- Broken Base: Some Scream fans thought that this was an Even Better Sequel than the third film was, and liked the subtle Take That! on remade horror movies. Other fans thought this was an unnecessary Trilogy Creep, and that shouldve been left alone after the third film.
- Complete Monster: This film's Ghostface, Sidney's cousin Jill Roberts, is a deranged Copycat Killer who wipes out friends in a twisted attempt to become Sidney and hijack her fame and is easily the most Ax-Crazy of the Ghostfaces so far. Ghostface manipulates a friend, Charlie, into helping, and then kills him when he's no longer of use in order to be the sole survivor and the center of attention. Ghostface even commits matricide simply to better emulate Sidney's life with a dead mother. Ghostface kills Trevor to take the blame for the massacre, and then tries to kill Sidney to complete the status as the new "valiant Ghostface survivor". When Ghostface realizes that Sidney survived after they've both been taken to the hospital, the former tries one final time to kill Sidney, in a last attempt to secure fame.
- Crosses the Line Twice: Jill using her dead boyfriend's hand to scratch herself and tear out a chunk of hair to give herself realistic defensive wounds? Okay. Stabbing herself? Ouch. Smashing her head into a glass-framed poster then backflopping onto a glass coffeetable? Darkly hysterical.
- Ending Fatigue: It's foreshadowed that the climax of the film won't be the showdown at the house where Jill is revealed as the killer and stabs Sidney - as the film discusses the possibility of 'false endings'. If the original Scream ended at the house, then if this is a remake, the house is the false ending. That being said, the film still goes on for quite a while in the hospital. The killer of all people lampshades this."The ending of the movie was supposed to be at the house. I mean this is just silly."
- Ensemble Dark Horse:
- Before the release people said that Hayden Panettiere's Kirby was the best character in the film. To the actress's credit, many continued to say that after the film's release - to the point that a number of fans feel that Kirby's Not Quite Dead and is Just Hiding.
- Rebecca Walters has a pretty solid fanbase too, by virtue of being played by Alison Brie.
- Even Better Sequel: In Brazil, the fourth film is often considered the best one.
- Harsher in Hindsight:
- Gale and Dewey are seen going through troubles with their marriage. Not long after shooting wrapped, Courteney Cox and David Arquette, the actors who play them, separated after eleven years of marriage.
- Watching Emma Roberts kicking and haranguing her character's ex-boyfriend can be hard to watch now, considering that, a couple of years later, Roberts would be be arrested in Canada for a domestic dispute with her boyfriend Evan Peters.
- Hilarious in Hindsight:
- Five years later, Emma Roberts would star in Nerve, which features a supporting character named Sydney (with two Y's) who is best friends with her character. She makes no effort to kill this Sydney, though she does get into a fight with her.
- The opening scene features a pointed Take That! at sequels and remakes that try to prove that We're Still Relevant, Dammit!, showing Ghostface in the in-universe Stab 6 taunting his victims through harassing Facebook posts. Four years later, the MTV reboot series had the new Ghostface using social media to harass people, exactly the sort of thing that this film bemoaned.
- The original Scream saw Courteney Cox, an actress with a Nice Girl reputation thanks to her work as Monica Gellar on Friends, Playing Against Type and ending up typecast in "bitch" roles afterwards. Emma Roberts experienced a similar career trajectory after this film, with her own type casting shifting from "sweetheart" to "Alpha Bitch" in a nearly identical manner.
- He's Just Hiding!: Kirby, seemingly on the basis that she is 'merely' very strongly implied to have died rather than having it outright stated.
- It Was His Sled: The killer being revealed as Jill, the apparent Final Girl would be less shocking these days - due to meta reasons. Emma Roberts was a Teen Idol at the time, normally playing various Woobies, so her being revealed as the villain was a big shock. In The New '10s however she has found her niche playing Alpha Bitches in American Horror Story and Scream Queens (2015) - so it's not quite as surprising.
- Love to Hate: Rebecca Walters is essentially the publicist equivalent of If It Bleeds, It Leads; she's ecstatic that Olivia's death will boost interest in Sidney's book. Damn if Alison Brie doesn't make her adorably pompous.
- Jill's Wounded Gazelle Gambit can appear quite hilarious when it's supposed to be serious.
- Jill's line about "matching wounds" can seem very forced as a way to conveniently tip off Dewey and Gale that she is the killer.
- The Problem with Licensed Games: The film received a cell phone tie-in game that had some very wonky controls and featured none of the characters from the films except Ghostface, the player character (who goes unnamed and doesn't employ his trademark tactics). That said, it only costs 99 cents, and it does get some kudos for awarding the player extra points for following the "horror movie rules" in how they kill (getting the slut first, the nerd last, the jock and the cheerleader together), showing that the people who made it at least knew why the films were so popular.
- Too Cool to Live: Kirby, who many agree to be the best character in the film. She's killed off by Charlie just as she seemingly outwits the killer. Word of God, however, claims that she didn't actually die, and the film would have contained a "we got a heartbeat" scene.
YMMV / Scream 4