Scream 4 - Rory Culkin and Erik Knudsen
Scream 4 - Charlie Walker (Rory Culkin) and Robbie Mercer (Erik Knudsen) © 2011 Weinstein Company

In Wes Craven’s horror movie Scream 4, all the three original stars from the franchise, Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courteney Cox, are back. They are joined by a group of talented young actors already making a name for themselves in the business, including Emma Roberts, Hayden Pantiere, Anthony Anderson and Rory Culkin.

It’s been fifteen years since the Woodsboro Murders. Sidney Prescott (Campbell) is now a successful author who is in town promoting her self help book. Unfortunately, Ghostface is back in town too, killing people close to Sidney and her cousin Jill (Roberts), basing his murders on ones committed in the movie Stab. Rory Culkin plays a high school friend of Jill’s who’s an expert on horror films, and Anthony Anderson portrays a cop who is protecting them.

I spoke with Anthony, Rory and Emma about their experience working on Scream 4.

Had you watched the whole series of these films before doing this movie?

Scream 4 - David Arquette and Anthony Anderson
Dwight ‘Dewey’ Riley (David Arquette) and Deputy Perkins (Anthony Anderson) © 2011 Weinstein Company

Anthony Anderson: Well, I did. I grew up watching this franchise and it’s a bit of a trivia question now, or will be, because I actually spoofed this movie in Scary Movie three and four and now I’m a part of the franchise that I spoofed. So I think there will be a Scary Movie 5 that I will be a part of now.

Emma Roberts: For me, I was obviously too young to see it when it came out in theaters, but it was one of those movies that I saw when I was a teenager and all my friends were obsessed with wanting to watch scary movies.

This was one of the first few I saw and I remember thinking that it was probably the scariest because out of all the horror movies of my generation I think this is the most real, the most plausible and that’s why it’s so freaky.

When a phone rings you’re kind of freaked out and when you see those big glass windows – you know what I’m talking about – it’s scary. So it was definitely creepy.

Scream 4 - Rory Culkin, Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox
Charlie Walker (Rory Culkin), Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and Gale Weathers-Riley (Courteney Cox) © 2011 Weinstein Company

Rory Culkin: I saw the first film when I was eight years old. I was scarred for a little while and after I got this part I went back and watched all three.

They’re pretty solid. Not really dated, but it says a lot about it’s time.

Have you ever been in the situation where you’re with friends at night, someone gets a mysterious phone call while watching a scary movie?

Emma: No. My friends keep calling me and doing the voice and saying, ‘What’s your favorite scary movie?’

As much as I know it’s a joke I still can’t help but be looking over my shoulder a little bit because it’s creepy.

You experience a lot of action in this movie. How did you deal with all of that and do you want to do more of it?

Scream 4 - Emma Roberts
Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts) © 2011 Weinstein Company

Emma: I’d love to do more action roles. I’m not very athletic. I always played girl sports, but I was never really a big sport person.

This was definitely for me, as far as the physical aspect of it, difficult. I’ve never been able to really run convincingly. So I had to learn how to do that in this movie.

Rory, how much of a film buff are you?

Rory: It’s funny. I tried to go back and watch all of Wes’s films. Does Wes Craven exist in the Scream world, because all of his movies do?

How was it working with the original cast on this?

Emma: It was fun. We all had a good time. We were in Michigan for three months and so we all got to bond and to hangout. We spent a lot of time together when we weren’t flying home.

Rory: It was cool. They were in our position ten, fifteen years earlier. So, they understood where we were coming from.

Scream 4 - Anthony Anderson
Deputy Perkins (Anthony Anderson) © 2011 Weinstein Company

Anthony: They’re just tired, old and bitter. [He laughs] It was great working with them. David Arquette, Courteney Cox and I have been friends for thirteen, fourteen years now.

David and I have worked together in the past. So it was great to finally work again with him in a franchise that I grew up watching and spoofed.

We bonded. Neve [Campbell] would rent out a lake house and we’d be out there for three, four days at a time just having water balloon fights and barbecues and love making and all kinds of things!

Is there a difference to seeing Ghostface onscreen and then working with the guy in the full makeup and costume? Can you talk about growing up with an iconic character and then having him chasing you down?

Scream 4 - Emma Roberts
Jill Roberts (Emma Roberts) © 2011 Weinstein Company

Emma: It was scary. Even though we knew who it was I would get freaked out. Running away would get scary. There was a scene where I had to run up some stairs and he was really treading behind me and I almost fell down because I was getting really nervous.

And I was also in eight inch heels because apparently I was too short. I’m five two on a good day and I think I’m probably five seven in the movie, because I had shoes this big that weren’t ideal for running away from a serial killer.

Have any of you successfully scared anyone else?

Rory: Yeah. When I was younger I actually had a Ghostface mask and I stood in my sister’s room in the corner for a half hour until she saw me in the reflection behind her and she freaked out and started slapping me. I said, ‘Okay, sorry.’ That’s the only story I have.

Emma: I’m not good at scaring other people, but I get scared so easily. I got scared on set. My sister is ten and she scares me with stupid things like fake spiders in my bed.

Anthony: Not for me. I grew up in an area where if you scared someone you got your ass whooped as just a reflex. So, no, we didn’t play those games!


Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.