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Scream 3 (2000)

After my overall disappointment with 'Scream 2', I can honestly say that I didn't anticipate this sequel to be much of an improvement. That was until the excellent cold open featured here killed Cotton Weary. After discovering he had a TV show called '100% Cotton', I figured it was certainly time for him to go. Let me just say now, just like 'Scream 2' the cold open unfortunately is about as good as it gets for this film.

This is the most meta and self-aware of any of the 'Scream' franchise. Featuring a movie within a movie, something that I have a strong love/hate relationship with. The on set recreation of Woodsboro for the 'Stab' films looks incredible and the set trickery behind the scenes that we get to see, is very entertaining to watch. However, the cast used to play the original 'Scream' characters are some of the most annoying actors I have seen on screen. Not only that, but if this is the set of 'Stab 3', why are they replaying the events of the first 'Scream' movie?

Thankfully, Roger L. Jackson returns to play the voice of Ghostface once again. Jackson is a voice actor who is now as synonymous with the 'Scream' franchise as Robert Englund is with the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' franchise. Only unfortunately, Ghostface, as a character, is now armed with a multiple voice changer, giving him the ability to recreate other characters' voices, ultimately reducing Jacksons on-screen presence. For me, this is a plot device that makes for some very annoyingly convenient situations, not only is this something that compromises the overall intimidation of the Ghostface character, but it is so unconvincing for the time of release.

The dream sequences featuring Sidney dreaming of her mother are so out of place in this franchise. Whoever made the call to include this has limited knowledge of the (somewhat) grounded element of everything that has come before this film. However, this is not the only plot device that feels out of place in this production, the relationship between Gale, played by Courtney Cox and Dewey, played by David Arquette, is extremely jarring, especially considering the the events at the end of 'Scream 2'. I can appreciate how time has past since the last entry, but to destroy a character dynamic that fans have been rooting for since the original off screen is just another example of the poor writing and fan disservice on display with this sequel.

Due to scheduling conflicts and only being contracted to 3 weeks shoting availability, Sidney, played by franchise anchor, Neve Campbell, is barely in this film, and it's a noticeable absence. Instead, we follow Dewey and Gale as we are introduced to a group of second rate characters that are just poor imitations of the original cast. Parker Posey is the most recognisable of these sub-plot characters and I have to say, I think she is brilliant. And, although more expressive than required, I think it makes for some very entertaining scenes with her and Gale.

The killers grand identity revelation, although obvious, the motive wasn't. Having Roman be Sidney half brother, and that he orchestrated the events of the first film by providing Billy and Stu the motives to go on the initial Ghostface killing spree, completely undermines the events of the first film. I can appreciate this was trying to come full circle with the concluding entry in the trilogy, however for me this not only recons the ending of the first film, but weakens the characters of Billy and Stu as original Ghostface killers.

I didn't find this entry to be particularly scary or meta, just a borderline spoof of the first two films, all wrapped up in an overly excentuated 'Scooby Doo' style mystery, somehow involving our central focus characters. I find 'Scream 3' to be an embarrassing entry to the 'Scream' legacy, and it is not difficult to understand why it took nearly 11 years for them to revisit this franchise after this films release.



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