Anther snapshot of Western culture this week in cinemas – if the aliens who monitor us are still watching I’m sure this will result in our urgent and violent annihilation (if that isn’t one cliché too many).
I’ll confess that I haven’t seen any of the first three Scream films – the first was in 1996 and the most recent was number three, eleven years ago. So, taken as a stand alone picture, how does Scream 4 hold up? Pretty well. The knowing references to recent horror cinema history take up most of the space with what’s left over going to a resigned cynicism about modern society – which is as it should be.
One of the first films I reviewed when I started here was an charming documentary called Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey in which Canadian fans Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen travelled the world talking to other fans (and the stars they worship) about what it is that makes metal great. In that film they interviewed Iron Maiden’s vocalist Bruce Dickinson and they must have made a decent impression as Maiden (and EMI) have given them a decent budget and loads of access for them to document their Somewhere Back in Time tour (around the world last year).
And what a wheeze the tour turned out to be. Chartering a 757 from Dickinson’s other employer, taking half the seats out so the gear and set could fit, flying the whole show between gigs with Dickinson piloting the whole time – a bunch of pasty middle-aged English lads having the time of their lives across half the world. The only real drama comes when drummer Nicko McBrain gets hit on the wrist by a golf ball, but it doesn’t matter because the joy of seeing a band really moving audiences (in places like Mumbai and Costa Rica) is the reason for this film to exist. And this film rises above above other recent great rock movies like U2-3D and Shine a Light – because it’s about the fans as well as the band and it recognises the complex interdependence of the relationship.