scream 3 | scream | wes craven | ehren kruger | david arquette | neve campbell | courteney cox | sequel | mystery | slasher | united states | liev schreiber | patrick dempsey | lynn mcree | scott foley | lance henriksen | roger corman | emily mortimer | parker posey
Film: Scream 3
Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Ehren Kruger
Starring: David Arquette, Neve Campbell and Courteney Cox
Now this film is actually the first in the series that I saw in the theater. I caught the first two on VHS when my sister rented the first one and then I believe she had our parents buy the second one. My mother took us both to catch this one. I remember liking it during that initial viewing, but I’m pretty sure I’ve not seen it since. The person I was with wanted to watch a movie, so we decided on this one. The synopsis is during the production of Stab 3, the third film based on the Woodsboro murders, another Ghostface killer rises to terrorize the actors and the people they portray.
I had to improvise for the synopsis as the one on the Internet Movie Database wasn’t really correct. We start this off though with Cotton Weary (Live Schreiber) as he’s stuck in traffic. We hear him talking to his agent and he gets a call on his cellphone. Since it is a woman’s voice, he decides to talk to them. It turns out to be the voice from the changer and it changes to the familiar Ghostface voice, performed by Roger Jackson. It tells him that he can see his girlfriend in the shower. She is Christine (Kelly Rutherford) and she’s attacked with the killer using Cotton’s voice. When he finally arrives, she doesn’t believe him and the two are attacked.
From the events of the last film, we get to see what the people have been doing. Sidney Prescott is living in the middle of nowhere and livin in a somewhat of a fortress. She also works from home for a woman’s crisis hotline under assumed name. We do see though that she’s having nightmares that involve her mother, Maureen (Lynn McRee).
Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) has made even more money off of the events in the last film, having written a book. She’s on her tour when she’s approached by Mark Kincaid (Patrick Dempsey). He is a detective that is looking into what happened with Cotton and shows her a picture found at the scene. It is a younger picture of Maureen. Gale is asked for her help as she knows the case inside and out.
This brings her to the set of Stab 3. The studio executive behind it is John Milton (Lance Henriksen). The director is Roman Bridger (Scott Foley). Portraying the characters from the original Scream film are Deon Richmond, Matt Keeslar, Jenny McCarthy, Emily Mortimer and Parker Posey. While on set, Gale comes face to face with Dewey Riley (David Arquette).
When deaths start to happen with the cast members, Gale, Dewey and the surviving actors have to get to the bottom of this before it is too late. Dewey knows where Sidney is living, but refuses to give that information out. It takes an even darker turn when she gets a call from the killer. Who is doing this and what does the history of Maureen have to do with it?
Now to start this actual review off, I’ll admit that when I first saw the original Scream, I was blown away by it. To this day, I’m still a big fan and I even like the sequels, including this one. It wasn’t until I was sitting down to write this that I realized. I’ve only seen this the one time in the theater. It was probably close to 20 years since the last viewing, but I knew a lot of the plot points still. I do have to admit, I liked it when I first saw it, but the longer I sat on it, the lower my thoughts were on it though.
To get into this, I did have some issues with how in the face this film is. The first one and even the second one wasn’t as blatant in the social commentary. I think that having this actually be on the movie set as they’re making the third installment is part of the reason. I understand that as films keep going on, they have to get more and more outrageous. The problem here is that Scream was supposed to be smarter. This one just seemed to be dumb downed though and a bit too in your face.
Something this film points out is that history we all thought true will be proven to be not be. I do like that this one actually deepens the back-story of the original one by adding another element to it. It doesn’t really violate continuity though, which is something that I’m good with it. This also does give an interesting look at old Hollywood, which is actually quite fitting for what came out a couple years about with the Me Too movement. Ironically, this film is produced by the Weinsteins as well.
The final aspect of the story I want to cover I’ve kind of already touched on, which goes to the rules of a trilogy. We get a video done by Randy (Jamie Kennedy) as he explains the rules of a trilogy. What I do know is that each film has to increase the body count and have more brutal kills. I do think we get a bit of that here. I don’t necessarily agree with the rules, but it does lay out pretty much the whole story of the film as it tries to be smart. I’m kind of torn on this, but I had to bring it up.
That will take me to the pacing of the film, which I thought was fine. We get the first action pretty early on and much like the other films in the series, we hit a bit of a lull as we get up to see with the story here. I think that there are some pretty creepy scenes before we get a kill. There is really solid climax that takes place at Milton’s home though. It piles up the body count there. I also think that it is edited fine in a way where we are seeing a couple different stories as they converge into the conclusion. This runs at just under 2 hours and I really don’t mind that. The ending is fitting for what they were building toward as well.
As for the acting of this one, I have to say I was disappointed. I think there was quite a bit of overacting actually. Campbell I didn’t have any issues with. I like that they establish her as a broken character that is isolating herself and not really living. When she sees things on the news, she knows she has to finish what she already thought she did. We don’t get as much growth as from previous films, but she is fine. Cox and Arquette I wasn’t really a fan of here. They both really just oversell their performances and it didn’t work like the previous two. Dempsey was alright, but not really the biggest fan. I did like the cameos by Schreiber, Foley, Roger Corman, Henriksen, Mortimer and Posey, even though the last one really overacted as well. The rest of the cast I thought was decent, but no one stood out.
This will take me to the effects of the film, which for the most part were solid. I thought this one went a bit bloodier which is good. I think that it is interesting that part of this film takes place on a movie set and there are actors playing actors. That allows some swerves with special effects. They do go practical so that is something that works for me. Outside of some markings on characters, I would just be nitpicking. Some of the deaths are a bit outrageous, but I come to expect that from a sequel.
The last thing to cover would be the soundtrack, which didn’t really stand out to me if I’m honest. I noticed they used the ‘Red Right Hand’ song a couple of times, but it really didn’t garner any nostalgia. I don’t necessarily think it fit where it was placed in the movie. They also incorporate some lines from Maureen that Sidney can hear. I thought it was a bit overplayed, but there is a scene that did legit creep me out. The others were really to give this a wrapped up feel, which I’m okay with. I’d say overall this was hit or miss for me.
Now with that said, my thoughts on this definitely came down after the initial viewing. After this one, I can definitely see some flaws. I think what makes the original film and its sequel special is really overblown in this one. There are some good ideas here, but I just don’t know if it necessarily worked. I like the deepening of the back-story that built in the original, so I have to give credit there. I think the pacing and building of tension is good. There’s a lot of overacting in this film that bothered me, which with the case was pretty surprising. The effects were good while the soundtrack was pretty hit or miss as well. This is interesting for the first watch when you don’t know what is happening, but doesn’t add a lot with a second viewing. It really goes a bit too far with the meta aspect for my liking. Overall I’d say this one is slightly above average.
My Rating: 6.5 out of 10