Scream 3


Directed by: Wes Craven
Written by:Ehren Kruger
Starring: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Foley, Lance Henriksen, Matt Keesler, Jenny McCarthy, Parker Posey, Liev Schreiber, Heather Matarazzo, Carrie Fisher
Released: March 23, 2000
Grade: B-

It’s been three years since the first Scream took the U.S. by storm and grossed over $100m.  It recreated the horror genre with a modern look and a teen flavour - I was a huge fan.  In those three years, many copycats have spawned to cash in on the new genre with little success and the style is wearing thin.  It is sad to see the film that inspired the idea, fall victim to its own fate.

In Scream 3, we again follow the traumatic life of Sidney Prescott (Campbell) who this time has gone into hiding following her recent thrilling experiences.  Back in California, production is set to begin on Stab 3 - the third in a series of films based around the Hillsboro murders and is to be produced by acclaimed horror producer John Milton (Henriksen).

Suddenly, the cast members of Stab 3 begin are killed off and the original “gang” are reunited.  Gale Whethers (Cox) returns to assist police in their investigations, Dewey Riley (Arquette) appears as an assistant to the film and Sidney comes out of hiding after the killer learns her secret location.

Scream 3 lacks all the charm and wit of the first two.  Neve Campbell is hardly seen, David Arquette and Courtney Cox continue their love/hate relationship and the newcomers overplay their roles.  It looks more like something from the dreadful I Know What You Did Last Summer series rather than the Scream series.  Parker Posey is clearly the standout performer in playing Jennifer Jolie (the Gale Whethers of Stab 3).

Ehren Kruger is responsible for the screenplay of Scream 3 and it is not up to the previous two (both penned by Kevin Williamson).  There are some really tacky moments including a conversation between Sidney and police officer Mark Kincaid (Dempsey) regarding movie trilogies.

I suppose a plausible ending could have saved the film but the disenchantment continued.  The ending is a real disappointment - it follows no real logic and makes little sense.  One of the pleasing aspects of the first two films is that there were multiple choices when guessing the killer and it became a real talking point as to whether you could pick who did it.  By the end of this film, I couldn’t care.

Hopefully this will bring closure to the Wes Craven’s Scream series.  Sure the last film was a letdown but it was one hell of a ride.  It redefined horror films and brought new audiences to the cinema.  For those familiar (and unfamiliar) with the first two,  I can’t recommend them strongly enough and suggest a trip to the video store is in order to catch up on the adventures of Sidney Prescott.  As you finish watching each three, you’ll see just how much has changed and how commercial the line has become.