johnlink ranks SCREAM 3 (2000)

So, ten months later, I finally finished rewatching the SCREAM trilogy. The third one was the one I remembered as being sub-par, and after finding the second to be not as good as I recalled, I was really worried heading into this one. This installment was directed by Wes Craven once again, but the writing was passed from Kevin Williamson to Ehren Kruger.

The third SCREAM film has a studio creating STAB 3, and the old Woodsboro gang gather at the studio to get hacked and slashed.

I watched SCREAM 3 (2000) on 10.21.09. It was my second viewing of the film.



Where the first film is about the slasher genre, and the second is about sequels, the third SCREAM film is about trilogies. Well, sort of. It’s about cute in jokes and masturbatory movie love. It has Roger Corman in a cameo and finds Jay and Silent Bob wandering by on a studio tour making comments about Gale Weathers. The central drive of ‘this is all a movie’ was always the character Randy. He was prematurely killed in the second, so they have to bring him back in the form of a video tape in this one to explain the rules. Instead of a full on Randy performance, we have a cop who sort of loves movies. We have actors referencing their STAB 3 scripts to show the irony of how similar the situation is. I know a lot of this is on the writing, and I will get to my frustration with the script soon, but it all creates a rather inept movie.

The kills? They are pedestrian and predictable. There is little worry about who will get offed, because you can probably figure out who lives and dies in the first five minutes. There is no surprise, no sense of ‘oh my god, I can’t believe they did that’. When the film came out, there was a lot of talk that arm twisting had to be done to get Wes Craven  (he got to direct a film he always wanted to in return) and Neve Campbell back (she could only be on set for 20 days). I can see why they were hesitant. SCORE: 3


Because of the lack of suspense, this becomes about the jokes and completing the story. The jokes aren’t as good as the second, and certainly nowhere near the comedy of the first. The story… like the second it comes out of nowhere. By the time it happens, we don’t care. And because there is little surprise in the deaths, there is not much to be excited about. SCORE: 4


Jenny McCarthy is painfully bad in this. Good thing she gets killed early. Because of Neve Campbell’s contract, this movie becomes a Gale Weathers and Dewey story, which is okay because they work well together (Courtney Cox and David Arquette married between the second and third films). But the supporting work is shoddy. The actors seem to be happy to be in a SCREAM movie and coast on through. There is nobody in the supporting work to applaud. Lance Henriksen seems bored, Parker Posey has better roles later in her career, Patrick Dempsey is too busy being set up as the false killer. Only Carrie Fisher has a fun cameo, as a Carrie Fisher look alike who hates Carrie Fisher because she “slept with Lucas to get the role”. SCORE: 3


I wonder what would have happened if Williamson finished the trilogy by himself. Did he know it was unsalvageable? He always said this was to be a trilogy, was this the end he had in mind? The set was bogged down by constant rewrites and attempts to keep the ending secret. The actors are all working without knowing who they are. Are they the killer? How can an actor work like that? But ultimately, the failure of the script is Kruger trying to write like Williamson. They would have been better off abandoning the formula altogether. Williamson writes in a unique hyper-real style which does not sound inappropriate because he has it just right. He’s like Tarantino in that sense. There is a difference between BEING Tarantino, and trying to sound like Tarantino. Now, Kruger wrote one of my all time favorite scripts in ARLINGTON ROAD. But since then… his career seems uninspired. SCORE: 2






SCREAM: RANKINGS:7; 9; 6; 8; 1 (bonus for music). FINAL SCORE: 7.75

SCREAM 2: RANKINGS: 4; 7; 5; 4                                        FINAL SCORE: 5

SCREAM 3: RANKINGS: 3; 4; 3; 2                                        FINAL SCORE: 3

And so, the first really is the only truly solid entrance into the series. Hopefully this fourth one will be more that than the last two.

~ by johnlink00 on October 21, 2009.

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