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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.99%
Worth A Look33.74%
Average: 16.05%
Pretty Bad: 10.7%
Total Crap: 18.52%

13 reviews, 165 user ratings

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Scream 3
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Okay, and now we're officially over it."
2 stars

Somewhere near the middle of 'Scream 3,' a film nerd is brought in -- make that shoehorned in -- to explain the guidelines of the final chapters of movie trilogies, such as the 'Godfather' series and the first 'Star Wars' triptych. What he conveniently forgets to mention is that 'Godfather III' and 'Return of the Jedi' were easily the weakest installments in their trilogies. So it is also with 'Scream 3,' a tepid and depressing conclusion (can we really believe that?) to a once-hip and genuinely scary horror series.

The sarcastic young audience for the Scream movies, eager to laugh and shriek and laugh at themselves shrieking, made the first two entries big hits. But Scream 3 offers very little in the way of laughs or scares. The previous two films had fun with the long-dead slasher subgenre, mocking it and resurrecting it at the same time -- its postmodern awareness gave the shocks a new vitality. Scream 3 doesn't have nearly as much fun with its genre or itself. The kids who weren't around to see the lame slasher films of the early '80s may now get to see what they missed: Scream 3 is pretty much a straight, cynical, and infinitely unimaginative slasher flick. This franchise has become the cheese it once subverted and transcended.

Neve Campbell returns, phoning in her performance (no pun intended) as Sidney Prescott, the traumatized heroine of the series. Her experiences with the Munch-masked, black-cloaked killer have inspired two hit films, Stab and Stab 2; the third movie is in production, but the actors in it are being killed -- in the same order as the murders of the characters they're playing. The director, Wes Craven, who has helmed all three Scream movies, gets far less mileage out of this life-imitates-script premise than you'd expect; then again, he's done it before, in New Nightmare, Craven's farewell to A Nightmare on Elm Street, his other popular horror series. Craven said all he had to say about the weirdness of moviemaking in that film; he's certainly said all he has to say about knives and blood.

The script, by Ehren Kruger (taking over from former Scream scribe Kevin Williamson), is top-heavy with red herrings and elaborate exposition -- yes, we hear even more about Sidney's mysterious dead mother. The other Scream films were also tricky and convoluted, but I don't remember them playing like the WB version of Murder, She Wrote, as Scream 3 too often does. Old characters (Courteney Cox Arquette's reporter Gale Weathers, David Arquette's goofy Deputy Dewey) and new characters (Parker Posey as a paranoid actress, Scott Foley as a movie director) all have the same function -- wandering around in the dark stupidly, waiting for the masked killer to isolate and butcher them. This is particularly inexcusable with the returning characters; don't they remember they were in the first two films?

Scream 3 is one of the casualties of Columbine: It's markedly less gory than its predecessors, no doubt because Miramax/Dimension (i.e., Disney) got cold feet in the wake of the national debate about movie violence. Craven stages the stalking and slashing as professionally as always, but this time the thrills feel anemic, as if we were watching a pilot for Scream: The Series, diluted for network TV. If there's less blood on the screen, there's even less in the movie's veins. The tacky, increasingly underattended dead-teenager films of the last couple of years (I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Urban Legend, etc.) seemed to spell the doom of the late-'90s slasher boom; Scream 3 may be sounding its death knell.

Perhaps one day 'Scream 3' will be appreciated as Wes Craven's ultimate subversion of the slasher genre -- illustrating how dead the genre is by intentionally making a lame movie -- but right now it just feels like the studio's sorry attempt to make lightning strike a third time. It's time to hang up the empty mask of the slasher genre; it's time horror got a new face.

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originally posted: 01/14/07 12:32:29
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User Comments

1/28/20 David Hollingsworth Parker Posey was the best thing about it. 3 stars
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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  04-Feb-2000 (R)


  23-Mar-2000 (MA)

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