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The Boston Globe

Movies

Movie Review

‘Scream’ returns, and (surprise!) people are dying

When “Scream 3’’ arrived in 2000, Bill Clinton was still in the White House, most cellphones could make only calls, reality television was a novelty, and Lady Gaga was just some girl named Stefani from the Upper West Side. Everything’s changed in the intervening 11 years, but, sadly, not the “Scream’’ franchise, which has coughed up a needless fourth installment that coasts on the winking ironies and Teflon self-awareness of its predecessors. I don’t need to tell you “Scream 4’’ is unnecessary. The movie spends most of its running time in a state of antic self-justification, explaining how the slasher-genre rules that the series so cleverly enumerated now mean nothing because, as explained by one of the new movie’s horror nerds, audiences are tired of the old rules. Now they expect something different: a reboot.

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