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SCREAM 3, 2000
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SCREAM 3 MOVIE POSTER
SCREAM 3, 2000
Movie Reviews

Directed by Wes Craven
Starring: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Patrick Dempsey, Liev Schreiber, Parkey Posey, Jenny McCarthy, Patrick Warburton, Roger Corman
Review by Matthew Toffolo



SYNOPSIS:

Sidney visits the set of "Stab 3," after pictures of her mother become the clue to a series of murders around Hollywood.

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REVIEW:

As of this writing it was recently confirmed that they will making a Scream 4 film. But main character Sydney (Neve Campbell) will not be coming back. That seems like a logical thing to do because she was barely in Scream 3. Sydney really didn't have much to do in the 3rd Scream film except try (again) to get on with her life while another killer appears in her world and sets her back once again.

The thriller/drama storyline in Scream 3 is all about Sydney letting go of her mother's demons which causes all of her present day demons. In order for Sydney to move on with her life, she must let go of her mother. And there's nothing like a killing running around town to help you out with your internal issues. 2000 was the year of the mother issues if you go back and watch all of the TV shows and movies (Sopranos being the most remembered), and Scream 3 is all about that.

Except it really isn't. The mother letting go plot is what sets things off, but other than that Scream 3 is a movie about mocking it's past films. The conclusion is all about that plot but 80% of Scream 3 has to do with Dewey (David Arquette) and Gayle (Courteney Cox) running around the city of Los Angeles and falling in love once again. At the time of filming, Cox and Arquette were just married in real life and I'm sure they enjoyed spending 3 months on set with each other playing these roles.

The main setting of Scream 3 is the set of Stab 3, the film within the film within the film! Dewey is the creative consultant of the film (why he would do this, no one really knows. His sister and friends died! So why would he want to go back to this trauma?) and lives with the actress playing Gayle (Parker Posey). Then the real Gayle comes into town and the murders start. Just like when Gayle visited the University in the 2nd film and the murders start. She's the Jessica Fletcher of the campy movies.

Parker Posey basically steals the entire film doing an impression of Courteney Cox playing Gayle in the Scream movies. And when she's no longer in the film (you can figure out why), the movie's energy seems to go with it. This film is a must watch just because of her performance. Give credit to Cox for not minding someone parodying her in her own film franchise.

Scream 3 really doesn't work entirely if you compare it with the first two films. I was trying to figure out why and I think I found a solution:

What made the first two films work is that it was part comedy, part mystery, part horror. Think of watching a Ben Stiller film and while he's in the middle of a scene where he's in another awkward situation all of a sudden someone comes and stabs him to death. And you really don't mind that it happens. That's what made the Scream films so much fun. The characters are all basically cartoon characters and you never minded when Wily Coyote fell off a cliff. As per the last review, the Sydney

character is really the only real character in the film. Her scenes are played as a mystery as all the other scenes are played like a comedy. When you put them together you had this strange feeling of excitement because emotionally we the audience had no idea what we were supposed to feel. Were we supposed to keep laughing or were we supposed to worry about Sydney's well being? And because we were unsure, we kept watching in awe and therefore loved the films.

With Sydney's disappearance for 80% of the film in Scream 3, all we're left with is Dewey and Gayle acting like cartoon characters as everyone they meet ends up dead while they of course slip away harmed but still alive and kicking. These scenes work well in the first two films when they are paralleled with Sydney's scenes, but when it's all we get then we end up getting bored. The last 30 minutes of the film is basically them running around a big house until Sydney shows up in the last 5 minutes to wrap things up. The Tiny Tunes cartoons were only 8-10 minutes in length for a reason. That's all we can take.

Perhaps this film would of worked if Dewey and Gayle were the actual killers and were running a collusion serial killer operation for the entire franchise. It would of all made sense being that the killer kills everyone except for these two. But perhaps they couldn't of been that radical because it would of angered many of the viewers because they wouldn't of seen it coming. There's that line of intelligence when it comes to mainstream movie making. You must have a smart plot but not too smart. Kind of like newspaper writing. The story needs to be told in an entertaining and insightful way, but never cross that line of writing above a grade 5 reading level because then they will call you pretentious. And never write below a Grade 4 reading level because then they will call you stupid.

Wes Craven will probably be remembered more for these films than for his other franchises. It's because he basically created a whole new way of mainstream movie making. Neve Campbell seems to have fallen off the face of the earth after going on an impression run for 6 years and being in many hit movies, a successful franchise movie series and a popular TV show in Party of Five. Perhaps she burned herself out because she probably had about 3 days off in those 6 years.

As for Dewey and Gayle. Just like their characters, they seemed to have walked into the sunset hand in hand. Arquette can be seen 40+ times a year sitting in the front row at Laker games and Cox will always be known as Monica, the attractive neat freak who married Chandler Bing.

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