Written for Luther College Chips on March 2, 2000
“Scream 3” does not exactly stack up to the classics in the horror genre, but “Scream” fans will be glad to know that it at least stands taller than that embarrassment known as “Scream 2.”
The plot concerns, big surprise, yet another masked killer on the loose; however, this time in Hollywood. Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, and David Arquette all reprise their now-familiar roles, while a large group of lesser stars and newcomers round out the cast. Some of the more interesting moments in the film come in the form of star cameos, such as Carrie Fisher providing a great moment for “Star Wars” fans.
Behind the camera for his third “Scream” film is one of the legends of horror cinema, Wes Craven. However, like most well known horror directors, Craven’s career is spotty and his mere presence does not do much to lift “Scream 3” to the level of the first. Interestingly, for the writing duties of “Scream 3,” “Scream” creator Kevin Williamson has been replaced with unknown Ehren Kruger. This change might not seem like a good move at first, but in looking at the films that Williamson wrote after “Scream,” such as “The Faculty,” this was definitely a good move.
I cannot go so far as to say that fans of “Scream” are going to be walking out of the theater satisfied; it really depends on what you’re looking for. Surprisingly, there was not a lot of cheap gore, although a pretty impressive number of people die. Maybe I am just de-sensitized to the violence, but the sheer amount of blood on the screen did not compare with the first film. There also was not a lot of top-notch acting. The fact that Jenny McCarthy is in the movie does not raise expectations too high. The soundtrack was not too bad, but the good songs are just re-hashed from “Scream.” The film also seemed to lack the stimulating killer-identity mystery aspect since the cast was so big and people get killed so fast that I did not really care who the killer was.
General opinions on “Scream 3” have been pretty skewed. By the time you read this review, it will likely be spending its last night in Decorah and I do not encourage you to rush downtown and see it. Instead, I would wait until video. Even better, I would wait until one of your friends (the dumb one), rents it and invites you over to watch it. That way, if you are a fan of the first, you might find some cheap entertainment for a couple of hours.