Scream 3 – 2 out of 5
It’s not surprisingly in the least that Scream got some sequels. Even sequels have their tropes that can be dissected and satirized. Scream 3 offers this promise but ends up becoming almost a self-parody of itself as the whole thing goes completely overboard and bonkers.
|He's running from the Tickle Monster.|
The Ghostface killings have resulted in a successful movie franchise called Stab (very creatively titled, I might add) but it seems that yet another copycat killer donning the silly Halloween costume has arrived. After Cotton Weary (Live Schreiber)—the man who was once falsely accused of murder—is killed by a man in a Ghostface mask, Detective Mark Kincaid (Patrick Dempsey) enlists the help of Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) to discuss the murder. Meanwhile, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is attempting to live in isolation but is now draw out as the new killer seems to be going after the stars of the new Stab film—even going as far as rewriting the script in order to kill performers in the order in which they will die in the movie. Now Sidney is once again reunited with Gale and Dwight “Dewey” Riley (David Arquette)—and Randy (Jamie Kennedy) despite being murdered in the last film—and together they must solve who the new killer is before it’s their turn to die in the script.
|Parker Posey's character is playing Gale Weathers in the Stab film but, considering how|
nutso strange this sequel was, I'm surprised they didn't have Courteney Cox
play herself in Posey's role.
|Jenny McCarthy died in this movie. I would make a joke|
about her being an anti-vaxxer but I don't have the
energy. Besides, being an anti-vaxxer is a joke
in and of itself.
I really didn’t care for Scream 3. With horror franchises the goal seems to be to always go bigger with each passing film in order to maintain a fresh feel but this one felt like it decided to go silly. For one, the voice changer used by Ghostface and a staple of the franchise that has given us Roger L. Jackson’s voice saying, “What’s your favorite scary movie?” and also gave the killer a very iconic element beyond a knife and a goofball costume, apparently can now mimic anyone’s voice. While not a terrible idea for a horror film that has a trope of using a phone call as the lead up to murder but having a device like this almost feels like a joke or a plot device used in a lower budget movie. This is a bit nit-picky but how exactly did this device work? Did the killer have to record someone’s voice so that the device could then figure out the correct modulation? And the device is super portable and capable of changing voices seemingly on the fly. The Scream franchise has always felt very grounded and this element, among others, sorta took that element out of the equation. Of course, there were a lot of things that were taking away from the realism this franchise once held. For example, Jay and Silent Bob show up for no apparent reason.
|I was being serious. They are in the movie.|
|He recorded a video of himself explaining the "rules" |
of a potential third murder spree. Sure, why not?
The franchise has always held a satirical atmosphere as it gave the slasher subgenre a good-natured ribbing. This was, after all, the defining element that made Scream such an important film in the genre as it broke down the tropes that have been building up and then played off of them. In this one, this element feels very forced because, realistically, there aren’t too many tropes in the 3rd films of a horror franchise that are any different from the tropes in a 2nd film. Instead, this film borrows ideas from trilogies in other genres to try and make up for that difference and then leans into the whole plot point that the Ghostface killer is using a script for a movie to do the killings and it kinda results in a mess and a movie that almost feels like it is a parody of its own self. Even when the kills decide to go large (and let’s be real here, the kills in this franchise have never been the most noteworthy) they come off more ridiculous than a natural progression of a slasher franchise.
|Explosions just don't feel right for this series.|
|While I appreciate Roger Corman showing up in this|
film, I can't help but wonder why?
Finally, this film has way too large of a cast and no one is really developed. Even the returning characters barely get any growth. The most we see from Sidney, Dewey and Gale is seeing that Sidney is understandably shutoff from the world and we once again have to see Dewey and Gale reignite their relationship. This aside, there are so many characters who are all just blank slates, cardboard cutouts or hacky one-dimensional Hollywood cliché jokes—think the leading lady who sleeps with the producer for her role and the arts-fartsy director who takes on a big budget production so he can make his more meaningful project later. With the complete and utter lack of development, it is no surprise that once again the “whodunit” aspect of the story is lackluster and gives the viewers nothing to chew so they can make educated guesses on who the killer is. I was a touch critical of the reveal in the last one but this one is far worse. If Scream 2’s reveal felt tacked on, this one felt like it was made up on the spot.
|In a new film, Ghostface will have AT&T and his threatening calls will|
always get dropped.
Scream 3 was a hard watch for me because so much of it felt like it was misfiring with everything it was attempting. The cast isn’t terrible with their performances but there were too many characters to keep track of and with an odd atmosphere that felt like it was becoming too meta, too self-aware and too much like self-parody, I had a hard, hard, hard time getting invested with it and, ultimately, found the whole film to be boring and very tedious.