‘Scream 3’ Retro Review

Director: Wes Craven

Cast: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Parkey Posey, Jenny Moron McCarthy, Patrick Dempsey, Emily Mortimer

Plot: Whilst in hiding, Sidney is haunted by nightmares of the past murders. When another masked killer begins stalking the cast of the new ‘Stab’ movie, she is drawn out of hiding to face her demons.

And so the ‘Scream’ franchise comes to a close. At least, that’s what they were telling us at the time. As far as marketing is concerned it does play well – with no more sequels waiting in the wings the only motivation for keeping the main characters alive until the end of the movie goes out the window leaving the killer free to slice and dice their way through the people we’ve already got an established relationship with. The writers and director must’ve loved having that petty restriction removed.

At least, they would have appreciated it if they’d actually used the opportunity to have a real impact on the audience. Those who played a key role in the first two films breeze through this film as though they’re knife-proof (at this point I’m expecting Dewey to reveal his true origins as being from Krypton) with the exception of a bit part who gets bumped of in the first scene. Everyone who is still relevant at this point remains disappointedly alive until the final scene where they all seem to go and live together with Patrick Dempsey in a cabin in the woods which feels as corny as it does carry overtones of strange sexual practises.

Despite how it must sound at this point, I don’t hate ‘Scream 3’. In fact, I think it’s a good solid film that missed the boat heading towards greatness due to some toothless writing. Whilst the second film got caught up in the meta-bumbling, the third entry has got its sights set more firmly on being a good slasher film with a genuine mystery behind it. Multiple characters are set up as red herrings for the viewers, given opportunity and motivation that isn’t completely spelt out so people will think they’ve worked it out on their own. This is a big step up from the second film in which the one creepy looking guy turns out to be the creepy killer.

Also a step up form the second film is the cast of characters. Some of these people actually appear to have more than one dimension, and while being far from likeable they are at least interesting to the point that you don’t want to punch them. The film-within-a-film idea is more effective this time around since everyone on screen seems to think it a terrible idea as well.

A decent slasher, good enough to hold its own outside of its franchise that hits a couple of backstory/cheesy ending stumbling blocks in the final act.