As a rule, you must always prepare for the worst when it comes to sequels. Even worse when it comes in threes. And even worse, worse, worse when it’s a horror. Because, as you know, trilogies in the genre don’t usually end up being the best. Unless you count Toy Story as horror which you could if you are deathly afraid of spider legged doll heads and deformed plastic figures coming to life…
…Anyway, sometimes franchises just need three entries. Don’t ask me why but it always seems like the neat number (though, it’d be nice to have one film that excelled and didn’t spawn a hundred thousand deformed children). Anyway, again, I’m digressing a lot. The point is, is that when the conception of Scream happened in the nineties, you would have almost immediately known that Scream 3 was going to happen.
And because the first two films are actually quite good, I’m skipping both of those to talk about the third instalment that took the whole Meta to a brand new alarming level.
Scream 3 sees Sidney years after the events at her college and her school where everyone she loved pretty much died. Welp. Secluded, she works as a helpline for women in abusive relationships. After the death of Cotton, the man who she accused way back when she was a teenager because he was shtupping her mother, Sidney is roped back into the stalker game again when the ghost-faced killer hunts her down. Double-Welp. As she is led to the production of Stab 3, the movie series based on her life, she discovers that someone is picking off the actors one by one…
Neve Campbell is flawless as always. She never made Sidney a simpering character: There is a quiet resolve in her. Only this time, she is clearly exhausted by finding herself trapped in this situation again. Yet the strength of continuing on her that this time falls from the sarcastic lip or her will to survivor which is stunning and always great to watch. As for the rest of the performers, they do slip into their roles greatly, despite them being overblown.
The film is entertaining, with a steady foundation to then party with its themes and atmosphere. If you are a fan of slashers, then you are going to enjoy it. There is plenty of gory inventive deaths and, as usual, a mystery masked killer. It is always fun to guess whom amongst them is slashing and stabbing.
Plus, it has Carrie Fisher and Parker Posey in it. No other Scream movie/television show can boast that.
Ok so that fringe aside, there are a lot of flaws with the role.
Do you know when a sitcom becomes popular the main character (or characters) personality traits become exemplified and incredibly over the top? That kinda thing where Joey from Friends all of a sudden turned into the sex and food crazed goofball. Or JD became the ultimate day-dreamer who was sillier than everyone around him?
Well, that’s what happened with Scream 3. Each role, character and story is enhanced and transformed into the caricature of themselves. It’s so Meta, it’s insane. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised that as I’m writing this a killer isn’t going to phone me and chase me around the house whilst I rave on about how complicated and clichéd Scream 3 became. It also tries to tie up the story in a neat way but only gives us more questions than answers.
Fuck me, it even has Jay and Silent Bob in it. It isn’t incredible or ground-breaking as the first which, comparatively,
Is it 2 stars?
I have such a love for this film. Perhaps I am heavily nostalgic for the horrors that kept me up at night as a child. This isn’t really a defence of the movie, but I do think it deserves a revisit. It may not be as clever or smart as its predecessor but it is plenty of fun.
The Scream Franchise is notorious for skewering generational horror, with Scream 4 delving into particular aspects of modern filmmaking. There was also the Scream television series which has detractors but also a fiercely loyal fan-base.
For now, while I can’t tell you why I enjoy Scream 3, I can tell you that you start carving up actors with a ghost-killer mask, and I will watch the shit out of it!
Scream 3 is available to rent on Amazon Prime Video