Where to begin? Scream 3 is one of those movies that as you’re watching, you find yourself thinking, “how does a movie like this get made?” It’s only then, when you realize that you’re actually watching it, that in doing so, you’re actually worse than the people who made it. It’s not that the story’s unbearable, although it does come pretty close, but it’s that delightful relish that’s gone. In Scream 3, even the creators seem bored by what they’re doing.
Before going off on what doesn’t work about Scream 3, it’s important to note what does work about it. The one saving grace of this movie is in its treatment of its characters, namely Sidney Prescott. We’ve followed Sidney long enough to hear her bitch and moan about her mommy issues and Scream 3 is no different. Then why is it better than the others, you may ask? Well, she’s in it a whole lot less. SCream 3 pretty much belongs to Gale Weathers, in a surprising turn of events. Sure, it’s a departure from the franchise, but what are horror characters if not replaceable?
Although it does offer a little Sidney Prescott reprieve, that’s not nearly enough to save the film. The whole meta thing that most people loved about Scream is back for the concluding chapter of the trilogy. However, it stopped being clever by the end of the first movie. We get it, horror movies have conventions. People have been noting that for years, yet for some reason, it’s supposed to be original when Wes Craven does it? Take a look at Wes Craven’s New Nightmare if you want good meta horror, but SCream 3 prides itself on a sense of intelligence and cleverness that isn’t really there.
The characters are molded into what the movie needs them to be and the whole Stab 3 being the location of all the murders in Scream 3? Yeah, it was a nice little wink in the opening credits of Scream 2 to throw Stab in but by now, this wink has worn off and it’s just screaming at the audience “See?!? See what I did there? It’s clever, right?”
However, what is easily the biggest letdown of Scream 3 are the kills. As any true horror fan will tell you, it’s hardly about who lives and who dies. It’s who dies the best death. In Scream 3, no one’s bringing home any awards because the murders were just lazy. WIth the exception of maybe one or two people, everyone just resigns themselves to their deaths. There’s no fighting back or even really running away. It just happens. Considering how inventive the deaths in the Nightmare on Elm Street series are, I’d grown to expect a little more from Craven.
Clearly, expecting anything from Scream 3 was the first step in a series of bad mistakes. Unfortunately, its insistence on its own cleverness undoes any fun that the movie could be. It brings nothing new to the series or even the genre and instead, re-hashes in a way that is too self-congratulatory to be any fun.