Some horror franchises thrive off of trilogies. It’s that success that usually leads to a fourth, fifth, sixth, hell, to infinity installments. Not all of them are classics, not all of them are memorable, but usually they have a common denominator- a successful kick start that led to a progression of plot.
Sadly, Scream 3 does nothing to add to the Scream franchise. While Scream 2 had some kind of connection to the first film, Scream 3 is a far reaching, overly stretched installment that the series could have done without. Ultimately, after watching Scream 4, that film is what the third should have been. The third feels like nothing more than a space filler, an attempt to make bank on a franchise that needed a larger thought process. Out of all of the Scream films, I can honestly say this is the one I wish that they would leave out of the boxed set.
The opening sequence is just like the rest- a victim receives a phone call and ends up dead at the hands of the Ghostface killer. The best part is that Cotton Weary, accused killer turned TV talk show host, finally meets his demise in a decent death sequence complete with lots of blood and a Screaming blonde. But it’s downhill from there- it turns out that Hollywood is making Stab 3 (the franchise’s film within a film) and someone is killing off the stars of the show! And, of course, the killer has found Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell) who is now hiding in the woods and she’s forced to come out of hiding in order to save a bunch of up and coming B movie actors, her Woodsboro friends Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) and Dewey (David Arquette) as well as herself. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a girl who, just a few years before, survived a random college attack by her ex boyfriend’s mother. I’m surprised the girl isn’t in counseling or locked up in some random mental institution. Truthfully, that’s the kind of storyline that may have given this flick a chance.
One by one, Ghostface knocks off actors, a bodyguard, the director, before finally revealing himself to Sydney in an overdone, lengthier than it should have been finale. Sure, there was some good gore, but a lot of it was watered down and the plot was pieced together in an effort to force it into making sense with the first two films. Before it was all said and done the viewer has witnessed a slew of forgettable death sequences, a twisted brother sister relationship that we didn’t even know existed, and Randy (Jamie Kennedy) being forced into making a comeback via video tape.
Talk about a mess.
In all, Scream 3 wasn’t the most terrible slasher film I’ve ever had the displeasure of sitting through, but it certainly wasn’t the best. Dimension’s thought process was the wave of money they were hoping would come from a presold idea complete with returning cast members. It was a nice thought, but it just didn’t work. It isn’t what fans of either the franchise or director Wes Craven expected. Instead, it’s that film you wish Kevin Williamson had time to write, or, at the very least, would make a triumphant return to the editing room.