NEW YORK (CNS) – “Scream 4” (Weinstein) – the latest installment in director Wes Craven’s slasher franchise, begun in 1996 – wallows in the same mindless havoc that characterized its predecessors.

Trouble brews anew when self-help author Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) – the survivor of the first three rampages — returns home to Woodsboro during a tour to promote her new book about the highly publicized saga.

Alongside other returning characters – such as Courtney Cox’s journalist Gale Weathers and David Arquette’s Sheriff Dewey Riley – we find the next generation of potential victims using new-media tools to absorb and recycle the formulaic mayhem wrought by the killer known as “Ghostface.”

Perhaps the best way to describe the profanity-riddled, blood-soaked proceedings to which viewers are once again subjected is to quote the line “Sick is the new sane.” Fortunately for all of us, however, an unending stream of deeply cynical – if admittedly well-constructed – horror flicks can never make it so.

The film contains excessive gory violence; pervasive rough, crude and crass language; some profanity and sexual banter; and two scenes of underage drinking. The Catholic News Service classification is O — morally offensive. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R — restricted. Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.