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Scream 3 [MOVIE REVIEW]

The continuing success of the Scream franchise with 'Scream 2' meant it was time to make a third film. However this was proven to be quite difficult because as opposed to 'Scream 2' were all the actors had it in their contracts for the first 'Scream' that if a sequel were to be made - they all had to come back. With the third film, such a contract had not been signed so getting all the actors back was not as easy. The biggest loss however was the writer Kevin Williamson... oh boy.

'Scream 3' is another example of a studio not giving a damn about the quality of a movie they are making. Kevin Williamson was busy directing his first feature film - but he had ideas for the third film and left notes... which they ignored. A studio that did care at all about the movie would have simply put the pre-production on ice for the time being until the original writer had time to come back and write the script for the final installment of the trilogy that it deserved. Of course they did not do any of this and instead hired Ehren Kruger (writer of such hits like 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' and 'Transformers: Age of Extinction') to pen the script. Luckily though, Wes Craven was coming back to direct and the central cast had it in their hearts to return and finish the series. Although Neve Campbell's (Sidney Prescott) contract only allowed for her to be on set for 20 days which meant her screentime had to be diminished significantly compared to the first two films even though she is our main character.

'Scream 3' has a lot of problems but it could at least have been quite enjoyable if it had felt like a Scream film. But it does not. There are over a dozen times when characters do not act like themselves, the setting has completely changed from a relatable village (which added to the scares because it shows that these kinds of killings can happen anywhere) to freaking Hollywood, it has a magic voice changer device from the 26th century which can make you sound like anyone which goes against the realistic nature we have come to know from 'Scream' and 'Scream 2'. Ehren Kruger admittedly did not know these characters very well which you can really tell by the way Gale is written in this film. Gone is the strong and independent Gale from the first two films and now what we have is a Dewey dependent screamer who can barely pull off anything on her own. Sadly this is almost also the case for Sidney who also relies way too much on Dewey.

As I mentioned, Neve Campbell only had time to be on set for 20 days which meant her screentime had to be cut down significantly from the first 2 Scream films. Whenever she does show up though, the movie shines as practically all of the best scenes have her in them. To fill up the screentime though, we are introduced to a bunch of new characters who are actors/crew members for Stab 3. It is quite a weird image seeing people dressed up like Sidney, Gale and Dewey in a Scream film but not actually being Sidney, Gale and Dewey. That said though, none of the characters are any memorable at all. In fact I pretty much forgot about all of them after their first scene. Right now despite having seen the film several times, I can still not remember anyone of their names. They are hardly developed at all and are pretty much just given the most basic stereotypical character traits that is just not fit for a Scream film. Yes the character development in 'Scream' and 'Scream 2' was not masterful writing but at least they are all memorable.

I do blame Ehren Kruger for most of the inconsistent and quite laughable writing but I have to put most of the blame on the studio for not postponing pre-production and delay the release date like a year or two so Kevin Williamson could finish directing 'Teaching Mrs. Tingle' and come back to write 'Scream 3' (which he wanted to do) and for Neve Campbell to finish the movies she was working on at the time and come back full time. The very least they could have done was to at least follow the notes that Williamson had written instead of ignoring them completely.

The best thing about the film is actually the music composed by Marco Beltrami, there are many standout scores here and lifts the emotion of Sidney's psyche so much more than the writing did. From the scene when Sidney walks on to the set of Stab 3 which has a recreation of her house from the first 'Scream' to the final scene of the film. Beautifully composed and a lot better than you would expect from a horror movie like this. It is a shame that it was composed for the worst Scream movie which means (at least in my opinion) it is not worth watching the film to hear it. I do recommend looking it up though as it is quite a masterfully composed soundtrack. Thankfully too, the standouts are used for the best scenes in the film (specifically Sidney on the set of Stab 3).

Overall, 'Scream 3' is a mess. The plot is absolutely ridiculous, the killer reveal is by far the worst out of all the films as I (and I suspect many more) completely forgot who the hell that character was, it no longer takes place in the real world with the introduction of the futuristic voice changer and the actors notably struggles with trying to play their characters without actually being their characters due to the poor screenplay.


4/10


- Lucas

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