Scream 3

dir.Wes Craven
st.Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Jenny McCarthy and Lance Henrikson

Scream was a film which cleverly parodied the slasher genre by discussing onscreen what was happening in the context of horror films. Scream was responsible for reviving the Hollywood slasher film, and inspired the genre to be funnier. Some people found Scream scary, I didn't, but then again some people find Tom Cruise sexy, and I find that scary. Scream 2 was not so inventive. It tried for more self-referencing wittiness, threw in some twists to surprise us, but went nowhere we weren't expecting. Scream 2 could have been worse, it could have been I Know What you Did Last Summer or its even worse sequel.

Wes Nightmare On Elm Street Craven has learnt from experience. Kevin Williamson was the writer on parts 1 and 2, but had obviously used up all his good ideas in the first film, so Wes has dismissed him and brought in a new writer (Ehren Kruger) for the third film. Kruger brings in more vitality and ideas, and Craven is well credentialed to handle a horror film and the finish product is competent and enjoyable, a surprise given its almost two hour running time, which is long for a horror film and gave it potential to concentrate on boring and irrelevant plot elements.

In the film work has commenced on Stab 3 (the movie within a movie that is the film version of Scream) and the actors are being killed in the same order as their characters in the script. Courtney Cox, David Arquette and Neve Campbell from the previous Scream films return to find out who is behind the killings. Scream 3 has all the ingredients you want in a slasher film - a high bodycount, blood, scares to make you jump out of your seat, false leads, twists, and most importantly - humour. In the film the characters discuss what is meant to happen in a trilogy, like 'forget the rules', but they haven't forgotten the rules and the film is formulaic but, what film isn't? After so many dud horror films (The Haunting, Cut), this is good to watch, it's fun, it's scary, and it makes fun of itself.

Jenny McCarthy is in Scream 3 and I still do not understand the fascination that surrounds this woman. Is the mere fact that she drops her clothes for Playboy the only reason she is a sex symbol and can have her own sitcom, MTV spots, etc? Having blonde hair, big breasts and being photographed nude is not enough to make someone attractive to me.

I should mention that Lance Henrikson is in the movie, and I mention that for no reason other than the fact I think he is great. This role isn't as much fun as his appearance in Dog Day Afternoon, but any Lance is good Lance. Other appearances of note - Jay and Silent Bob (from Kevin Smith's films), Carrie Fisher, and Patrick Warbuton (Elaine's boyfriend Puddy from Seinfeld)

Scream 3 is the final instalment in the trilogy, but knowing Wes Craven's penchant for dragging a series into oblivion, would we be shocked to see a number 4 come out? There is nothing exceptional about this film, but if you liked Scream then this is in the same vein, not as original, but what film with a '3' in its title can be, that is part of the joke.

sebastian niemand
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