Scream 3


Screaming trio: Jennifer, Gail and Dewey (Posey, Cox and Arquette) worry about what might jump out at them at any moment now...

dir Wes Craven • scr Ehren Kruger
with Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Parker Posey, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Foley, Matt Keeslar, Emily Mortimer, Lance Henriksen, Jenny McCarthy, Liev Schreiber, Carrie Fisher, Heather Matarazzo, Jamie Kennedy, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes
Dimension 00/US 4 out of 5 stars
See also: SCRE4M (2011)
Review by Rich Cline
If you believe the PR, Scream 3 isn't yet another slasher sequel: It's the concluding chapter of the trilogy in which all bets are off, the past is up for reinterpretation and the story comes to its final conclusion. Well, Craven and Kruger (now there's a promising partnership!) have come up with one of the best scary movies in years--miles more effective and smart than Scream 2--full of deadpan humour, red herrings and some very good jolts.

Sidney (Campbell) is now in hiding in California, trying to put her gruesome past behind her, but the masked killer is still on her trail. Hollywood has become bored with the real-life events and created a work of pure fiction for Stab 3, the film-within-a-film this time. And when the cast members start dropping one by one, journalist Gail (Cox) and small-town cop Dewey (Arquette) join forces with a L.A. detective (Dempsey) to figure out what's happening once and for all ... and of course to obey the rules of the trilogy!

For a film in the teen slasher genre, the script is a minor masterpiece, never underestimating its audience and keeping us guessing right up to the final unmasking (with a few more good surprises to come after that). Much more effectively than the first two films, the self-awareness and dry humour add to the overall sense of things and raise the stakes significantly. And the cast is full of hilariously astute cameos and performances, most notably Posey's irritating scream queen and Foley's bratty director. Yes, it's utterly ridiculous, but it's also continuously clever and entertaining. And a rare Part 3 that's even better than its predecessors.

[18--strong violence, themes, language] 23.Mar.00
US release 4.Feb.00; UK release 28.Apr.00

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obey the rules of the trilogy"It was fun, but I still think the first one was the best. I felt old when I looked around and realized the theater was packed with high schoolers!" --Lynette S, California.

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© 2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

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