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Film Title

Scream 3

Director

Wes Craven

Starring

  • Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott
  • Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers
  • David Arquette as Dewey Riley
  • Parker Posey as Jennifer Jolie
  • Scott Foley as Roman Bridger
  • Patrick Dempsey as Mark Kincaid
  • Lance Henriksen as John Milton
  • Matt Keeslar as Tom Prinze
  • Jenny McCarthy as Sarah Darling
  • Emily Mortimer as Angelina Tyler
  • Deon Richmond as Tyson Fox
  • Liev Schreiber as Cotton Weary

The third entry into the original Scream Trilogy, Scream 3 doesn’t meet the standards set by the first Scream and second film. Yet it does wrap the series up with some witty humour and genuine scares. Scream 3 may be the weakest of the bunch as it falls into the trap of many horror clichés that the other films so greatly lampooned, but it does have some merits that make it enjoyable including the acting and suspense.

In the opening scenes, we see Cotton Weary has now become a major celebrity with his own talk show. As he is driving home one night after filming a cameo in the latest ‘Stab’ movie, he is contacted by none other than Ghostface who proceeds to kill his girlfriend. When Cotton arrives, he is beaten by Ghostface, who asks where Sidney Prescott is. Scream 3 posterRefusing to answer, Cotton is stabbed to death. Sidney, since the events of Scream 2 has isolated herself in the Californian mountains under tight security, hoping to escape the nightmares of her past encounters with Ghostface. Meanwhile, reporter Gale Weathers is drawn into the investigation of Cotton’s death after a photograph of Sidney’s mother is found near his body. It seems the killer has his own agenda by targeting the stars of the latest ‘Stab’ movie in the order in which the die in the script and an interest in drawing Sidney out of her cocoon with some revelations about her late mother. Reuniting with Dewey, Gale begins to investigate the relevance of Maureen Prescott’s pictures with the added help of Jennifer Jolie, the flighty actress playing Gale Weathers in the ‘Stab’ flick. As the body count begins to pile up, Sidney realises she must break out of her isolation and once more face off with Ghostface in order to rid herself of the pain he has caused her. Sidney Prescott Scream 3Yet as we are told via Randy’s video message, with this being a trilogy all bets are off and the usual rules of the horror movie have now been turned upside down.

As I previously mentioned, Scream 3 does not match the heights of the film before it. Part of this is due to the script, which for the first time isn’t written by Kevin Williamson. Whereas he managed to balance the horror and the humour, this one features too much comedy in it and the film suffers as a result. The descent into horror conventions is also a downside as the characters in the past two movies where self-aware of these and mocked them. At least we have Wes Craven’s direction which helps to create many suspenseful moments including a haunting scene in which the isolated Sidney dreams of her mother dressed in ghostly white, who warns that everything she touches dies. Adding to the suspense of the picture is once again the gothic score of morose chanting and slithering drums.

For all of its flaws, at least we have the talented principal cast to fall back on. Neve Campbell once again brings strength and underlying vulnerability to the role of Sidney, who realises that to exorcise her nightmares she must do battle with Ghostface. We see the growth of Sidney in this film and how she can now capably defend herself when threatened with her mind as well as her fists. Courteney Cox shows how Gale has softened but still can’t resist getting her hands on the latest news scoop. She has excellent chemistry with David Arquette as Dewey as the two quietly resume their romance whilst overcoming obstacles. Out of the newer cast, Parker Posey steals the show as Jennifer Jolie, who believes she is better than the real Gale Weathers and has interesting ways of getting into character. She is funny and fawning with her over the top remarks and highly strung personality that really give the film a jolt of much-needed humour. The rest of the supporting cast, which includes Patrick Dempsey, Jenny McCarthy and Emily Mortimer are unfortunately lumbered with uninteresting roles and are purely there to be the victims of Ghostface. Even Liev Schreiber who played Cotton so well in Scream 2 is murdered within 10 minutes of the film starting.

So all in all, Scream 3 doesn’t make as much of an impact as the first two movies. But saying that it does have some effective scares and performances that manage to wrap up the trilogy in a good but not great way.

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