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Review: Courteney Cox is fun to watch in 'Scream 4'

April 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
"Scream 4" hit movie theaters on Friday. The screaming originally started in 1996, and it continued in 1997, and then it came back in 2000. Now, the franchise is ready to scare a new generation, but with the help of some of the original stars.

Neve Campbell once again fills the role of Sidney Prescott, a woman finally doing OK after being terrorized three other times by the killer known as Ghostface.

She returns to her hometown 10 years later, and a new murder spree begins.

By today's horror standards, "Scream 4" is not as graphic as those grisly "Saw" movies, but it does earn its R rating with several stabbings, lots of blood and plenty of four-letter words.

The franchise again dabbles in the rules of horror films, and the characters seem to be living in one.

David Arquette is back - this time as the sheriff - and Courteney Cox puts her reporter's hat back on to get to the bottom of things. She's a lot of fun to watch.

Characters in horror films do stupid things, and this is no exception. At my screening, someone responding to the stupidity even yelled at a character, "What are you doing?"

The film's young stars add new intrigue and attitude, and the mystery behind who was doing all the killing had me stumped, which I appreciate.

But if slice-and-dice cinema creeps you out, opt out of "Scream 4."

You don't have to have seen the first three films to understand this one, but I think it helped that I had seen them all.

There are a few cameos in the movie, including a really good scene with Anna Paquin and Kristen Bell.

Marley Shelton as a cop plays against type and does it well, with just the right amount of weirdness.

There are over-the-top moments, and things that sometimes don't make sense, but it's a horror film, so reality sometimes takes a back seat.

Don't expect anything too different from the other three "Scream" films. There's a formula here, and fans probably expect that.