Humorous horror: Scre4m's smart; its stars are not

The great pleasure in the Scream movies is that the characters have seen other horror films. At times they talk as if they're in the chat room of a horror site. Wes Craven's Scre4m, the typographically skewed fourth movie in the series, opens with a clever series of horror scenes that emerge one from another like nested Russian dolls, and Kevin Williamson's dialogue is smart and knowing. All through the movie, Scre4m lets us know that it knows exactly what it's up to– and then goes right ahead and gets up to it.
    The premise is that a psychopath has returned to the town of Woodsboro, which has already seen so many fatal slashings you question why anyone still lives there, let alone watches horror movies. This killer seems at times to be supernormal, is able to appear simultaneously at the front and back doors of a house, and predict precisely where victims will be, and when. As a result, the body count in Scre4m mounts relentlessly until you wonder whether everyone in the cast is going to be killed, with the movie ending on an empty room (with the phone ringing – heh, heh). Full review.

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