Scream 4 Directed by: Wes Craven Written by: Kevin Williamsen (screenplay) Starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, Emma Roberts, and David Arquette
Scream 4 makes you wonder what other veteran directors would do if they were offered the chance to comment on the modern state of their respective genres. How would Alfred Hitchcock approach Hanna? How would Billy Wilder tackle Your Highness?
Sadly, instead of real filmmakers taking a stab at the confines of their own genres, we get films like the Scary Movie franchise, which set out to mock, scored a few laughs in the first few films, and then became a mockery. The state of modern movies is just that: movies unintentionally mocking their genres, so much so that it may be hard for many in a modern audience to realize Scream 4 is doing it intentionally.
Drag Me to Hell Directed by: Sam Raimi Written by: Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi (screenplay) Starring: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Lorna Raver, and Adriana Barraza
Horror comedy may be the most difficult genres to mix together successfully. You wouldn’t think that, as these days horror movies like the Saw series are laughable and the endlessly cliched comedies become more horrendous. Sam Raimi, however, has proven himself a master of the genre.
Before he “sold out” (brought life) to the first two Spider Man movies, he was nothing more than a low-budget director of horror comedies that collected a cult following that included some unashamed critics. With Drag Me to Hell marking his return to that genre, consider me one of the recently unashamed.
Not only is this one of the funniest films of 2009, it’s also one of the grossest and even scariest. With most directors, you either lean on the horror or the comedy, but Mr. Raimi walks the tight rope of both and succeeds admirably. His film is relentlessly entertaining.