Frosty_86 posted a MOVIE REVIEW item: 14 days ago

Scream 3


Directed by: Wes Craven
Written by: Kevin Williamson, Ehren Kruger
Cast: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox Arquette, David Arquette, Parker Posey, Jenny McCarthy, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Foley, Matt Keeslar, Deon Richmond, Emily Mortimer, Lance Henriksen, Josh Pais, Heather Matarazzo, Liev Schreiber
Studio: Dimension Films
Genre: Horror
Official Site:
Plot: Sidney Prescott lives a secluded life working for crisis hotline. To get her draw out of hiding the Ghostface killer starts to kill off the cast members of Stab 3.


Scream was practically an instant classic with its razor sharp wit and satire. Scream 2 was a damn good sequel but definitely was not as good as the original. Looking back there was probably already signs that the franchise would be in need of some maintenance. After two successful entries, the Scream franchise was bound to falter some way or another. Between a studio who rushed production to demands that the film be less violent because of events at the time. Constant re-writes are never a good sign for a movie either. The result of Scream 3 is for sure disappointing, when I saw it first came out I was 14. I was not aware of what goes down production of films, I did not even know it was written by some one else. I just knew it was diluted from the previous entries. I am not saying I dislike the movie, it is a fun movie but nowhere near as re-watchable or memorable as the other entries in the franchise. It is for sure the low point of the franchise.

The other day I was re-watching this movie and I found it highly intriguing that the plot involves a powerful Hollywood producer who rapes a young would-be Hollywood starlet. Of course furthering all of it is the fact that the movie was produced by Harvey Weinstein of all people. Current events certainly shed a different light on some of the plot elements, some may even say a cloud. I do think the movie as always worked as a satire of the Hollywood system, and current events add to the overall satire element of the film.

The first two entries of the series did an excellent job of mixing satire and horror. That was in no small part thanks to Kevin Williamson's scripts. He was able to mix humor and horror effortlessly. The first two movies (especially the first movie) were obviously creative efforts between Wes Craven and Williamson. With Scream 3 the writing efforts were passed on to Ehren Kruger, who would go on to be one of 50 writers of the classic Michael Bay Transformers movies. Kruger obviously wrote a script based on what he thought people liked about the Scream franchise. We fans liked the humor, the satire, and the commentary on the genre. What I like most about the first two movies is the balance and the third acts becoming a full realized horror movie. They never let humor overtake the movie. Here Kruger lets humor over take the movie. His script does not have the over all intelligence of the first two and has humor that borderlines on slapstick. Making the movie veer dangerously toward parody as oppose to satire. There is enough here overall to make the movie enjoyable even if it never does have the balance of the first two movies.

Of course the script shortcomings may possibly have more to do with studio interference. After Columbine and the uproar over violence in the media the Weinsteins demanded the humor to be boasted and the violence to be toned down. So I can not blame the movie's shortcomings solely on Kruger, he did what the studio wanted him to do. The movie definitely feels like rushed studio product in some parts, which is kind of funny because there were three years between this entry and Scream 2. Where as Scream and Scream 2 only had a year.

Wes Craven never shied away from being worried he would be pigeon-holed in to the horror genre. Throughout his life he managed to make some truly unique experiences in horror. Some of his horror movies were for sure better than others. The Scream franchise was certainly his baby. He directed all four films, which it is a rarity for a director to direct every movie in the franchise. Given that Scream 3 is the weakest of the four movies it is obvious that Craven worked best on these movies when Kevin Williamson was involved (we are going to forget they also teamed-up on Cursed). Scream 3 certainly ranks among Craven's less inspired work, however he still does a good job with setting up suspense and set-pieces. The finale is appropriately intense, Craven does a great job of isolating Sidney and Ghostface. Craven also manages to make digs at the idea that movies cause violence in society which is a theme in all of the Scream movies.

Another rarity for the horror genre is returning cast members. Usually at this point actors have moved on (a point that is poked fun at in the movie) or survivors have been picked off making room for new victims. Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courtney Cox return to their iconic roles. David Arquette as fan favorite Dewy probably fairs the worst out of the returning cast members. It has nothing to do with Arquette himself but Dewey is written as kind of an idiot in this movie and there are several scenes that rely on him being the ass of the joke by falling or getting knocked out. Despite the character not written as well Arquette does give a good performance. Neve Campbell actually has less screen time in this one than previous films but she still manages to give Sidney a fully realized arc. Campbell certainly gives us one of the best hero performances in all of horror with this series. Courtney Cox may have the best arc in the movie, she does end up shedding the Gale of old and becomes a different person which is very suiting for her characters' continued survival. I love the sequence where she punches Parker Posey's character, to me it shows a change for Gale and in a way she is punching herself for being such a shrewd bitch.

The new cast of characters for the most part serve as fodder or a new list of suspects, as it mostly does in the horror genre. The best of the new characters is Parker Posey as Trudy and Patrick Dempsey as Detective Kincaid. Posey has always done a great job playing neurotic and eccentric characters, Trudy is another one of those characters. Dempsey is the nice guy homicide cop who's determined to put an end to the madness. It would have been nice to see some more returning characters (I think Joel would have been nice to see again). It is disappointing that Liev Schieber as Cotton was not in the movie any longer, but that is probably more coming as a fan of Schrieber the actor rather than being a fan of Cotton.

****Spoiler warning****

I can not help but think the big issue with the motive of Roman being the killer is extremely contrived. I could have accepted him being the killer if it were only him picking off the actors and the Milton as a way to add to the mystique of his movie. Then maybe the ultimate goal was to kill Sidney because she was the two time survivor. I think that would have been perfectly acceptable. I do not think he had to have been the mastermind of everything that happened in Scream 1 and 2, I liked the idea of the killers in each movie operating independently from each other and just trying to continue the legacy of the previous killer and one up them by killing Sidney. The series already borderlines on contrivance by making Billy's mother a killer but it worked because of the idea of one-upping the original. Here the idea that Roman was behind everything kind of threw a kink in everything. Of course some would say it follows trilogy convention, I think they could have done something a little different. Now Scott Foley does a good job of playing the role, there were scenes pre-reveal that I think Craven injected a little but of himself complaining about directing horror and stuff like that.

*****End Spoiler*****

Overall Scream 3 is an enjoyable film and did give a plausible cap to the trilogy, even if it is disappointing. I think Scream 4 actually serves as a better end to the series than Scream 3 does. The increased humor, decreased blood, and plot contrivances do throw a kind in to the works and delivers a less intelligent entry to the series. As I think a lot of critics said the movie does become what it was satirizing. Which is true in many respects but it is an entertaining third entry of a fun series. I do think it works as a satire of Hollywood in some respects, as I said in spoiler section I think had they trimmed that one a little bit off it would served as a great commentary on Hollywood. It also would not have diminished Sidney going from survivor to full on hero, which is the arc of the first three movies. There are already plenty of digs towards Hollywood they should have just went for it. It is a diluted experience overall for sure but still manages to be entertaining for genre fans.


Other reviews of this film: IwishIwasBond (4/10) , threezy (7/10) > Display all
sLaShEr84 at 01:29 PM Nov 08

Good movie.

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