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Slasher comedy isn't much to shout about

SCREAM 4 Horror. Starring Aimee Teegarden, Brittany Robertson, Neve Campbell, Alison Brie, Emma Roberts, Marielle Jaffe, David Arquette, Courteney Cox >MArk Evans

When Scream came roaring onto our screens, it breathed new life into the bloated corpse of the slasher movie. Tongue firmly in cheek, it stuck the knife into the cliches of why people wander away from a group when there's a maniac on the loose; why teenagers are mere cannon fodder; and why the cute virgin always survives.

The two sequels were drab affairs, where the bodycount was more important than the script -- so much was expected of this latest effort.

It's hard to believe that it's 15 years since the opening scene which brutally despatched Drew Barrymore, but now mayhem lurks yet again in the anonymous US suburb of Woodsboro.

Students Jenny Randall (Aimee Teegarden) and Marnie Cooper (Brittany Robertson) are brutally slain by the latest Ghostface. And back in town is the orginal Scream survivor Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), complete with personal baggage, who's promoting her new book with her publicist Rebecca Walters (Alison Brie).


But poor old Sidney is a suspect in the murders after evidence is found in her car, forcing her to stay in town. And it's not a happy place, with Ghostface threatening her cousin, Jill (Emma Roberts) and pal Olivia Morris (Marielle Jaffe).

Scream regular Dewey Riley (David Arquette), now sheriff, is back, along with regular face Gale Weathers-Riley (Courteney Cox).

While in parts it's the same old, same old, there is a bit more thought than in parts two and three, with the movie a commentary on the breakthrough/cancer (take your pick) that is social media.

The two original murders spark a texting frenzy, and there's a lot of wry commentary about twitter meets terror. Still, it feels as if it's been done before, and the twist, straight out of the original, is a no-brainer. Distinctly average money-making franchise fare.

DVD EXTRAS: Audio commentary, making of special.