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Scream 3 Review

By Joe Lozito

Scared Witless


Watching "Scream 3", you realize how difficult it would be to become a psycho killer in this day and age. For better or worse, the conclusion (hopefully) of the horror trilogy is crafted in such a calculated way - all the pop culture references and movie-within-a-movie conceits have been done in the previous two films - that you are left contemplating the logistics of the whole charade.

All the old favorites (at least the surviving ones) are back. Neve Campbell's tormented Sydney, David Arquette's mousy deputy, and Courtney Cox-Arquette's story-hungry newswoman. Even the actors seem tired of playing these characters and there's nothing in this film that gives them anything new to do. Thankfully, however, some new additions to the cast breathe much-needed life into the proceedings. Patrick Warburton's macho bodyguard out-squints Ms. Campbell; Parker Posey's actress - looking for motivation for her role as Ms. Cox's character - is so manic that it's impossible not to watch her; and even Jenny McCarthy milks some laughs out of a role tailored obviously to her charms ("Do I have to be taking a shower?").

More often than in the previous two, the film falls into the standard slasher movie clich├ęs itself. Characters are constantly hearing noises in the distance that they venture to "check out", and there is a ludicrous amount of "let's split up" going on. Even the Munch-inspired villain has always been too clumsy and vulnerable to evoke any real terror.

If you liked the first two "Scream" movies, there's nothing to stop you from liking this one. Though Kevin Williamson was "too busy" to write the script for this installment, he did write the treatment, so the labyrinthine plot and red herrings are all in place. The script, however, from the writer of "Arlington Road", is missing the knowing spark of Mr. Williamson's dialogue. What remains is basically a particularly gory reunion movie. Mr. Williamson has said that he always planned for "Scream" to be a trilogy but there's nothing in the film to determine why that would be. There is nothing particularly clever to make all the bloodshed - and time spent in the theater - worth it.

What did you think?

Movie title Scream 3
Release year 2000
MPAA Rating R
Our rating
Summary This fitting conclusion to the horror trilogy noticeably lacks the bite of Kevin Williamson's dialogue, but the standard-issue pop culture references and slasher movie staples are still there.
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