Film Reviews:

Scream 3

(Wes Craven, US, 2000)

A couple of years on from the events of Scream 2, and Courtney Cox is giving lectures at journalism school, whilst Neve Campbell lives in a picturesque but remote mountain retreat giving Californian counselling to women via the telephone. But it isn't long before the person on the end of the line sounds just like the serial killer from the first two outings and before you know it both women are back on the trail of a killer that no-one appears capable of guessing the identity of.

The postmodernism of the original Scream has here descended into self parody with cameos from the likes of Jay and Silent Bob (taking a studio lot tour) and Carrie Fisher (complete with Star Wars jokes - how imaginative!). Campbell is all dewy-eyed and quivering, pouting lips. A cute if rather simplistic cypher. To be fair, Campbell struggles hard to make anything of what the limited script offers her in the way of 'character'. As ever, there are lots, and I mean LOTS, of predictable false jumps, particularly telephones ringing loudly at inopportune moments. This is lazy, by the numbers direction at its finest. The dialogue of the killer begins to sound as offensive as it is simplistic, c.f. calling a potential female victim a "fuckin' pig", and points to an unsavoury side far removed from the glossy teen horror finish.

The high spots are few and very short lived. An appearance by a key character on video tape from the first two outings is done well, and lines like "To me Hollywood is about death" hint at a more interesting intellect. However, the direction is slick in the worst sense and mechanical throughout. The result comes across like a live action Scooby Doo only less believable, and is at least a good half hour too long. 5/10

Rob Dyer

See also:

Final Destination
Final Destination 2
I Know What You Did Last Summer
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer
Scooby Doo
Scream 2


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