Fifteen years after surviving the original Woodsboro murders, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) has returned home to promote her new self-help book. Unfortunately, masked killer Ghostface is back, and terrorising the community anew.
Sidney's cousin Jill (Emma Roberts) has received threatening phone calls from the serial slasher, and town sheriff Dewey Riley (David Arquette) is, as ever, on the case.
After several Woodsboro residents are picked off, however, Dewey's reporter wife Gail (Courteney Cox) decides to join the hunt, and with the help of two film geeks (Rory Culkin and Erik Knudsen), discovers the moviemad maniac is using horror remakes for inspiration.
After a lukewarm reception for the Ehren Kruger penned Scream 3, Kevin Williamson regains writing duties for this fourth instalment. Central players Campbell, Cox and Arquette all return, while director Wes Craven completes the reunion of the original Scream team.
With the horror legend at the helm, there are some serious scares here. The series, however, is best known for its ironic black humour, and this latest outing is more self-referential than ever. With a decade's worth of new material to plunder, Scream 4 has fun inventing a new set of horror survival rules and poking fun at the cliché-ridden, sequelstrewn genre.
Any film with three instalments behind it will always struggle to feel fresh, but with the addition of Roberts, as well as Alison Brie, Anna Paquin, Kristen Bell, and, best of all, Hayden Panettiere, Craven and co do a decent job of injecting new life into the series.