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Scream 3 – 5

Director – Wes Craven

Cast – Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Kelly Rutherford, Patrick Dempsey, Lance Henriksen, Deon Richmond, Emily Mortimer, Parker Posey, Matt Keeslar, Jenny McCarthy, Liev Schreiber, Josh Pais, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes

Release Year – 2000

Reviewed by John of the Dead

I really was not interested in viewing Scream 3 for the first time since I saw it on television a decade ago, but it is about darn time I check out Scream 4 so I gave this flick a viewing to refresh on the Sydney Prescott drama.  My least favorite of the original trilogy, this is the first of the Scream flicks to not be written by Kevin Williamson (replaced by Ehren Kruger; The Ring, The Skeleton Key) and the difference was noticeable.  This was the most successful of the films monetarily, but that comes more due to hype than to substance.  I would not refer to this as a bas film, but it is not a good one and is not up to par with its predecessors.

While Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) lives in safely guarded seclusion, bodies begin dropping around the Hollywood set of Stab 3, the latest movie based on the gruesome Woodsboro killings. The escalating terror finally brings Sidney out of hiding, drawing her and the other survivors once again into an insidious game of horror movie mayhem.

Well, if you liked the first two Scream films you might enjoy this one as well. It plays off just like the first two, which of course play off like comical self-conscious slasher flicks, so you know what to expect – more of the same.  With several of the original characters already killed off we are left with only a select few people who could be after Sidney Prescott, but when even those people are killed off the story latches on to the viewer’s attention as you wait and guess at who the killer is.  I found it kind of comical that the story takes place around a movie within the movie, and the silliness continues in knowing that the killer is killing people in the order they are killed off in the script.  Of course, the kill order isn’t that easy as there are three different scripts and it is unknown what script the killer is working with.  I liked that there were plenty of kills and the killer’s mayhem was worthwhile, and his/her identity was pretty much unknown until the final sequence.  I thought the identity of the killer was pretty lame though and the story behind his/her vengeance was cheap and too easy to write.  The film has an OK, story, but it definitely pales in comparison to its predecessors.

Director Wes Craven executes this flick much like he did with his previous two, giving us the same acting performances and horror we’ve leave to recognize in this franchise. I do want to say that his execution was also sillier than normal, as if he intended to compliment the story’s comical feel.  When I say this flick is executed much like its predecessors I really mean it – the gore is the same, the killer’s voice is the same, everything feels the same – it’s just that the story is not as good.

Overall, Scream 3 is a decent flick that plays off like a lesser version of its predecessors.  The horror is there and the kills are plentiful, but I’m sure that only fans of the series will find joy in this while most others will feel the same as I do: “eh”.

Rating: 5/10

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