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Movie: SCREAM AND RUN; The Scary Movie team is back with yet another selection of pop culture spoofs Scary Movie4 (15) **.

Byline: Dawn Collinson

THE fourth and thankfully final instalment of the Scary Movie series is the best yet.

Unfortunately, given the dubious quality of the first three films, this is hardly a ringing endorsement.

Fittingly enough, Scary Movie 4 goes out with a bang (the almost total destruction of the world), poking fun at films such as The Grudge, King Kong and War Of The Worlds.

Celebrity cameos litter the rambling screenplay, which cobbles together a rag-tag selection of pop culture references and spoofs with no attempt whatsoever to create a cohesive whole.

Very oc0casionally, writers David Zucker, Craig Mazin and Jim Abrahams hit the mark: the president of the United States (Leslie Nielsen) learning of the alien invasion whilst reading a book about a duck with schoolchildren (a la George Bush on September 11).

More often than not, though, the trio roasts old chestnuts until we can stand no more.

At the centre of this madness is Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris), the one-time television news reporter who has survived the murderous attentions of not one, not two, but three masked serial killers.

Now she has turned her back on the media to become a healthcare professional, caring for an old woman (Cloris Leachman) whose house is haunted by the ghost of a dead boy (Garrett Masuda).

Thankfully, the next door neighbour is handsome, dumb dock worker Tom Ryan (Craig Bierko), whose two kids Rachel (Conchita Campbell) and Robbie (Beau Mirchoff) soon find themselves in the midst of an extra-terrestrial invasion.

While giant tripods roam the countryside, zapping every human in sight, Cindy embarks on a journey to find the dead boy's father ( Bill Pullman ), leading her to cross paths with sex-starved best pal Brenda ( Regina Hall).

Scary Movie certainly looks slick and the special effects are actually quite impressive, but The Million Dollar Baby skit falls embarrassingly flat, as do the crass love scenes modelled on Brokeback Mountain.

Praise be that it's only 83 minutes long.

CAPTION(S):

PHANTOM MENACE: Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) has a close encounter in Scary Movie 4
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 14, 2006
Words:343
Previous Article:Goss.
Next Article:Movie: An American Haunting (15) ***.

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