Scream 3 (2000)

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Ranked #1,002
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Connections: Scream

A murdering spree begins to happen again, this time its targeted toward the original Woodsboro survivors and those associated with the movie inside a movie, 'Stab 3'. Sydney must face the demons of her past to stop the killer. --TMDb
Review by Crispy
Added: April 26, 2010
The third movie in a horror franchise; now, is this just another sequel? If it is, then the same rules apply; but, if you find yourself dealing with an unexpected back story and a preponderance of exposition, then the sequel rules do not apply because you are not dealing with a sequel. You are dealing with the concluding chapter of a trilogy. True trilogies are all about going back to the beginning and discovering something that wasn't true from the get-go, and naturally, they have their own rules:
1. You've got a killer who's gonna be superhuman. Stabbing him won't work, shooting him won't work. Basically in the third one, you gotta cryogenically freeze his head, decapitate him, or blow him up.
2. Anyone, including the main character, can die. It could be fucking Reservoir Dogs by the time this thing is through.
3. The past will come back to bite you in the ass. Whatever you think you know about the past, forget it. The past is not at rest! Any sins you think were committed in the past are about to break out and destroy you."

We kick things off with our old pal, Cotton Weary. Since last time we saw him, he's followed in Gail's footsteps, and has landed himself his very own gossip show. On his way home from work, he gets a call from what is seemingly an adoring fan who's called the wrong number, but suddenly a familiar voice cuts in, offering to spare his girlfriend's life if he'll tell him where Sidney Prescott is. Considering the girl has been living under a pseudonym in secret isolation for the last few years, Cotton doesn't have a clue, so our new killer makes quick work of the couple after showing off his new toy, a voice changer that is preloaded with the entire Scream circle. Looking for answers, Detective Kincaid asks Gail Weathers, who has gone on to be a minor celebrity, revealing that the killer has left a photo of Maureen Prescott when she was about 18 at the murder scene. Soon, Gail runs into her old flame Dewey, who's been brought in as a consultant on the film within a film Stab 3 and ironically, started a fling with the actress playing Gail. Turns out, Cotton had a cameo in that movie and was the first victim, and when the actress playing the second victim likewise ends up dead, it becomes apparent that someone is recreating Stab 3 in real life. Somebody who is trying to draw Sidney out of hiding, and who's making it very clear that everything goes back to Maureen.

Scream 3's plot, as you may have noticed, is incredibly weak, and it is hand's down the albatross around the whole project's neck. The fax machine death, for example, was so eye-roll inducing it gave me a headache. I won't spoil it, but it's one of those inane, never-in-real-life moments that run rampant in this movie. Same goes with Randy's "return". The whole scene behind his delivery of the rules was lazy as hell; the effort should have been put into a decent way of getting the rules out there. In the same vein, none of the characters introduced were memorable except for Jennifer, who was simply a pain in the ass. Because of this, the grand revelation of the killer at the end was a major let down. The first two movies had jaw dropping "Oh wow" moments; this one wasn't even in the same ballpark. Granted, I kind of liked the motive revealed, and how it affected the franchise as a whole, but that doesn't make up for a lackluster killer itself. And to add even further insult to injury, we've got a pointless cameo from Jay and Silent Bob, and a brain-dead ordeal with Carrie Fischer.

Despite all the problems, there were bright spots littered here and there. The first scene where the killer calls Sidney and toys with her extremely well shot. The death scene that takes place in a prop closet with racks full of Scream costumes was also a great scene. It's little scenes like this that remind you where Wes Craven's reputation comes from, even if a lot of times he has trouble keeping pace throughout the entire film. I also liked how Kruger went about misleading viewers as to the killer's identity, although you can easily make the case that she was trying a bit too hard in this regard. Granted, at this stage in the franchise, it was pretty much inevitable. Returning mainstays Neve Campbell and David Arquette were both up to par, but Courtney Cox Arquette left a lot lacking. And of course, everybody loves Patrick Warburton; it was kind of interesting seeing his usual "dumb but infallibly kind" archetype abandoned for a callous prick.

Considering how strongly the franchise started, Scream 3 is extremely disappointing. It's got some nicely shot scenes, and some ideas that shape the franchise rather well, but as a movie it's quite the unmemorable affair. Apparently, they're about to start filming a fourth movie, which is supposed to kick off a new trilogy. Unless they're able to find the magic they had originally, the Screaming stops after two for me. 5/10.
Lucid Dreams #1: Lucid Dreams - added 04/26/2010, 11:52 AM
They should have stopped with 2. 5/10
Nirrad #2: Nirrad - added 04/26/2010, 12:36 PM
The only part that I really enjoyed was when the black guy was tossed out the window and you could hear him hit the ground. Everyone in the theater had a laugh at that. Other than that, pretty meh. 5/10 as well.
Chad #3: Chad - added 04/28/2010, 09:39 AM
I didn't like this one when I first saw it years ago, but watching the trilogy straight through, this one isn't that bad compared to the first two. It's a step down, yes, but not a huge step down - in fact, the only real complaint I had was that it felt too much like the first two movies, a problem that I wouldn't have had if I had watched them all on their respective release days. The twist was silly, but again, the twists in the first two movies were silly as well. 7/10 sits well with me.
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