Scream 3 begins with a frantic scene where an antagonist killer wearing black and a narrow ghost mask hunts down unsuspecting characters similar to the first two Scream films. The main characters have progressed from a high school setting to college and now to life in the “real world.” Heroine Sidney (Neve Campbell) works for a crisis hotline under different alias because “psychos can’t kill what they can’t find”. Gail Weathers (Courtney Cox) still pursues cutting edge stories and deputy Dewey (David Arquette) works as a consultant for the movie within a movie, Stab 3.
Early in the film, the plotline shows Sidney talking with her dad about how her hidden identity has changed her lifestyle. The dad exists in the plotline as a possible suspect because there’s really no other reason for him to be there.
The characters eventually mesh together on the Stab 3 set and the audience finds new characters (actors) who are playing the main characters’ parts in the movie. Jenny McCarthy, Emily Mortimer, Deon Richmond, and Parker Posey debate the lines in the script and comment on the actual occurrences. “If my boyfriend just died, why am I taking a shower?” represent some dialogue where the characters criticize the past two Scream installments.
No movie should take itself too seriously, films yes, but not movies. Choice cameos give the audience some pleasant surprises that won’t make them jump out of their seats. An oddly placed, but necessary cameo, presents a character played by Heather Matarazzo who helps the main characters know what to expect. Horror movie mogul, John C. Milton, played by Lance Hendriksen who deserved a better part also factor into the mayhem.
The plot continues to involve some issues with Sidney’s family in some particularly harrowing ways. Detective Mark Kincaid, played by Patrick Dempsey, and his partner also filter into the mix making conjectures and quips about pop culture. Cell phone swapping, recycled dialogue, false alarms, mysterious phone calls, and character posturing all factor in to a plot that has a basic drive — “who done it?”.
This movie gets weakened by a hooky romantic subplot between Dewey and Gail, David Arquette and Courtney Cox Arquette, who have little onscreen chemistry. Also, if you pay attention to the scenes before the climax (not extremely difficult), you can predict the ending fates of Dewey, Gail, and Sidney with relative ease.
The cheesy Melrose Place-like mansion makes a poor setting for the climax, but the ending scenes tie up all the loose ends nicely. The guitar twangy cowboy music during scenes between Dewey and Gail and standard loud music during tense scenes don’t really contribute to the movie much except for a creepy bit that sounds like an alarm during a key scene early in the movie (**1/2 out of four stars).
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler