Scream 4 (stylized as SCRE4M) is a 2011 American meta slasher film directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson. Produced by Outerbanks Entertainment and distributed by Dimension Films, it is the fourth installment in the Scream film series. The film stars David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Anthony Anderson, Alison Brie, Adam Brody, Rory Culkin, Marielle Jaffe, Erik Knudsen, Mary McDonnell, Marley Shelton, and Nico Tortorella. The film takes place on the fifteenth anniversary of the original Woodsboro murders and involves Sidney Prescott returning to the town after ten years, where Ghostface once again begins killing students from Woodsboro High. Like its predecessors, Scream 4 combines the violence of the slasher genre with elements of black comedy and "whodunit" mystery to satirize the clichés of film remakes. The film also provides commentary on the extensive usage of social media and the obsession with internet fame.
The series was originally intended to be a trilogy, concluding with Scream 3 in 2000. However, in June 2008, The Weinstein Company announced a third sequel was in development, with Craven confirmed to direct in March 2010. In September 2009, Arquette, Campbell, and Cox were announced to be returning, after which the casting process lasted between April and September 2010. Principal photography began in June 2010 and ended in September that same year, taking place in and around Ann Arbor, Michigan. Scenes set in and around Woodsboro High School were actually filmed at Woodworth Middle School in Dearborn, Michigan. During production, Ehren Kruger, who previously wrote the screenplay for Scream 3, was hired for script rewrites. Reshoots were filmed in early 2011, following test screenings.
Scream 4 premiered at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles on April 11, 2011, and was released in the United States on April 15, 2011, by Dimension Films. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the performances, direction and humor, and criticism for its lack of scares and reliance on clichéd formulas. However, many considered it to be an improvement over its predecessor, and it has enjoyed several positive reappraisals since, particularly for its prescient examination of the impact of social media. It grossed $97 million worldwide on a budget of $40 million, becoming the lowest-grossing film in the Scream franchise.
Scream 4 was the final film to be directed by Craven before his death in 2015. It was followed by Scream, an anthology television series, which was developed for MTV without the involvement of the main cast or crew, although Roger L. Jackson returned to voice Ghostface in the third season. A fifth film that is a direct sequel, simply titled Scream, was released on January 14, 2022, by Paramount Pictures.