Scream 3

"Weak"

Scream 3 Review


The minute Kevin Williamson said no to writing "Scream 3," that should have been the end of it. The only thing that made "Scream" special in the first place was the writer's dark, self-aware wit regarding the conventions of the cheesy teen horror genre.

But then, Williamson had already run out of steam when he wrote the series' second installment, which was little more than an unnecessarily convoluted, workaday slasher flick with a couple well-placed sardonic remarks.

Continuing the decline, now comes "Scream 3," which Wes Craven -- the director of the whole series -- swears will be the last one. Good thing, too.

In "3," the gimmick is dead on arrival and the killer is apparently a Rich Little wannabe, as he spends most of the movie calling minor characters on their cell phones and imitating the voices of major characters to lure them into certain death down unlit hallways. The tell-tale metallic zinging sound of a knife blade follows, along with a couple shrieks and a little splatter. Then rinse and repeat.

Aside from such now-boring formula fare (this sequel has even less spirit than the regrettable imitators "Scream" has spawned), Craven relies mainly on under-written Hollywood farce subtext to keep the movie afloat.

The murders this time out take place on and around the set of "Stab 3," another installment of the movie-within-a-movie cashing in on the stalking of poor Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) by the Munch-masked killer.

It seems the real psycho is still out there and on the back lot of fictitious Sunrise Studios. He's following the shooting script for "Stab 3" and whacking the nobody actors who play our favorite characters, so Craven won't have to hack up familiar faces now that we've grown accustomed to them.

Besides Campbell, the returning cast included Liev Schreiber as Cotton Weary, now a celeb with his own talk show; Courteney Cox Arquette as ruthless tabloid TV reporter Gale Weathers; and David Arquette as dopey sheriff Dewey, who has succumbed to the temptations of show biz and become a consultant on "Stab 3." Dewey spends his days cozying up to a manic Method actress (indie princess Parker Posey, chewing scenery like bubble gum with delicious aplomb) who has the part of Gale in the movie.

Hired to write the "Scream 3" script probably based on his propensity toward twist endings, Ehren Kruger ("Arlington Road" and the upcoming "Reindeer Games") doesn't deliver. His few alleged surprises -- based on the feeble "rules" governing movie trilogies -- are easily sussed long before they happen, and the inevitable showdown scene in which Sidney finally gets to confront her tormentor just goes on forever.

In an attempt to convince us something scary is just around the corner, "3" exhausts its jumps-tinkles-and-strings horror soundtrack to the point that it soon becomes utterly ineffective. Even worse, Craven can't seem to overcome the fact that in order to maintain any air of danger, the returning characters have developed into dimwits, forgetting all the horror movie caveats they already knew (remember, being killed in spite of knowing the game was the whole point of the original "Scream").

Save two killer cameos that movie buffs will love, "Scream 3" has forsaken its clever legacy. Frankly, there ought not to have been any "Scream" sequels in the first place. Making them negates the underlying mockery of the original. But if there really will be no more installments after this one, at least we can look forward to that.



Scream 3

Facts and Figures

Genre: Horror/Suspense

Run time: 116 mins

In Theaters: Friday 4th February 2000

Box Office Worldwide: $161.8M

Budget: $40M

Distributed by: Dimension Films

Production compaines: Dimension Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Fresh: 40 Rotten: 71

IMDB: 5.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Deputy Dwight 'Dewey' Riley, as Sidney Prescott, as Gale Weathers, as Mark Kincaid, as Jennifer Jolie, as Roman Bridger, as Tyson Fox, as Angelina Tyler, as John Milton, as Sarah Darling, as Tom Prinze, as Hollywood Executive, as Steven Stone, as Bianca, as Martha Meeks, as Randy Meeks, as Silent Bob, as Jay, as Cotton Weary

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.