The most frightening aspect of the post-Scream horror revival is how quickly the knowing smile of Craven's original turned into the lazy smirk of its imitators. Worse, the sloppy spin-offs have leap-frogged backwards over Scream's post-modern ingenuity to ape crude '70s teen slasher pics. But since the teen leads are no longer by-the-yard disposables but the bankable stars of such glossy TV series as Beverly Hills 90210 and Dawson's Creek, these watered-down '90s versions lack the gratuitous nudity and gleeful gore that was their '70s equivalents' raison d'être. First time director Jamie Blanks lacks the intellectual firepower to make the most of a script that junks its promising premise - a hooded psycho's murders mirror popular urban myths - halfway through. The usual blandly attractive teenagers run around campus at night, walk into dark rooms without switching on the lights, and are surprised when they suffer the painful demise they deserve.
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