Scream 3 is kind of a mess of a movie. Out of the three original Scream movies I’ve seen this one the fewest times. This was only the second time that I’ve seen Scream 3 and it had taken me almost a decade to see it the first time. This is probably the worst of the Scream franchise, but this is part of a slasher franchise that is so good its still better than a lot of sequels. It also had to follow behind Scream 2, which is an unenviable task.
Scream 3 was directed by Wes Craven. It was written by Ehren Kruger with Kevin Williamson still being credited with the characters. Wes Craven’s hand is felt all over the way the movie feels and looks. The story is a mess and that’s something that easily noticeable. There were several rewrites, which just adds to the chaotic nature of the story. Williamson also had some input on the script but was apparently ignored by Kruger. All of it certainly adds to the much different feel that the movie has.
The cast for Scream 3 continued the tradition of returning actors with so new people added into the mix. It stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courtney Cox Arquette, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Foley, Lance Henriksen, Matt Keeslar, Jenny McCarthy, Emily Mortimer, Parker Posey, Deon Richmond, and Patrick Warburton. There are also a couple of cameos that are really fun. Both Roger Corman and Carrie Fisher have fun cameos. Carrie Fisher’s cameo is a little bit more than just a cameo but is a lot of fun. There’s an additional layer of connection between the returning cast which comes from the characters having gone through so much while the actors have worked together for so long. Parker Posey is a lot of fun in her role as Jennifer Jolie. She adds a new energy that wasn’t in either of the previous movies but adds a new flavor to the movie.
The plot of Scream 3 takes up four years after the first movie. It opens with another cold open kill. This time the target is Cotton Weary and his new girlfriend. He’s become a talk show host in Los Angeles since the events of the second movie. This draws in Gale because the detectives working the case go to her for help. Cotton had a role in the new movie Stab 3, which leads to another actor involved in the movie being killed. Sidney had been living in isolation, with only a couple people knowing where she is. The killer somehow gets her number and calls her. This leads her to coming to the police station to help. Others connected to the movie have been killed all while there’s a mystery connected to Maureen Prescott. The true mastermind behind the original killings are revealed.
Marco Belltrami returns to score the movie. The score is just as good as the previous scores. The stunts are amped way up in Scream 3. That includes a ridiculous bump that a stuntman does that looks like he falls on his head. There’s also a house that explodes, which is a new addition to the series. The effects for all of the kills are really good. Patrick Wartburton’s death makeup is gnarly looking and a standout.
Scream 3 is a fun but messy slasher and a low point of the franchise. The franchise would rebound eleven years later. There’s also a new way of looking at the movie with the somewhat recent outing of Hollywood predators. You can stream this alongside the first two movies on Paramount +. I would give Scream 3 7 voice changers out of 10.