Scream 4

Rated 2.0

Or Scre4m, as the ads and credits say, which about sums it up: a pointless flourish to make an old idea look different. Director Wes Craven continues to make movies in a universe where teenagers throw parties to celebrate serial killers (see My Soul to Take), while writer Kevin Williamson once again uses the terms “cinema” and “slasher flick” in the same breath. The self-reference that looked mildly clever in 1996 is getting downright masturbatory—here we have slasher movies within slasher movies within slasher movies, like an infinity of mirrors. Original stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette are back, along with younger victims (Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Alison Brie, etc.) to provide fresh blood (literally) and some catty remarks about how old Campbell and Cox are getting.