Scream 3 (2000) Movie Review
Written by: JM
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Ehren Kruger
Producer: Cathy Konrad, Kevin Williamson, Marianne Maddalena
Date Released: February 4, 2000
Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott
David Arquette as Dewey Riley
Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers
Patrick Dempsey as Mark Kincaid
Parker Posey as Jennifer Jolie
Scott Foley as Roman Bridger
Rating = 1.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
After the events of Scream 2 (1997), Sidney Prescott chose to isolate herself from everyone else and work as a crisis counselor for abused women. However, her past catches up with her when a new Ghostface killer surfaces and kills Cotton Weary, the man formerly abused of killing Sidney’s mother. Sidney is forced to reconvene with other fellow Ghostface survivors, Gale Weathers and Dewey Riley, as the new killer targets the people working on the third installment of the slasher series based on their horrific experiences.
Shot and released post-Columbine High School Massacre which sparked public scrutiny on how media portrays violence, Scream 3 doubles down on its self-referential humor, sometimes leaning towards slapstick antics, in order to subtract from ts inherent violent elements. Most of Ghostface’s killings occur offscreen, and when they don’t, the stabs are not as graphic as they were in the past two movies. The death you could consider to be the most graphic is someone briefly exploding into film, but even that feels like a cheap attempt to induce thrills especially because it’s done through cheesy special effects.
The Grave Review
The first two Scream movies both had the makings of an instant cult classic. They knew what they were and stuck with their guns. The rules of horror films is one of the series’ successful running gags, and for Randy to do the trilogy rules beyond the grave is one of the best decisions made her. He basically says one thing in general: the rules for a third horror movie is that are there are no rules. That’s the perfect springboard to go for more creative and possibly crazier paths.
Unfortunately, the third Screams installment goes in all sorts of direction without having any sense of a goal. The series ironically stumbled onto the pitfalls that most horror sagas do: the creativity juices have drained and they’re going to force us to drink a horror concoction that barely makes any sense, let alone capable of providing any thrills or fun.
The most interesting thing that Scream 3 tackles is the issue Sidney’s family. We barely connect to Sidney’s emotionality in the first two movies because she’s presented more as an archetypal final girl. In this film, Sidney’s mother constantly shows up as a ghost, and objectively speaking, it does a good job in helping us understand the perspective of a female preyed upon by psychopaths. But, do we really need to care so much about that? This is Scream, not “Cry” or “Be Emotional”. The audiences want to scream and be terrified. And if they wanted to take a shot at emotionality, three movies into the series is already too late an attempt.
Other than that, there’s nothing really scary or thrilling about Scream 3. It’s more loaded this time with meta-jokes to the point that it’s already saturated. And what’s sad about this decision to tone down the violence for the sake of adhering to how people think media should portray violence is that this exact issue is what Scream 1 and 2 were cleverly addressing underneath all the ingenious bloody fun slasher set pieces. By toning down the violence, the creators of Scream must have admitted defeat, as if to say that the two previous Scream movies also contributed to the very thing they were criticizing.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews give Scream 3 (2000) one and one-half graves out of five graves.
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