David Arquette, star of the new NASCAR-themed short film 'The Legend of Hallowdega,' told Cinematical that the upcoming sequel 'Scream 4' offers audiences a return to more traditional horror after a decade of extreme violence. "Since we hadn't done a film in ten years, there was a lot to draw from as far as other horror movies go, and just society in general," Arquette said via telephone Wednesday. "There's a commentary on media in general, and just entertainment. So there was a lot for Kevin Williamson to draw on and for Wes [Craven] to exploit, but it felt like the right time."
Arquette currently stars in 'The Legend of Hallowdega,' a short film directed by Terry Gilliam. While Gilliam's film is more of a supernatural comedy, at least judging by the mutton chops on Arquette's character, the actor said that 'Scream 4' is more straightforward, bringing the saga of Woodsboro and Sidney's family full circle. The tones of the two films are very different," Arquette observed. "I had just gotten back to rediscovering the humor of Dewey and what he was about, and this was like a complete u-turn and a completely different draw from my skill set. So it was fun to jump into a different world and character and explore that. It was really a gift, the whole thing."
"It felt like there had been these series of pretty graphic horror films," he continued. "So to go back to something that's a little more traditional, with a sense of humor, I think that people are going to be ready for it and be really excited. In my opinion, just knowing the beginning and the ending and sort of everything that happens in the middle, I think it's going to be the best sequel of the series. Because it sort of goes back to the original place, Woodsboro, and it explores what happens there, why it happened, and some of the people involved. So it was a lot of fun."
Arquette said that it was fairly easy to get back into character and play Dewey, even after ten years. "It was pretty easy," he admitted. "I mean, Dewey, a lot of his humor comes from aspects of my own character that I find funny and people seem to find funny. Now he's in this position of authority but he doesn't get a ton of respect, and he's kind of frustrated by it, but it also makes it sort of easy to discover lines or improvise things when you know where your character is coming from and who he is. I know him pretty well – he's pretty close to me and I have a lot of fun playing him."
'Scream 4' reunites the screenwriting and directing team of Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven, who parted ways during 'Scream 3,' which was written by Ehren Kruger ('Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen'). Arquette said that the reunion of cast and crew created a very comfortable environment for everyone to work in. "This set, being surrounded by a group of people you've worked with for 16 years, although you haven't worked with them, it was really great," he said. "It was like a family. To get to know Neve [Campbell] again, and to get to work opposite Courtney, which I don't get to do that often, I really enjoyed that a lot. So it's just really fun to do."
Arquette also said that he hasn't seen the finished film yet, but he thinks there will be some interesting surprises, even for folks like him who already know what happens in the story. "I'm really excited to see how it turns out," Arquette said. "I mean, obviously I read the script and I know where it goes and what happens, but you explore stuff on the set and you try things, and a few of them I'm pretty sure are going to [generate] laughs. I think it's going to be really fun for people to watch and sort of see these characters come back to life."