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3 stars: In the final act all bets are off

  • May 4, 2011
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There are rules for a trilogy that one must  abide by. 1.) The First act sets up the rules, 2.) The second act bends the rules, 3.) Well let us just say in the third act all bets are off and the real mind games begin. In the first "SCREAM” (1996),   a young high school girl named Sidney Prescott, still reeling from the murder of her mother a year prior gets sucked into a hellish game of life and death when a psychopath wearing a ghost face masked terrorizes the high school kids of Woodsboro. "Scream 2" takes place a few years after the Woodsboro murders have occurred a now older, stronger and feistier Sidney is in College with her friend and survivor Randy Meeks(Jamie Kennedy). Life seems to be looking up for Sidney that is until young couples are brutally murdered at the premiere of "STAB" a film inspired by the Woodsboro killings. Now it seems the infamous Ghostface has returned for his grand finale. To complete his blood real life trilogy that he has been working at for the better part of five years. Five years of death, five years of suffering and terror has all come down to this final, blood curdling final installment  where everyone is in jeopardy even the heroine of the little slasher series that did, Sydney Prescott(Neve Campbell). All bets are off and when the time comes, Syd will have to square off against the most devious of all the killers to done the Ghostface mask. She will face off against the killer responsible for everything that has happened to her,  all the deaths and all the suffering that she has endured  all comes down  to this final installment, because when the bodies start to drop and the mask comes off your jaw will drop, because  In this final installment all bets are off. 

While  "Scream 3"  is basically still the same  old story with some new twists and turns   this film fails to capture the wit, charm and sheer utter terror that the first two films in this legendary franchise made so palpable. The lack of terror and the almost complete lack of humor is largely due to the fact that the series screenwriter Kevin Williamson("Scream",  "Scream 2", "Cursed", "The Vampire Diaries") is absent from his duties as the writer of this final installment to  the ground breaking franchise, instead this lesser installment has been written by  lesser screenwriter Ehren Kruger. Kruger (the irony) shows his skills as a writer but he conforms to too many horror clichés and plot devices that this final part of the original horror satirical series resembles an average slasher film and it is a real shame to see such a fantastic series end on such poor note. Did I hate   "Scream 3"? No, I did not. Did I think it lived up to the standards of this legendary franchise? No, it does not. Is this a bad film? Movies standards it is still far above the norm of the last two decades by the franchises standards this film is far from great. My only complaint is that this installment lacks the Meta humor and the in-jokes of the two previous installments and instead goes for straight out horror blood and gore. Without the humor  or the  satirical tone that the first two installments established  this third film falls short of expectations  and instead of going for the throat( no pun intended) it instead decides to settle for average modern day horror instead of the meta-horror this franchise is know and loved for. "Scream 3" is a strong film and it proves that this franchise still has some strength left in it but its  lack of humor and its willingness to conform  to horror film clichés and that  is where its failure lies and also why this film as an entry in the "Scream " franchise fails to live up to its title. “ Scream 3" is a hoot but it is nowhere near being scary.

I liked this film for its daring attitude to lean more towards action and excitement instead of psychological mind  games and bloody horror(which I prefer) and even though there are still some psychological aspects to this film it  lacks the almost nerve shredding suspense and spine tingling horror that  made "Scream"(1995) the cult classic that it is. “Scream 3" is a great looking film with a great looking cast of previous cast members and new inductee's  this entry is fast paced, bloody, gory but sadly not as smart or as witty as the last two. It also lacks the charm and style of its predecessors  but what it makes up for charm and style it has in strong performances from Neve Campbell and its supporting cast  and a cameo from former cast member Jaime Kennedy as Randy Meek( is a more than welcomed return). Thanks to In part from the stylish direction of Wes Craven he is able to keep, this film afloat despite the flaws in this films story and the blatant lack of style, humor and class. "Scream 3" is a good horror thriller but it is  also a flawed film  that has little to no charm or joy in what it is doing or in its on going torture of Sidney Prescott(Neve Campbell). This film has guts but it has no balls to go the distance.

Neve Campbell is the glue that holds these films together without her strong performance this series would have died before it even had a chance to take off. Although the development of Sidney as a character is  almost impossible to progress any further than  it already has but Campbell is able to add some much needed paranoia to the character of Sidney Prescott  sadly  there is not much  else that  she can bring to the table for this character and what she brings is satisfactory. Campbell is an excellent actress but in this role, she is usually looking scared or running away, she rarely ever fights back against Ghostface. However, Sidney has been a positive role model for women over the last decade as she is strong,   resourceful, resilient, and highly intelligent. As a horror movie heroine, she still falls under the category of the scream queens even if she rarely does scream in these films. Campbell is one of the best horror heroines since Jaime Curtis she shows those new generation scream queens how it’s done. The rest of the cast including David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Patrick Dempsey, and Parker Posey turn in fine supporting performances in this nicely made horror thriller.

"Scream 3" is in no ways a classic but for what it is it  certainly a lot of fun and one hell  of a ride getting there. I have  my doubts and my complaints about this film, I certainly  think  it is the weakest of the series and quite frankly a damn shame that this has happened to such a prestigious franchise  but then again I was expecting it. No franchise can stay original and fresh forever not even one as inventive as this. "Scream 3" is a failure in many ways but it succeeds in giving audiences and loyal fans of the series the closure to this franchise story  that they needed grant it may not be the way I had hoped it would end but it certainly was better than I expected.


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May 05, 2011
I liked the Jay & Bob cameos in this one, great review.
May 05, 2011
Been awhile since I saw this one last time. I need to re-watch this one. Thanks, Lopez!
May 05, 2011
Thank you and no problem. Now all I have to do is see "Scream 4" and I'll have the whole series down, wish me luck.
More Scream 3 reviews
review by . October 09, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
** out of ****     Plenty of effort went into making "Scream 3". Wes Craven would be my first choice - or at least one of them - when it comes to the slasher genre and who I like working in that field. Craven is skilled at making these films, even when some of them take a turn for the joylessly silly. Yes, Craven is the director behind "Scream 3", just as he was for the first three films, with the only real difference being a change of writer; Ehren Kruger fills in the shoes …
review by . May 02, 2011
a few spoilers that you would know if you read my review of Scream 2      I never thought I would say this, but this movie isn't as good as the rest of the series because Jamie Kennedy isn't in it. There are other reasons that Scream 3 isn't as good as the first two, but Jamie Kennedy (or lack thereof) is definitely one of them. There is also a different person writing the script and much less satirical material in the script. The movie is still enjoyable and the …
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C.R. Lopez ()
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Member Since: Nov 6, 2009
Last Login: Jul 7, 2012 09:53 PM UTC
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Scream 3 is a 2000 film, the third installment in the successful Scream series of satirical horror films. The film stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courteney Cox Arquette, each reprising their roles from the first two films.

This is the only part of the Scream cycle not to be written by Kevin Williamson, as he was busy working on his short-lived television series Wasteland. Ehren Kruger (writer of the film Arlington Road, who would later go on to write the screenplays for The Ring, The Ring Two and The Skeleton Key) was given the task of writing the script based on notes Williamson himself had sketched out.

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