Scream 4 & Tambien La Lluvia

Posted on 28 April 2011 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano

Scream 4 opened two weeks ago with disappointing box office results. It is a sequel that was 11 years in the making to the original Scream trilogy, which had already suffered from the laws of diminishing returns. In this film, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to her hometown, the site of the original murders and the death of her mother. Sidney is in town to promote her self-help book.

Within moments of Sidney’s book signing, a body is found in the trunk of her car. Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette) is called to investigate. Proving to be as incompetent as ever, Sheriff Dewey watches the body count rise as the ghost face killer murders the neighborhood cool kids. Feeling bored and neglected by living in a small town, Dewey’s wife, Gayle (Courtney Cox), becomes inspired and begins investigating the murders.

Scream 4 is an improvement over of Scream 3. The self-conscious humor about horror movie clichés remains. The biggest flaw with each successive Scream flick, the body count gets bigger and bigger. This makes the surviving characters from each film as indestructible as horror movie icons, while victims become anonymous. As he has done in the past, director Wes Craven strives for deeper meaning, but the superficial characters and plot by numbers mars any serious discussion about violence in the media.

One fun subplot of the Scream franchise is the creation of the fictional Stab movie-within-the-movie series that comments on the exploitation of horror films. This subplot is used in Tambien La Lluvia (Even the Rain), a Spanish movie that comments on the exploitation of the poor in Bolivia.

Humanitarian movie producer Costa (Luis Tosar) is shooting a biopic about Christopher Columbus and his exploitation of Native Americans. He and his director Sebastian (Gael Garcia Bernal) choose Bolivia because they can find cheap help. As they mock Columbus’ religious motivation, the production team is blind to their own treatment of their poverty-stricken employees.

Unlike the blatant slice-and-dice action of Scream 4, Tambien La Lluvia  presents passive-aggressive horror inflicted upon the poor. While filming their Columbus opus, the crew learns that a mean corporate entity plans on privatizing the water supply. This backstage drama is played out against the production of the motion picture. Unlike the solid conclusion of Scream 4, Tambien La Lluvia concludes upon lyrical symbolism that is more meaningful.


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