Scream 4 was the latest and last installment of the Scream franchise. Each film had a satirical theme that revolved around elements of movies in real life. Scream (1996) included satire of horror films, Scream 2 included satire of common sequel tropes, Scream 3 basically made fun of how movies get turned into franchises just because the producers want to make as much money from it as possible, but Scream 4 did something different than making fun of certain aspects of films like the previous Screams did. In Scream 4, one of the major themes was how people can use technology to reach out to many. What the killers in Scream 4 aimed to do differently than the previous ones was to film the murders, so that everyone can see them.
The two horror geeks in the film, Charlie and Robbie, talked about how if the killer wanted to do something new, they should stream the murders. Jill who turned out to be one of the killers, made clear that unlike the original murders where people heard about them, people would be able to see the new murders.
Scream 4’s use of the theme of using technology to connect wasn’t meant to make fun of movies; it was meant to examine our real life society. This is true because just like how the killers, Jill and Charlie, filmed the murders, people in real life are filming their crimes.
This goes beyond someone committing a crime that just happens to be videotaped. With social media and smart phones being on the rise, we are seeing more cases where people are deliberately filming themselves in the act of committing crimes, and sharing it on the internet for everyone to see.
Last year alone we have seen this many times. In Cleveland where a man shot an older man while he streamed it on Facebook Live, in Chicago where a group of teenagers kidnapped and torture a disabled boy while it was streamed on Facebook Live, and in Sweden where a woman was gang raped by a group of men while it was streamed on Facebook Live. There are many other cases that doesn’t involve Facebook Live such as when a couple filmed themselves shooting up neighborhoods in West Houston and posted in to Snapchat in September. This is a new trend where people post a lot about their lives on social media, and now people are doing so when it comes to crimes. Obviously not everyone is a criminal nor is every criminal filming themselves committing crimes, but there are some who film their crimes, and that is the focus.
The connection between Scream 4 and this new trend is that in both cases people are committing crimes such as murder, and they are uploading it to the internet. It’s very symbolic that Scream 4 took that kind of approach for their film. The movie ditched its normal formula of making fun of genres of films in order to explore technology, the internet, and its impact on the youth’s mind. That is what we saw in Scream 4 that ended up being a reality: people filming themselves while they commit crimes, and it being accessible to millions across the world.
If we look back at the previous films, we see a clear motive and a goal for each of the killers. Billy was angry about his mother leaving him so he wanted Sidney dead, Mrs. Loomis wanted revenge for her son’s death so she wanted Sidney dead, and Roman was jealous of his mother not caring for him, so he wanted Sidney dead. When it came to Scream 4 with Jill and Charlie, of course they wanted Sidney dead in the end like the rest of the killers, but their motive for the murders wasn’t based on an emotion such as anger. They did it because they wanted to become famous. By killing people, Jill and Charlie would fabricate themselves as the victims in order to gain sympathy of the world and thus becoming famous.
That brings me to the 2nd prediction that Scream 4 made about our society. Scream 4 showed how people’s tragedy can be profitable. It’s like what Jill said, “We all live in public now, we’re all on the internet. How do you think people get famous anymore? You don’t have to achieve anything! You just got to have fucked up shit happen to you (Scream 4).” Now obviously things like that has happened in the past. People have written books about terrible experiences, been getting interviews on surviving ordeals, became famous because something bad happened to them, and they went on to do more things. What Scream 4 did, was it took the next step and made a movie where 2 people set up their own false flag in order to get what they want.
With the use of social media, it has made it easy for people to fabricate a story of something bad happening to them to push their agenda. Right after the 2016 U.S election, there were several reports of hate crimes that ended up being completely false and made up by the “victims”, which doesn’t take away the fact that those things actually happen. The point is that Scream 4’s premise was about two teenagers committing crimes, filming those crimes, and pretending to be the victim to gain success, and in 2017 there are people who are committing and filming crimes, and pretending to be victims to gain success. This horror movie predicted the horrors that people can do with the use of the internet.