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Scream 3

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Scream 3

Starring: David Arquette, Courtney Cox
Director: Wes Craven
Rated: R
RunTime: 115 Minutes
Release Date: February 2000
Genre: Horror

Review by John Beachem
1½ stars out of 4

In "Scream", director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson created a film which was a brilliant blend of horror and self mocking comedy. In "Scream 2", the same writer, director team made a film which, while not quite as enjoyable as the first, blended the two genres as it joyfully poked fun at sequels. With "Scream 3", Wes Craven was given the chance to have fun with trilogies. The problem is, Williamson wasn't on board this time and was replaced by Ehren Kruger ("Arlington Road"). Williamson is sorely missed. While all the old characters are back, Sidney (Neve Campbell), Dopey Dewey (David Arquette), and Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) don't seem to be having too much fun anymore. The truth of the matter is, I can't blame them. The Scream films have turned into the exact thing they were trying to satirize.

The ghost masked killer is back, and he/she is desperately seeking Sidney (sorry, couldn't help myself). However, Sidney has gone into hiding out in the woods, fearful of yet another killer coming after her. Meanwhile, Stab 3, the movie in a movie of the Woodsburough murders, is being filmed. The film's cast is becoming worried that the killer may start after them rather than of their real life counterparts. Dewey and Gale team up with homicide detective, Kincaid (Patrick Dempsey), and attempt to find the killer before he strikes again (and again, and again). Tossed into the mix are Stab 3's director, Roman Bridger (Scott Foley), the film's producer, John Milton (Lance Henriksen), Stab's entire cast, and, somehow, Sidney's dead mother, Maureen (I believe played by Priscilla Pointer).

One of the trademarks of the Scream films has been to kill two characters off at the very beginning of the film. I personally believe this is a bad idea. This makes for an incredibly predictable first ten minutes or so. In "Scream 2" we may have received this predictable intro, but at least the remainder of the film was somewhat surprising. In "Scream 3", an easily forseen film follows this intro. One of the other major failings in "Scream 3", as opposed to the previous two films, is the lack of any real humor. We all might chuckle at Dewey's stupidity at times, but it's not the same. The reason is obvious, and for those of you that haven't seen "Scream 2", I advise you not to read this next sentence. With the departure of Randy (Jamie Kennedy), all the humor has been sapped out of the film. We are no longer granted hilarious little monologues about the faults of horror movies or, at times, of movies in general.

Despite all this, "Scream 3" does have its moments. Randy does make a brief appearance of sorts, which is quite amusing, but promises things the movie fails to deliver. Also, watch for a cameo by two characters from another film series which comes completely out of left field. It's also nice to see Dewey and Gale again, as the two will occasionally indulge in some very funny dialogue. However, Sidney has rather worn out her welcome. She's no longer the strong character that she was in the previous two films. She now hides away from her troubles half the time, and simply appears tired of the entire situation the other half (who can blame her?).

I suppose I could go on listing faults all day, but what exactly is the point? Nearly every teenager on the planet is going to see this film, despite what I say. Perhaps they'll see something in it that I didn't. One more thing I simply must note: indie film favorite, Parker Posey ("Coneheads", "The House of Yes") is absolutely wasted in the role of the actress playing Gale Weathers in Stab 3. Parker is a delightful actress, but she is allowed to do nothing here other than follow Gale about, making idiotic and annoying comments about how she would have done things differently. "Scream 3" runs far too long at 116 minutes. I don't think you'll be able to sleep because someone is constantly screaming (imagine that) throughout the film. I'd recommend it to fans of really cheesy "b" horror films, but to no one else. I give it a generous two and a half out of five stars.

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Copyright 2000 John Beachem

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