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Shocking? Not Really

Scream 4 is the crappiest Scream

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Director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson swore that 2000’s Scream 3 concluded the cleverly self-referential horror series, but, surprise, here’s another one for masked-slasher fans.

On the 10th anniversary of the original’s massacre, Sidney (Neve Campbell) returns to her hometown as a bestselling memoirist. Horror-crazed local teens mount gore-movie fests and parties in tribute, and copycat knife murders terrorize the community, some of which are imaginatively staged; others (like the idiotic ending) fall way below the franchise’s standards.

Smartass dialogue and plot twists once again rely on in-jokes (Saw, Halloween, Jason, Freddy, etc.), a movie-within-the-movie-within-the-movie, and a media-aware popscape of celebrity, smartphones, sequels, prequels, remakes, webcasts -- everything but reality TV. Which they’re doubtlessly saving for Scream 5. --Charles Cassady Jr.

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