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Scream 4 DVD Review

What’s your favorite scary movie?

I’m not going to lie, mine has always been Scream. So when Scream 4 was released in theaters, it had a lot riding on it. It could have gone one of two ways: great, providing an updated version of everything to love about Scream, or terrible, providing fuel to the sequel complaints lodged in the film class in Scream 2.

I had faith in the franchise, but even my hopes were exceeded by what Scream 4 was able to accomplish. To make a modern update seems to be a difficult thing these days, particularly in terms of reboots and remakes, but Scream 4 gave us the thrills, the twists, the humor, the self-awareness and self-mocking that we have come to expect from the franchise.

But what’s really under review here is the DVD, and while simply having the ability to watch the movie whenever one would like would have been a good DVD to me, the DVD that fans can purchase is truly a must-have for any lover of the series.

For one, the majority of the deleted scenes are truly that: scenes that were deleted from the movie, not simply extended scenes of what we got in the movie. Some are alternates to what we saw in the film (like the alternate opening that many fans wondered where it was due to having seen a clip of it in the trailer) while the others are truly scenes we just never saw.

While watching them may bring to mind the question of “Why didn’t they put this in the film? It’s great!” we can find solace in the fact that it makes it more of an ultimate-fan edition, right? Many of the deleted scenes were even referred to within the movie. You know when Jill can’t find her phone and goes out to look for it in the car only to have Trevor follow soon after to her to go and find her? In the film, we don’t seem them out near the car. In the deleted scenes, we do! As a fan, this is very cool. We know it happened in the film, but we get to see it happen now! It’s truly like getting an extra twenty minutes out of the film with these additions.

What else makes these scenes stand-out are their blatant yet thoughtful references to the original.  Not only do we catch a glimpse of a bust of the late Principal Himbry in the hallway of Woodsboro High, but we get a recreation of the iconic fountain scene that any Scream fan would know on sight. Throughout the movie, we  understand the implied (and occasionally outright stated) similarities and parallels to beloved characters like Sid, Billy, Stu, Randy, Tatum and more, but at the fountain scene it’s artful, poignant, smart and straight up cool.

There are other features on the DVD, like brilliant “Making Of…” featurettes and commentary from Wes Craven on the film itself, but the other highlight is the gag reel. I mean, who doesn’t love to watch the actors who have to know Ghostface is lurking somewhere on set being scared and screaming aloud at the unexpected pranks and surprise Ghostface appearances when he isn’t supposed to be behind the door, in the closet, or even in the scene at all?

If you love the Scream franchise, this DVD (and the movie, of course!) are absolute must-owns. It just goes to further show why Scream has always been the smartest, most exciting take on horror in modern times.

Scream 4 will be available on DVD and Blu-Ray everywhere October 4, 2011.