My reviews often contain spoilers. So consider yourself warned.
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Scream 3 (2000)
So… (I love starting things that way) Sidney is in hiding and having visions of her dead mother, Gail and Dewey are on the outs again and Stab 3 is being filmed with Parker Posey and Emily Mortimer and Jenny McCarthy. McDreamy hasn’t yet become a doctor and is trying his hand as a detective that just loves movies and may be a little obsessed with Sid, Randy’s sister is Heather Matarazzo – and since she is here, we again have a member from the Roseanne cast – yay! Put John Goodman and Sandra Bernhard in the next one. Oh, yeah, and someone is killing people again.
Ehren Kruger took over most of the writing responsibilities from Kevin Williamson and sadly it shows. While this is probably the most comical Scream film – thanks mostly to Parker Posey – many of the jokes feel stale and fall flat. While the previous two incarnations felt fresh, knowing and had an almost tragic undertow, here it all feels rushed, tossed off and hack eyed. Thankfully we still have Wes Craven on board, who makes the film look like a Scream film even if it doesn’t feel like one.
All of the celebrity cameos in the world can’t distract from a production that has gone wildly off the tracks and lost the knife-edge horror/parody blend that the former installments got just right. Everything and everyone just feels sort of watered down and going through the motions-y. Before this was released in theaters a fake interview with Parker Posey was set loose online in which she “said” she only took this part because she had to pay some bills. I felt that was a great insult and a disservice at the time, but after having seen the movie, I now wish that interview had been real.
The characters behave so stupidly here (as if not only have they never seen a scary movie, but have not been in these similar situations twice before) by splitting up repeatedly and falling for the same old scary shtick. (And why is Sidney outfitted in almost exactly the same outfit that she had on at the end of the last film?) The script tries to make it all bigger than big by taking everything back to the beginning and blowing the lid off what we thought we knew. It does not work and the killer’s identity isn’t much of a shock either. It is the only character that we don’t see actually killed on screen – they show up as a dead body in a coffin in the basement – these writers sure aren’t giving us much credit as viewers. So while it works as a comedy, this is the only aspect that works – unlike the other two films – making it the weakest entry in the franchise. Yet, I must admit, every time I watch it I do find something new to appreciate about it. I’m curious about the new Scream sequel in production, and since it is apparently written by Kevin Williamson I’m optimistic. Maybe we can pretend Scream 3 never existed and sweep it under the rug the way the Halloween series ignored everything after the first sequel when H20 came out. Sadly, then we’d be without Parker Posey. My advice? Skip the scenes that she isn’t in. C+