Directed by Wes Craven, starring Christina Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg, Joshua Jackson, Judy Greer, Portia de Rossi, Shannon Elizabeth, Scott Baio and Mya.

Men, they're all beasts. Werewolf movies, they're all scary. Actually, scratch that last remark. This season, werewolves are back in fashion. They're still ugly. They're still hairy. And they're still sniffing for a decent story.

Wes Craven returns from a five-year break having last directed 'Scream 3', the final instalment in the trilogy that should never have been a trilogy. Also on board is 'Scream' writer Kevin Williamson. So here's the plot: a werewolf loose in Los Angeles changes the lives of three young adults who, after being mauled by the beast, learn they must kill their attacker if they hope to change their fate. Poor Los Angeles, it goes through so much and now it's under attack from a werewolf.

Orphaned siblings Ellie (Ricci) and Jimmy (Eisenberg) make their way home on a winding mountain road, when something mysterious hits the car. It's almost a duplicate of that scene from 'I Know What You Did Last Summer', except this time it's more of a howl than a scream. Cue Shannon Elizabeth, who plays Becky, trapped upside-down in her car, also in the accident. The helpless bimbo role is still being done, believe it or not, and Elizabeth is expert at it, whilst showing her cleavage at the same time. Despite the group's best rescue efforts, old Wolfie just won't go away and leaves Ellie and Jimmy with some nasty scratches as an incentive to join his club.

We're treated to the usual 'alone in the house, alone in the car park, hearing strange noises' routine, but the jumps just aren't jumpy enough to be anything other than the usual. The obligatory "This is stupid..." and "I'm not going anywhere" from the reassuring male are also featured. So what's good about the movie? Well, there's a couple of funny moments, particularly one where Ricci's character becomes 'aware' and sniffs out her craving in the office. Portia de Rossi as a hippy clairvoyant is also amusing, although not intentionally so.

The shoot was riddled with problems, including cast members dropping out, and a final cut of gore to secure the PG-13 rating in the US. The plot could have surmounted all this but remains typically dull and predictable throughout, enough to make you want to scream, but not out of fright, out of pure frustration. Bite me, please.

David Byrne