“Scream,” all cutlery, cleavage and quips, returns to life with another sashay down self-aware “meta-movie” lane. It’s fitfully amusing and not remotely scary.
As a “don’t-open-that-door!” thriller, it fails. As a satire of the Media Generation, drunken, cell-phone- and viral-video-addicted teens, it stumbles.
But as a tribute to the original movie, it succeeds. The survivors of that series are back: first-generation “Scream”ers Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox.
It all begins with a movie within a movie within a movie, all playing the same “Who is this?” phone game from the pre-Caller ID era.
We transition to Woodsboro, where “it all happened.” “Ghostface” found a big knife and mask and went after all the buxom babes ... and Campbell.
It’s the anniversary of the mass murders, which were turned into popular books by Gale Weathers (Cox) and into a string of hit “Stab” horror movies. Now Sidney Prescott (Campbell) has her own book, about surviving the assaults. Her publicity tour returns her to Woodsboro. And it all begins again.
The same old incompetent cop, only now Dewey (David Arquette) is sheriff and married to Gale, an ex-journalist whose writing career has dried up UNTIL the killings start again. Same phone calls. Same pointless, heartless attacks. Same entrails.
At least the dialogue has that same snarky snap.
What: “Scream 4”
Starring: Neve Campbell, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Rory Culkin
Directed by: Wes Craven
Running time: 106 minutes
Rated: R for bloody violence, language and teen drinking