Charlie and stabbed by a second Ghostface, who reveals herself to be Jill, Charlie's accomplice and mastermind behind the killings. Jill explains that her motive was out of anger and jealousy because of the fame that Sidney had received for surviving the murders, and that they intend to frame Trevor as Ghostface. Jill executes Trevor and betrays Charlie, stabbing him to death to pin him as Trevor's accomplice and make herself the sole survivor. Jill stabs Sidney and mutilates herself to frame Trevor as her attacker. Dewey, Hicks, and the police arrive at the house, as Sidney and Jill are taken to the hospital.

After discovering that Sidney has survived, Jill goes to Sidney's hospital room and attempts to kill her. Dewey, Gale, and Judy intervene, having been clued by a detail about Gale's injury that Jill somehow knew. Jill subdues Dewey and Hicks and holds Gale at gunpoint before Sidney incapacitates her with a defibrillator and fatally shoots her. Dewey calls in all police units, as media reporters outside name Jill as the "sole surviving hero".

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