Scream 3 (2000)

Scream: The Third or Scream: The Turd?

3 years after the murders at Windsor College, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) has gone into isolation. But masked killer Ghostface returns to kill the cast members of Hollywood film 'Stab 3', leaving behind pictures of Sidney's mother, Maureen Prescott, forcing Sidney to come out of hiding.

Scream was the single defining horror film of the 90s, and is deservedly regarded as one of the greatest horror films, due to it's combination of being a slasher film with humor, having a clever plot and boasting a self-awareness of the cliches found within a horror film. Despite being released less than a year after the original, Scream 2 is every bit as humorous, clever and self-aware as the first film. It may not be as good, but considering the usual state of horror sequels, Scream 2 is definitely one of the best horror sequels released. Which brings me to the third installment in this horror franchise...

While Scream spoofed the horror genre for its cliches and it's formulas, Scream 3 uses these cliches and formulas, no longer feeling original or fresh. Sadly, the threequel curse has struck and this film has becoming what the original film spoofed. This is evident in the opening, when a character is unnecessarily naked, which was attacked head-on by Jada Pinkett back in the opening of Scream 2. The biggest example of this is the reveal of the killer, which is poor and lazy, especially compared to the smart reveals given in the previous two films, while also managing to undermine the first film somewhat with a ridiculous revelation.

While the new characters in Scream 2 weren't very well defined, they at least had some personality. The new characters introduced into this film are all bland and underdeveloped. Nothing more than fodder, just there to be killed and nothing more. Whats more, i'd say that this is the only film in the franchise where you never at any point fear for the original characters, as you never believe that they could die at any point, and this really kills the tension.

They saw the film

Carrie Fisher makes a cameo, which is an attempt at the film to be meta, but it just feels embarrassingly forced. Jay and Silent Bob from Kevin Smith's View Askewniverse (to those unaware, this includes films such as Clerks, Chasing Amy and Dogma) also make a cameo, which is a baffling sight. Plus, it's a bit of a gut punch that they aren't actually funny here.

Despite all the mentioned negatives, the film isn't completely bad. Randy's cameo is a fun highpoint, and the self-referential line about 'a fan pissed at Randy's death in Stab 2' is near-gold. The interactions between the original cast members are very well done, with Dewey playing big brother to Sidney with great results and Dewey and Gail's returning relationship troubles handled well. The idea of the main character isolating herself away after pretty having two mass murder events occur around her is an interesting one, as I do feel that something as big as that would eventually take it's toll on the survivor.

I am ashamed to call this a part of the brilliant Scream franchise. The horror has been reduced to not much more than cheap jump tricks while the humor gets too meta and the film just becomes too much of a cliched and formulaic trip. It feels like a betrayal from Wes Craven, as if he's playing the part of Fredo and I, playing the part of Michael Corleone, have giving him that infamous kiss.

Now I feel like inviting Wes Craven to come on a fishing trip...


Anonymous said…
I've never seen any of these movies, as I am not generally a big horror fan. However, I really enjoyed your review. You have an eloquent writing style and a terrific sense of humor.
Dan O. said…
Not as great or game-changing as the first two, but still has a good amount of chills and thrills that make this flick work. Still, could have been a whole lot funnier without being obvious. Great review Rodders.
James Rodrigues said…
Thanks for your kind words again :)
James Rodrigues said…
Well at least someone liked it :) thanks for reading