Scream 3

*Originally written in 2003

Scream 3 » Promotional Gallery, Posters and Art |

Scream 3 was not the most well-received film in the trilogy, either by the fandom or the critics, and yet it’s a film I had a lot of fun with at release and which I have a lot of nostalgic fondness for. By the time Scream 3 came out, the meta-approach era of film-making was coming to an end and charms and tricks and novelty of the prior releases admittedly don’t feel as fresh in this one, but the film-makers know this and instead push the film in a more humourous direction filled with guest stars, as they attempt to coherently wrap up the trilogy’s story.

Opening in typically shocking fashion with the killing of an established star – this time a longstanding character of the series – we then meet up with the rest of the gang. Sydney, traumatised by the events of the last few years, is living in isolation for her own safety and sanity, and working as a crisis counsellor, Gale is still doing her reporter thing, while Dewey is working in Hollywood as a consultant for the new Stab movie. When one of the cast of Stab is murdered, this triggers a local Detective to bring the gang back together to work out who is doing the killing this time, what their motive is, and what it all has to do with Sydney.

While Scream 3 is probably the least satisfying of the series, it’s the fastest paced, and leans into the inherent silliness which has been a hallmark of the trilogy. It is meant to be over the top, it tries to make convoluted tie-ins to the existing lore, and both Craven and the cast seem to be having a whale of a time. As always, Neve gives a fine performance and is committed to the character even if she may seem to be tiring of the role. Cox and Arquette are always fun, especially when together, and we have surprise cameos from previous stars and from Hollywood big hitters which brings a lot of laughs, head-nodding, and even a tear to the eye in one particular instance. The new cast members range from cannon-fodder to potential new favourites, but the focus is on our central trio.

While the audience interactive guesswork is still part of the package, it’s not a primary concern and instead we increase the amusing and gory kills. It lacks the genuine scares of Parts 1 and 2, but has its moments, such as Sydney’s creepy dreams of her mother. It’s very much a film about family, and while its attempts at emotion in this respect don’t always pay off, they are worth highlighting considering it’s a film which is at least 30% spoof. This is what has always set the series apart from the other countless slashers of the era – we feel for the characters, especially Sydney, and we want to see them live (and hopefully not have to fight) for another day.

Let us know what you think of Scream 3 in the comments!

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