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Overall Rating

Awesome: 21.07%
Worth A Look33.88%
Average: 15.7%
Pretty Bad: 10.74%
Total Crap: 18.6%

13 reviews, 164 user ratings

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Scream 3
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by Greg Muskewitz

"SCREAMing, we keep on SCREAMing..."
4 stars

This is the end of the Scream franchise --and that isn't meant to be taken like it was a bad run. Originally set out to be a trilogy of films, this third installment is billed by Dimension films, director Wes Craven, and the stars as the definitive end. I would have included writer Kevin Williamson too, had it not been for the fact that this was not his child, but in fact newbie author Ehren Kruger's (Arlington Road). Frankly, Scream 3 is the weakest link of the sum total, but it is by no means a disappointment.

Whereas in Scream 2 the first Stab movie based on the Woodsboro murders was premiering, Scream 3 has Stab 3 being filmed in real time as this film itself progresses. This all of course being established after the orderly business taken care of in the opening sequence. (Is it safe to say that Neve does make it at least past that point?) Four characters from the previous two return to their roles: Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott, David Arquette as Dewey Riley, Courtney Cox Arquette as Gale Weathers, and Liev Schreiber briefly as Cotton Weary. And the death of that newfound celebrity (he hosts a day time talk show 100% Cotton) winds up bringing the other three back together: Sidney, who has secluded herself to a very secure home in the woods working as a women's crisis telephone operator; Gale who is just as aggressive a journalist as ever and is struck with jealousy when twice ex-flame Dewey is working on Stab 3 as a technical advisor and is living with actress Jennifer Jolie (Parker Posey), who has starred as Gale in the prior two Stabs.

The ball continues to roll as Sidney is haunted by visions of her dead mother, or more in fact the mother that has in effect affected her life by causing all of the past and impending incidents. Sidney is forced out of her seclusion when travesties flood and halt the current production of Stab 3. And the advancement of the plot with revealing as little as possible as requested by the studio, make it difficult to skirt around it without doing so.

On its own, Scream 3 is just as much of a horror/thriller as the other two, but when lined up against, falls visibly short. One of the strong points which made Scream such a phenomenal success was its satirizing and confrontational aspect to the rules which had been so bludgeoned by the predecessors of the genre. It dared to redefine the possibilities of what came prior to, all the same while being scary, witty, and even funny. Williamson's script made fun of all the mistakes characters did in horror movies, and made a point not to make the same mistakes. But in Scream 3 the characters had reverted and forgot what lessons came before. In other words, they were dumbed down doing most everything backwards, which could be a flip-flopped parody on the original concept --but sometimes it didn’t have the same effect. Without it, Scream 3 lacks the chilling effectiveness brought before, and there's more of an overload of cell phones than ever! It's less scary than the first, and not as funny as the sequel, but it finds a comfortable equilibrium in the middle.

Scream 3 has 16 principal or important characters with even more tidbits included. It's pretty much a futile attempt to sit and guess who the killer or killers are through the whole ordeal. They make too many possibilities and once characters are killed off, it becomes a stockpile: should we keep track? Can we keep track? Whatever happened to process of elimination? And it must be said that, although I gave up trying to figure out who it was, though you may be able to guess "who," motives are cleverly hidden and disguised so as that the "why" is unguessable. Credit is due to Ehren Kruger who does develop the plot better than in Scream 2. Kruger manages to add further dimensions into the development of plot and characters, given certain aspects --though definitely not all-- more realistic sensibilities. I am most proud of the treatment of Sidney, who mentally and physically takes a giant step up from the previous two. Scream 3 knows how to be elaborate and it doesn't give off a feeling of being a letdown. The script is twisty and turny, maybe a little more than it needs to be. But here Neve's character is faced with the necessity to let pieces and events of her life go in order to live the life any ordinary person would hope to achieve. The lovey-dovey antics of Arquette and Cox Arquette provide humor, however they pretty much remain the same.

The cast is a very well assembled one, with Campbell, Arquette, Cox Arquette, and others pulling all the stops out along the way. The most welcome addition (and then subtraction) was Parker Posey, who served as excellent comic relief as well as an entertaining character. (She more than makes up for the loss of Randy in the sequel.) Of the other new additions, there are: Patrick Dempsey, Scott Foley, Lance Henrikson, Jenny McCarthy and Deon Richmond. Heather Matarazzo turns up for a brief part as Randy's sister. Dempsey is an LA cop, who, although unfamiliar to me, has a slight resemblance to Aidan Quinn, and is maybe a little too young to be believable as a detective of his stature. Foley, making his debut, well plays a neurotic director who was promised a several picture deal so long as he delivered a slasher flick: Stab 3. Henrikson and McCarthy also add well to the attitude of the Hollywood playground. The only character really miscast was Emily Mortimer as Angelina Tyler, a naïve actress selected over many others to play the role of Sidney. Mortimer was phony, and a badly written excuse of a character. Her voice, her appearance, and her skills in general were in much need of recense. And Kruger makes it a requirement to give each and every one of those characters a certain amount of beguiling evidence so as to make it impossible to really narrow it down. There are several other surprise cameos whom I normally would mention, but rather not give the surprise away.

Giving credit where credit is due again, Scream 3 is scary, frightening, tense, episodic, comedic and amusing all along the way in all of the right places. Maybe my concerns will be overlooked by eager audiences looking for a good thrill and mystery, of which is provided. Wes Craven has completed a successful serving of good films which can only be a disappointment by the highest hopes. And with the bias of strongly liking the first two in addition to a very pleasing showcase by Neve Campbell, I can't help but think that this third installment has begun growing on me, and will continue to do so. As rotten as I am, it's least to say that if ever the careers of those so brightly exhibited within are falling or failing, there could be more (though I hope not).

All the technical elements are in place, and in most cases sharper than before. Scream veteran composer Marco Beltrami's score is more haunting and effective than ever. It ably evokes the maximum mood out if implied scenes. A favorite cinematographer of mine, Peter Deming's (Lost Highway) smooth and clear photography is excellently situated in controlling what you see and when. The images are clean and shallowly lit which benefits the suspenseful aura --for Deming as well has shot the previous two Screams. Patrick Lussier's editing (including the prior two Screams and Mimic) controls the film with a rapidity and steady flow of connecting and linear compositions. And additionally noteworthy is the production design by Bruce Alan Miller, who perfectly recreates the original authenticity of the first film. The house in Woodsboro and others are recreated on interior soundstages and the detail and intricate proportion paid to it is greatly appreciated, and gives a suspenseful bonus. Scream 3 is an achievement along with the rest, and is worthy of being the completion of the trilogy.

Final Verdict: B+

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originally posted: 02/05/00 06:20:24
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User Comments

2/21/17 morris campbell good if ur a fan of the series 4 stars
10/10/13 Jacob Montgomery At this point, Scream had become what it was initially satirizing. It's not funny or scary. 2 stars
3/08/12 jcar better than part 2, a slam bang finish to the trilogy with humor and plenty of scares 4 stars
7/26/11 art scream doesn't old a candle to I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER! 1 stars
7/24/10 bagwell5 I am not a huge horror fan. This is my favorite in the series. Funny & scary. 4 stars
10/14/09 Joise Cotton is a goddess A fine combination of comedy, horror and mystery 4 stars
10/22/08 Shaun Wallner Thought this was a good film. 4 stars
2/08/07 David Pollastrini not as good as the first two 4 stars
10/15/06 the real killer i loved the film so much thhat im going to go on a killing spree 5 stars
6/28/06 katinka it was good for what it was worth 4 stars
6/03/06 Monster W. Kung Awful. 1 stars
5/29/06 inty its a fucking great one 5 stars
4/16/06 Batman great 5 stars
4/06/06 poo its fun 5 stars
4/03/06 scream himself awsome the best ever thats my favorite scary movie. 5 stars
4/01/06 Anthony Feor Probably the best one, This is a Keeper 4 stars
2/13/06 Anthony This is the way you end a trilogy 4 stars
12/05/05 cody better than part 2, more like the original one, cool twists and turns, and sydney kicks but 4 stars
8/23/05 Eden Has become the slasher film it paradied 1 stars
5/26/05 tony Good movie. But HORRIBLE way to end a trilogy!. It should have been more convincing 3 stars
4/28/05 E-FUNK Better than 2... Made awful by ridiculous cameos and a lack of anything frightening. 2 stars
2/15/05 robertrosado A fast, entertaining, and hilarious sequel. Underrated like nobody's business. 5 stars
1/03/05 Delirium Tremens One of the dumbest movies ever 1 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams the movies get worse as the trilogy rolls on. Stick with #1 1 stars
11/09/04 I am nobodys bitch Not even worth fucking look 2 stars
5/25/04 American Slasher Goddess Still far from being a good movie, but slightly better then part 2. 2 stars
5/16/04 Daveman Worst film in the series. Merely adequete, nothing more. 2 stars
5/09/04 Ray Its better than the second one 4 stars
4/13/04 he The best one of the series 5 stars
4/11/04 valerie hart it was okay,after the sequal it seemed they ran out of ideas 3 stars
2/25/04 c.r a good sequel to end the scream triology! 3 stars
2/18/04 john enough is enough 2 stars
2/17/04 Stefan Halka Eh, not that bad. Good comedic moments and cool scary scenes. 3 stars
2/01/04 britney im voting 5 stars cause this movie is worth it wes cravn is a awesome horror producer 5 stars
1/27/04 Chloe Brody How cool is Parker Posey in this?! I liked it so much - Ghostface - you rule!!! 5 stars
1/17/04 Josh Standlee Can't wait for Scream 4!!!!! 5 stars
11/25/03 Thiago really nice film, but the worst in the Scream trilogy 4 stars
11/04/03 American Slasher Goddess A little better then part 2, but still runs out of steam towards the end. 3 stars
10/10/03 Erik Van Sant An improvement over the 2nd film, but loses me once Jay and Silent Bob show up! 3 stars
7/23/03 Double G Much better then 2nd 4 stars
4/25/03 call me Hollywood haha i will make money haha they will expect an intelligent story haha idiot moviegoers... 1 stars
4/12/03 me great 5 stars
3/15/03 HE great 5 stars
12/27/02 Zaharin Hamid aka The Movie Samseng The worst one in the series. Half brother? What the fuck? 1 stars
12/07/02 BAM GREAT 5 stars
10/28/02 Manuel This movie is sucky as in bol words SUCKS ALL ASS 1 stars
10/24/02 Charles Tatum I guessed the killer and got it right 3 stars
9/15/02 Magnum Craphole Truly awful. 1 stars
8/17/02 Scott I loved how they tied everything together and ended it VERY well. 5 stars
7/27/02 sdjfsdkjf what a croc of shit. Kevin should have done it. Love the Jay & Silent bob cameo though. 1 stars
6/19/02 Brandon Love this movie!! Best of the Trio, Parker Posey was great 5 stars
4/15/02 Film Guy VERY good movie. Answers all your Scream ?'s 5 stars
3/15/02 Christian Not as good as the original, but a distinct improvement on part 2 4 stars
3/11/02 Monster W. Kung If you think this movie is smart, your IQ must be around 30. 1 stars
2/28/02 Chowie i liked cotton......i also liked the 1st 3 stars
2/02/02 Geo7654 Okay, but mostly plays like leftovers. 3 stars
1/12/02 hd very good but did jenny mccarthy have to die 5 stars
1/01/02 SEAN An excellent way to end the series 4 stars
12/13/01 ben wasden Not as good as the first two Scream's, but still a blast. 4 stars
12/01/01 Scottish Kilt utter crap,scrapping the bottom of the barrell for a scare, predictable piece of piss. 1 stars
10/24/01 kyle mcmillin it was the best 5 stars
10/23/01 Tam Cheesily over-acted, but without the irony of the first two. Storyline TOO crass & stupid. 2 stars
10/04/01 Phoenix A worthy and fitting conclusion to the smartest horror film series ever. 4 stars
9/29/01 Andrew Carden Such A Mindless and Stupid Horror Flick. Goes Nowhere. 1 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) Funny, scary, and violent. I like it. 4 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk Nifty ending to the trilogy...but it definitely showed how tired the concept is... 4 stars
7/28/01 Steve Liked it more than the second, less than the first. Average in the series. 3 stars
7/10/01 JT Considerably the best in the series 5 stars
7/06/01 SeStA This movie kicked arse, just because there was Mr. Ghostface and Parker Posey was in it! 5 stars
6/20/01 King Jackass Not as good as the first, not as bad as the 2nd 4 stars
6/06/01 Katrina This movie wasn't that good. Scream was the best of them all. 2 stars
5/26/01 Connoisseur this is some bad crap 1 stars
5/08/01 Gracy Lionheart All the Scream movies are dumb, but get a group of friends and laugh at them. It's cool!!! 3 stars
5/04/01 roby lafon the best out of the bunch 5 stars
4/15/01 Jesse L Five Ughs. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. What a waste. 1 stars
4/14/01 LiL I love this movie, sure it wasn't as gory, but it was just as good as #1 5 stars
3/08/01 Sanja When will they stop?! 1 stars
2/23/01 Tyrone These movies killed the slasher!!! 1 stars
2/09/01 winne the pooh first one was good 4 stars
1/31/01 Big Isil Scream was never too good, and this piece of shit is just the icing on the shit cake 1 stars
1/29/01 Mitja Podgajski Too comic.. and silly.. :) but it rules:) 4 stars
1/15/01 Sklorsh Why do they keep making these dumb shitty slasher flicks 1 stars
1/07/01 Ian Eagleton the thrills and killings are a little short but the cast are brilliant 4 stars
11/29/00 Cristopher Revilla ok, this one is a piece of shit 1 stars
11/02/00 erin james I thought scream m3 was the most comical of the trilogy 4 stars
10/24/00 Ground Zero first Scream was okay, the sequel was crap, and the 3rd Scream stunk 3 stars
9/30/00 seany pooh best movie in the fuckin trilogy yeah baby 5 stars
9/08/00 Stuntman shit ending, waay too predictable 3 stars
8/29/00 Monday Morning Hollywood is ideal setting for this tongue-in-cheeker. More to come too, I bet. 4 stars
8/06/00 Wayne Hart Very worthing successor, brilliantly paced 4 stars
7/21/00 Bender Watered down. plus the ending sucks. 3 stars
7/06/00 Michael Grimm pretty standard stuff 3 stars
6/28/00 Naushad Khanji The original was not good to begin with.Unscary and predictable 1 stars
6/18/00 darren i cant see a clip of scream 3 5 stars
6/16/00 DAVID'S FAT MOM Hello. My son DAVID is a fucking queer. Please ignore him. This movie is great! 5 stars
6/13/00 DAVID The Scream franchise is just for trendy teens that dont know shit about horror 1 stars
6/03/00 Jommy Jomes Too shitty for my tastes 1 stars
5/30/00 danilo good movie, it was more funny than scary - butagain ridiculous killer 4 stars
5/10/00 Steve Layne Good movie, bad ending. The hype of this "Big Secret" at the end was a joke. 4 stars
5/05/00 Rebecca Spine Tingling 4 stars
5/05/00 Hi there Plot holes aside, this movie is very good, and worthy of the Scream name. 5 stars
5/04/00 Matthew Bartley Satisfying to a very good trilogy 4 stars
5/01/00 yo momma I changed my mind-this movie is shit. 1 stars
4/29/00 Pansy okay flick, but rent the first one instead 3 stars
4/28/00 Add This maybe a Scream movie but only in title.They really fucked it up,makes me wanna SCREAM 3 stars
4/26/00 XXX The best of the lot! 5 stars
4/21/00 Buffalo Bill was okay 3 stars
4/17/00 BB-15 A great ending for a great series! 5 stars
4/13/00 SwatchDog Delightful conclusion that is well-acted (Posey & Mortimer) & written. Better than part 2! 5 stars
4/11/00 Ernie Levesque This film is so much fun! What for the profits from Dogma! 4 stars
4/11/00 kohawk yawn. Doesn't hold a candle to the 1st two. Disappointing 2 stars
4/10/00 Jedi15 The best of the series! Much better ending than Scream 2! 5 stars
4/09/00 Mickey "Father Death" MacJohnstmyster Not what you would want. Underwritten supporting cast. Not scary. Worst of the 3 films 3 stars
4/03/00 vanessa scare the pants off me 5 stars
3/31/00 Peta Berrys It was unpredictable!! 5 stars
3/26/00 Bornslippy fun,scary, nice cameos. Good plotline to end the series. 4 stars
3/24/00 malcolm easily the worst of the series. in any movie series at least 1 of 3 will suck! 1 stars
3/22/00 Joel Harwood WOW 5 stars
3/22/00 Lame-Oh SOMEBODY SHOOT GHOSTFACE, for God's sake! 3 stars
3/16/00 Chloe Sesta Jacobs SCREAM 3 ROCKZ! MR. GHOSTFACE RULZ! 5 stars
3/13/00 Debbie doesn't give justice to the characters, but has a fairly satisfying ending. 4 stars
2/29/00 Rachem Good mix of scares and laughs, far and away better than Scream 2. 4 stars
2/26/00 Bob Harrison MMMMMM... Neve cambell .... 5 stars
2/23/00 tiffany kool best one yet 5 stars
2/22/00 Mr. Kramitall the first one was soo much better 3 stars
2/22/00 Obi Wan Was better than I expected . . .movie could have been better if Neve bit da dust!!! 4 stars
2/21/00 Kyle Broflovski Hope this does well at the box office...Courteney Cox could use a good meal... 3 stars
2/21/00 Melissa Same old, same old, but had some funny moments. 4 stars
2/21/00 Pearl I bet it's shite 1 stars
2/21/00 arnold not scary but some awesome action it's also funny 5 stars
2/21/00 Doug Scream 3 became a self fulfillinf prophecy. It became formulaic. 1 stars
2/18/00 James Soooo Scary I wet my pants 5 stars
2/14/00 Andi C. My fav of all three Screams 4 stars
2/11/00 grunter Parker Posey narrowly escapes a "Murder She Wrote" episode with her acting credibility 1 stars
2/11/00 PhilmPhreak It was OK - Parker Posey Rules! 3 stars
2/09/00 snoochy bootchy snooguns 3 stars
2/08/00 jenn "Blu Smrf" it was good, not scary yet better then some of the other trash i have seen 4 stars
2/08/00 Lame-Oh Hawk's review is terrific. Whoever greenlighted this trash should be shot. 2 stars
2/08/00 Zach sucks so much ass, anyone would have been a killer. what the hell. 1 stars
2/08/00 Obi Wan KILL DAVID ARQUETTE...I Hate that sonovabitch!!!! Oh yeah the flik was not bad 4 stars
2/08/00 El Tigre Kill them all! 2 stars
2/07/00 Roch Ness the ending sacraficed all plausability to be a suprise, but it's an awesome ride to the end 5 stars
2/07/00 Terrance and Philip this movie was better than looking for pennies up my bum. It's ASS-TASTIC! 5 stars
2/07/00 Movie Freek Disappointing. Sporadically scary, fun at times, but the ending sucked. 3 stars
2/07/00 arnold funny,action,suspense kicked fucking ass man 5 stars
2/06/00 nootch - it was pretty damn funny It wasn't that bad at all. You have to expect a degree of 'cheesiness' from "Scream 3". 4 stars
2/06/00 Randall Jay and Silent Bob, that was cool 3 stars
2/06/00 jenn "Blu Smrf" awesome, funny, not that scary yet good enough for a night out 4 stars
2/06/00 JonnyAngel An entertaining flick at least as good as #2, but like 2, the ending wasn't great 4 stars
2/06/00 Adam The ending was a copout. Some fun cameos, though 2 stars
2/06/00 Steve Layne Maybe the best in the series 5 stars
2/06/00 Lame-Oh worse than the 2nd. rent the 1st Scream 2 stars
2/06/00 merrip oh, but it could have been so good...a shame really. 2 stars
2/06/00 Obi Wan Had some laffs, some screams alot of slashing or "STABbing"!! Overall was pretty good 4 stars
2/05/00 f*r*o*s*t*y Ending bit, but I'm glad they're over. Did make me scream, though. Which is a bonus. 4 stars
2/05/00 Master of All Things "Scream" Wonderful in every aspect, despite the inevitably disappointing climax 5 stars
2/05/00 Kane Awesome!!! 5 stars
2/05/00 Malbert Piece of shit movie: no laughs, no scares, hackneyed plot;1 good part: Jay&Silent Bob cameo 1 stars
2/05/00 JoJo the Idiot Circus Boy I don't like slasher films in general, and this is simply beating a *cough* dead horse. 1 stars
1/18/00 Chris Scream 3 is O.K it is pretty much based on flashacks 4 stars
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