“Scream 4” trailer brings new faces, new rules, same slasher

Remember when a horror movie’s main objective was to make you scream instead of make you throw-up into your tub of popcorn like today? Well, if so, gather around and bring your favorite big pillow to hide behind. The trailer for Scream 4 is here to remind you of the good old days – oh, and scare the bejesus out of you.

So why make another Scream movie 14 years after the original “redefined fear?” Because there are so many famous people to kill, apparently. The teaser trailer for the fourth installment of the Wes Craven horror franchise is jam-packed with big names. But first, look who is back.

Returning are surviving (and I mean that figuratively, though literally for their characters) Scream vets Neve Campbell returns as Sidney Prescott, Courteney Cox as reporter Gale Weathers and David Arquette as Deputy Dwight “Dewey” Riley.

Leading the “Scream: The Next Generation” are Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, Community’s Alison Brie, Pretty Little LiarsLucy Hale, 90210’s Shenae Grimes, Life Unexpected’s Britt Robertson, Friday Night LightsAimee Teegarden and Rory Culkin. It’s like they put the names of every young actress working on TV today in a hat and picked two handfuls-worth at random.

Also, who wants to bet that Anna and Kristen are the big pre-credits kills, à la Drew Barrymore in the original? I mean, it’s so obvious in the trailer it almost has to be a set up.

So how will the Scream franchise adapt to the new horror landscape of Saw and Hostel where sawing off one’s own leg is just considered foreplay? The trailer acknowledges the decade that has passed since Scream 3 and the new rules of terror: kills that are “way more extreme,” the unexpected is “the new cliché” and “virgins can die now.”

Also, the natural next step in psycho-slasher innovation is to have the killer film the murders. What does that mean? Well, I expect we’ll see a lot of that big, red “REC” sign in the upper left-hand corner of the screen in the new film.

Will the Ghostface killer translate to the age of iPhones and Facebook? Hard to say. But as long as there are plenty of pretty young things to slash, I think he’ll probably do just fine. Are you sold? Ready to – yes, I am going there – Scream your head off again?