“Scream” (Paramount)

This is the movie poster for "Scream." The Catholic News Service classification is O -- morally offensive.(CNS/Paramount)

By Catholic News Service

Meta-stupid slasher flick in which a high school student (Jenna Ortega), her estranged older sister (Melissa Barrera) and the senior sibling’s boyfriend (Jack Quaid), among others, find themselves in the path of a copycat serial killer intent on upholding the homicidal tradition that has periodically plagued a small rural town and that has served as the basis for a popular horror movie franchise.

When not being gutted like fish or having their jugulars slit, the two-dimensional characters, who also include a trio of survivors (Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette) of earlier predations, speculate on the killer’s identity and discuss both his probable methods and the genre tropes showcased in the fictitious film series that corresponds to the all-too-real one of which this is an unwelcome extension. Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, whether sequel or reboot, it’s as unwarrantedly self-satisfied in tone as it is sick in content.

Hideous bloody violence, a scene of lesbian sensuality, several profanities, about a half-dozen milder oaths, pervasive rough and frequent crude language, obscene gestures. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.

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