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Not as effective as the original "Scream," but still produces enough scares and thrills. *** out of ****
7/10 SCREAM 3 / (2000) ***4 years ago
Starring: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox Arquette, Parker Posey, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Foley, Lance Henriksen, Matthew Keeslar, Jenny McCarthy, Emily Mortimer, Deon Richmond, Patrick Warburton, Liev Schreiber, and Carrie Fisher Directed by Wes Craven. Written by Ehren Kruger, based on characters by Kevin Williamson. Running time: 116 minutes. Rated R (for strong horror violence and language).
By Blake French:
"Scream 3" is not as satisfying as the original horror masterpiece "Scream," but what can we expect from the final chapter in a slasher trilogy? The first film was a superior horror thriller--one of the most loved slasher movies of the past decade. That was a picture with some hard standards to live up to. However, Wes Craven, director of the trio, accomplished another success with the sequel of "Scream." Usually this kind of movie would fade into the Hollywood recycle bin by now. But "Scream 3" still produces chills, thrills, and lots of surprises--even though we have been receiving the same kind of story for the past four years. This film is marginally passable, although the most flawed film of its series, that fairs as recommendable, but not substantial in quality.
The film's opening once again provides the audience with a pre-credit murder sequence that is almost the highlight of the entire production. The "Scream 3" writers take advantage of one of the movie's old and important characters to arrange this very effective, and scary, sequence.
The setting is several years after the second film. The small college town of Woodsboro is where we are placed. Neve Campbell again stars as Sidney Prescott, a tormented young woman who was the target of the killing sprees in the past. She has attempted to move on with her life with her father, and has an anonymous hotline operation that offers assistance to those in need. Also, television reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox Arquette) has experienced a big career jump, now working for a network called Total Entertainment. While the wrongly accused murder suspect of Sidney's mother, Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber), has his own trashy TV talk show.
The central presence that connects the events here is the production of "Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro," a movie the characters are creating that follows a horror trilogy based on the terrors experienced by Sydney. The masked murderer may or may not be found on the set. Besides police Detective Kincaid (Patrick Dempsey), and the arrogant bodyguard Stone (Patrick Warburton), concluding the list of suspects, there is Dewey Riley (David Arquette), a former cop who is now an advisor for "Stab 3," Roman Bridger (Scott Foley), the film's director, John Milton (Lance Henriksen) the film's producer, as well as acting counterparts Sarah Darling (Jenny McCarthy), Tom Prinze (Matthew Keeslar), Angelina (Emily Mortimer), Gabe Tucker (Deon Richmond), and Gales's reciprocal (Parker Posey).
Certain plot points lead our suspicion to believe one of several characters is the killer. We are fooled again, however. But does the killer's identity really matter here? As long as we receive a speech on why he or she is responsible, we would be satisfied and any of the character's could have been the killer. None of the characters have any shape or construction. We care only about the order that the victims will be picked off at, not about who hides behind the ghost mask. The identity is actually pointless when the slasher is finally revealed.
Once again, a key success in "Scream 3" is the scary sequences that build up momentum and thus work well, usually where the slasher kills his victims. What makes these scenes so effective is how we know that characters are three dimensional; they put up a firm fight for their lives, unlike victims in most slasher films. However, the plot seems to revolve around the murders, instead of the murders branching off from the story. "Stab 3" seems to be a central presence to connect the film's somewhat desperate through line.
Some of the plot points are fun and revealing. We see a videotape of a past character describing the possibilities of the movie's final outcome. This event programs our imaginations to suspect the unexpected. The plot does desperately attempt to fill in missing pieces of the previous screams, however, showing some signs of contrived foreshadowing. Each scene moves the story forward, though, replenishing the plot with freshness and ability around every abrupt corner.
"Scream 3" is a close call, and is given somewhat of a mixed review, but I still am giving the movie a marginal recommendation. It contains more startles, more surprises, and more effective scary material than most slasher movies. Although I believe it was a wise move to make this film the final installment of its series.
Brought to you by Dimension Films.
YOU! Like I'm ever going to win an award playing YOU!-Parker Posey in Scream 3
10/10 Welcome back Neve, David and my personal favorite, Courteney, to one of the best horror series ever to hit the big screen. All three are back and are in top form. As a huge FRIENDS fan, it's always fun to see the non-Monica, Gale Weathers, and to see another side of Cox-Arquette's talent.4 years ago
The finale in the Scream trilogy, and while perhaps not the scariest of the three, it is certainly the most funny. That is thanks largely to the brilliant casting of the satiric roles belonging to Parker Posey and Jenny McCarthy.
Parker Posey playing Courteney Cox Arquette's "Gale" in the movie Stab 3 within this movie, Scream 3, was a stroke of genius. For those not familiar with Posey's work I strongly recommend checking out "The House Of Yes."
Another welcome attribute to this third and final (?) chapter in the series is the way in which they tie up the loose ends and allow certain characters a sense of closure.
You definitely need to view these 3 in order, but it's all scary fun!
Welcome to the final act!
9/10 Scream 3 will not disappoint fans of the first two unless your expectations are unrealistically high. All the Scream movies follow a pattern - one of the criticisms I read of Scream 3 was that it was a Xerox copy of the first two - but all sequels are basically remakes of previous films that preceeded it e.g. the Bond series. The success of the Scream films is that Craven and Williamson (and now Scream 3 scribe Kreuger) have blended the ingredients differently each time - you'll definitely enjoy the "Hollywood" flavour of this one!4 years ago
THE FINAL CHAPTER?....MAYBE
5/10 Director Wes Craven and writer Ethen Krueger (taking over for Kevin Williamson) helped make this film happen. This time we're taken to Hollywood, California where Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber) is now a talk show host, Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox Arquette)is a t. v journalist, Dewey Riley (David Arquette) is a technical advisor for the Stab 3 movie, and Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is under a different name in order to protect herself. This time however there is a new killer(s) trying to get to Sydney, but it someone from her mother's past can Sydney survive another blood-bath as it seems the killer(s) is killing the cast members of the Stab 3 movie and won;t stop until Sydney is dead! My thoughts a great ending to the trilogy it definately has a few good scares and fills a lot of plot holes of why Maureen was killed. I won't give anything away but the killer(s) was a big surprise.RECOMMENDED! ***1/2 out of *****4 years ago
7/10 WARNING: PLOT POINTS ARE GIVEN AWAY, SO IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE OR DON'T WANT TO KNOW, PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE READING4 years ago
As I've said before, I have little use for sequels, which was I was surprised to find myself going to SCREAM 2, and even more surprised that I enjoyed it. Like the first one, it was fast, scary, funny, and took some nice satiric jibes. Even the much debated identity of the killer in the second one made sense as a satiric swipe at horror movies, so it didn't bother me. I didn't know if they'd be able to keep it going for a third movie, especially when hearing Kevin Williamson's involvement was going to be minimal(he's a producer, and he wrote an outline which eventual writer Ehren Kruger worked from), but I liked the first two, I was especially pleased to see Scott Foley(from FELICITY) and Parker Posey in the cast, and I was intrigued to see what happened. In retrospect, I probably should have waited for video.
Certainly the opening shows a little promise; instead of the usual celebrity cameo, we have a spoof of that, with Cotton Weary(Liev Schrieber), who's now a Geraldo-type talk show host, complaining about having to do a cameo in STAB 3(the movie within a movie here), so we know it's spoofing itself. The problem, of course, is we know Cotton's going to get killed, but Craven is able to draw suspense throughout the scene. We also get the stated purpose here during the phone call(which, also a bit clever, starts out with a woman's voice before the familiar tone of Roger L. Jackson as THE voice kicks in); the killer wants to find Sidney.
Sidney, of course, is living in seclusion, under a new name and barely going outside the house(which, of course, is under heavy alarm), so at first, she's almost like an afterthought to the movie. Instead, the center is on Gail Weathers, the tabloid reporter, now an entertainment reporter, who uses her reporter skills to play detective when Cotton is killed, and she decides to assist the police, specifically Detective Kincaid(Patrick Dempsey), in the case. Then there's Dewey, who's a technical advisor to STAB 3, the movie, and they of course worry about what's going to happen.
There's all kinds of potential here, and it's directed well, but it isn't written as well as I think Williamson would have done. There are scares which still work, and while the Dewey/Gail relationship seems a little old hat, the two Arquettes obviously like working with each other, and their familiarity with us helps smooth that over. Also, while Campbell is disconnected, she's still sympathetic, and while she doesn't have the same fun with herself as she did in the first one, I understood that. And there is humor, most of it coming from Posey as the actress playing Gail in STAB 3; few actresses can make contempt funny like she can. There's also the standard satiric bite(the bodyguard who guarded Julia Roberts and Salman Rushdie but ends up toast here).
But as I said, it isn't written as well, and the primary weakness is the killer. In some senses, I guess, having the director(Foley) be the killer makes sense, because he has the technical expertise to handle things. But it seems to come out of nowhere, and perhaps to distract us from that, Kruger gives us the idea of him being a long-lost relative of Sidney's, which is ridiculous. Perhaps because of that too, Foley goes way over the top, which is funny at first, but then becomes tiresome. Also, Kruger cribs not from other horror movies here, but from the first SCREAM(the cloning of the cell phone being a prime example). And while Williamson's red herrings were pretty clever, this one seems not thought out. Emily Mortimer's character(she plays the actress who plays Sidney) is a perfect example; there are two indications she might be the killer(three, if you count the woman's voice to Cotton), and yet she's killed off almost as an afterthought. Finally, as to compensate for all of this, there are a lot more killings to cover up. Which begs the question; if all he wanted was to find Sidney(as stated early on several times), why not just take Dewey, Gail, and Cotton et al hostage? The first two movies mocked the Idiot Plot Rule; this one mostly personifies it.
It's a shame, because there could have been something made from all this(oh, almost forgot; Dempsey, who I normally don't like, is surprisingly good, and also unrecognizable here). But this certainly doesn't break any rules. Even the Jamie Kennedy cameo seems obligatory rather than fresh. This suggest they should have stopped at the second one.