Scream 3
Review written by: Alex Sandell

Neve Campbell looking about
how I felt after sitting through 
two hours of the overwrought
garbage that is Scream 3

What's the story?

People get killed.  Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Dewey Riley (David Arquette) and Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) jump on the case and try to find out who the killer is before the killer finds them.  I won't waste my time telling you the ending, since you already saw a better version of it in the first two Scream films.     

So how is it? (Get to the point, already)

Calling Scream 3 disappointing, as so many critics and fans of the series already have, wouldn't begin to describe it.  Try deplorable, disheartening, unsatisfactory, ineffective, uninteresting, second-rate, inferior, lame, lousy, mediocre, irritating, annoying, and inadequate, and you might get an idea as to what a rotten little afterthought of a sequel this movie actually is.   

Considering the "in the final installment, anything goes" premise that has been shoved down the public's collective throat in television commercials and magazine interviews, I really had high hopes for this picture.  The first two weren't my favorite movies, but they were definitely worth the price of admission, and the thought of a third, especially one that threw caution to the wind, was not an unwelcome one.  

After hearing numerous production rumors of how part three was going to really surprise the audience, and hold nothing back, and having read shocking little snippets of what was allegedly the script, I actually began getting pretty excited over seeing the finished product.  Sadly, the finished product wasn't anything it was promised to be, and I walked out of the theater feeling disheartened over having been suckered in to see what turned out to be the most conventional, by-the-numbers, film in the trilogy.  

There are NO risks taken here.  It's almost as if the people behind the film didn't even want to risk scaring us.  The stop-motion Abominable Snowman featured in that Rudolph Christmas Special that airs every year is more terrifying than anything in Scream 3.  My postman's overbite is more chilling.  An episode of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood contains more surprises.  There was not a single scene in this movie that made me jump, and never once did one-time horror maestro, Wes Craven, take the time to build up adequate suspense.  It becomes obvious within minutes that nearly every new character is added to the film only to be briefly chased and swiftly stabbed to death (usually OFF camera - the gore in this movie is next to none), and the pattern grows tiresome.  How can you be frightened for a character that you never even get a chance to know, much less feel anything for?  At the very least, they could have given us some blood, so we could have felt something when a character died, even if all that we were feeling was slightly grossed out.

It's made apparent, just in listening to the soundtrack, that Craven and company knew they had a real piece of shit on their hands.  Rather than giving us a few genuine scares, and some actual tension, we're provided with loud noises and a vexatious musical score which overcompensates for the monotonous garbage up on the screen.  

This "monotonous garbage" is supposedly the final installment of a trilogy that was mapped out 4 years ago by Kevin Williamson, the screenwriter behind cinematic "marvels" such as Teaching Mrs. Tingle and I Know What You Did Last Summer.  Williamson himself bailed on the trilogy, leaving it open for newcomer Ehren Kruger.  It is with Kruger (and I'm sure a few nosy producers and accountants) that I place most of the blame.  

Instead of ending the series with a refreshing bang, Kruger mimics Williamson's every move, and winds up making Scream 3 seem like nothing more than a faded Xerox of something that wasn't all that wonderful to begin with.  It is ironic that, by not following the "all bets are off" rule that Kruger himself concocted, this film is going to end up making far less money than it would have, if it didn't choose to play it safe.  In the end, it isn't the audience that will be scared by Scream 3 . . . it's the investors.

What are you selling us here???

I didn't really pay attention to the product placements.  I remember there's one when Sidney is in her house, on the phone.  I doubt that will really help you any, being that Sidney's in her house, on the phone, quite a few times.

If it won an Oscar, what would it be?

"Biggest disappointment since Jason took Manhattan" - Scream 3

On a scale of 1-10?

3 (for the few self-referential jokes that actually work)

Agree? Disagree? Wanna have cyber-sex? Email me at I want to hear any and all opinions on this film! 

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Text (Copyright) 2000 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. If you copy this, without my permission, they'll make a Scream 4, and I'll make you watch it . . . 3,000,000 times!

Photo Copyright 2000 Dimension [All Rights Reserved]

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