Scream 3 (2000) starring Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Lance Henriksen, Matt Keeslar, Jenny McCarthy, Emily Mortimer, Parker Posey, Liev Schreiber, Heather Matarazzo, Jamie Kennedy, Carrie Fisher directed by Wes Craven Movie Review

Scream 3 (2000)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott in Scream 3

Scary Movie gets Parodied

Fresh, fun and shocking are not words that spring to mind to describe "Scream 3", what for a while was the final chapter in the "Scream" movies. I say supposed as like any horror bad guy, they keep coming back and with "Scream 4" having been released and more than likely "Scream 5 & 6" following on it seems that final never means final in the world of horror. The thing is whilst "Scream" was fresh, funny and shocking "Scream 3" feels like it's parodying itself and not in a clever way but with corny elements, characters and dialogue which ends up laughable for completely the wrong reasons.

Having secluded herself away in a secure home in the middle of nowhere, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell - Three to Tango) becomes concerned that her nightmare has come back to haunt her when cast members on the set of "Stab 3" are being picked off. Drawn out of her hiding and with the help of Dewey (David Arquette - Never Been Kissed) and Gale (Courteney Cox - Scream 2) she learns that the murders are yet again linked to her and more importantly to her mother Maureen who unbeknown to Sidney had appeared in a few horror movies when she was younger.

Ghostface in Scream 3

"Scream 3" is not helped that to keep the storyline going, drawing Sidney Prescott back in to danger it becomes seriously contrived, touching on the fantasy with spooky dreams to try and fuel the horror. It tries to dig up a storyline about Sidney's mothers Maureen who happened to be a B-movie actress before she had Sidney, but it is so contrived that it fails to work. It spends to long trying to manufacture this back story, playing more for laughs than developing twists that it becomes not so much outright boring just a little tedious. To it's credit it keeps you guessing as to who will be the latest person to don the Ghostface mask, but it fails to really make the reasons work as to why they are yet again after Sidney Prescott, who by now must be having a mother hate issue going on.

"Scream 3" tries to be clever with it being set for the most on the set of the third movie in the "Stab" series, the fictitious series of movies which echo what happened in Woodsboro, and as such throws joke after joke about the dumbness of horror sequels, characters and actors. It even manages to bring back Randy on a bit of video advice he recorded in preparation for a possible third encounter with a killer, giving us the new laws of horror. But it just doesn't work, it's no longer clever with it's in jokes and parodying but daft and stupid failing to make you laugh, well at least for the right reasons anyway.

Maybe that was the intention, to make a seriously stupid, contrived, often illogical final movie to show how daft horror movies are when they get past the first sequel. But then in doing so it spoils the series giving us the "final" chapter that doesn't live up to what went before.

Aside from Neve Campbell who does manage to deliver that feistiness which made Sidney Prescott a good lead female the rest of the cast are there playing it for laughs. Courtney Cox, with a hair cut which is questionable, is understandably paired up again with husband David Arquette as Gale Weathers and Dewey Riley but as this series of movies have progressed their characters have ended up as comedy stooges, even more so now with rarely an interaction not suffering from some corny dialogue or faux tension.

Entering the fray is Patrick Dempsey who plays Detective Mark Kincaid, what a great name for a detective, does little of significance other than provide another character who could possibly be the killer. As for the rest well I just couldn't get excited over the performances from Jenny McCarthy, Emily Mortimer, Lance Henriksen although Parker Posey's character Jennifer Jolie provides us with a nice moment of cruel humour when Gale Weather says that she couldn't even hang on to Brad Pitt, that must have hurt for Cox to say that.

What this all boils down to is that "Scream 3" is a poor final chapter to the first "Scream" trilogy. It fails to be fresh, funny or even scary ending up spending more time parodying itself than delivering clever jokes about horror movies. It doesn't help that to come up with a new storyline they had to go completely contrived and as such it just ends up being stupid almost "Scary Movie" rather than "Scream".