Scream 3 (2000) Review: A Disappointing Sequel
“Obey The Rules Of The Trilogy… Or Die.”
Synopsis: While Sidney and her friends visit the Hollywood set of Stab 3, the third film based on the Woodsboro murders, a new Ghostface begins to terrorize them once again.
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Scream 3 doesn’t quite hold up to either of its predecessors. It’s not as creepy as the first Scream, and not as meta as the second. Or, to be more accurate – the movie does go meta, but instead of primarily being horror meta, it’s more Hollywood meta. That’s mistake #1: the subject matter is less likely to be familiar to horror fans.
While still having the polished, big budget feel and a lot of familiar faces, Scream 3 lacks some of the careful flourishes of the earlier movies in the series. The music choices are much less interesting, the camera angles a lot more basic, and even the creative deaths are a bit lazier. It still held my attention all the way through, but I definitely found myself comparing it unfavorably to the first two movies. It was especially problematic that Scream 3 uses devices to tell its story which are nowhere evident in the earlier flicks; not only are the devices particularly dumb ones, but they don’t match up with the style already established by the series.
As is standard for the series, even small characters are usually big name stars – including in this case Lance Henriksen, Roger Corman, and Jenny McCarthy, to name a few. (You can also see cameos by Carrie Fisher and Jay & Silent Bob.) Recurring characters Sidney (Neve Campbell), Gale (Courteney Cox), and Dewey (David Arquette) are entertaining as always. Sidney’s increasing badassery (and paranoia) makes for good character development, and Gale’s disgust with her actress double (Parker Posey) is a lot of fun. But while they do their best, there isn’t much for them to do in this movie. Scream 3 never quite meets the tension level of the earlier movies, and it was hard to feel as though the characters were actively in danger for most of the film.
In short, Scream 3 is worth watching as part of the series, but not worthy of note in and of itself. The subplot with Sidney’s mom, while horrifying, is not really horror-y (if you know what I mean). A lot of the sly gags that characterized the other two movies just aren’t visible in this addition to the series, and a lot of the jokes fall flat. There are a couple of nice moments, but it’s not enough to outweigh the movie’s shortcomings.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B-
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