Scream 3

According to director Wes Craven (Scream 2, Music of the Heart), Scream 3 brings an end to the Scream trilogy. There were only meant to be three, so three there shall be. Almost everyone is back for the final installment, but noticeably missing is creator Kevin Williamson, the person behind Dawson's Creek. The release of Scream brought about a renewed interest in the genre of teen horror movies, spawning a number of sequels. Scream's popularity derived from its ability to poke fun at itself and the genre. Both the original and the sequel are chock full of inside jokes from other horror movies. The third installment is just as fun as the other two, and manages to retain its edge over its imitators.

Scream 3 takes place a couple years after Scream 2. The effects of the first two movies are not lost on Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell, Three to Tango, Wild Things), who now works as a crisis hotline counselor. She also lives alone far away from Woodsboro or any other urban life. In Hollywood, Sunrise Studios is making Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro, the third installment of the fictional movie based on Prescott's life. Dewey Riley (David Arquette, The Shrink is In, Never Been Kissed) is working as a technical advisor on the set, and Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox Arquette) has her own tabloid television show. When the murders begin anew on the set of Stab 3, Weathers is called in to help the investigation, and Prescott is inevitably drawn back into the fracas. Revealing any more of the story will spoil both the fun and the intentions of the filmmakers.

In each Scream, horror film buff Randy (Jamie Kennedy, Enemy of the State) appears to tell the rules of the movie. In Scream 3, the rules are: there are no rules. Scream 3 ups the body count and the gore, while weaving in humorous observations about past trilogies into the storyline. As in the first two movies, there are tons of guest stars. And most of those stars will be murdered. Liev Schreiber (The Hurricane) is back to reprise his role in Stab, this time with co-stars Parker Posey (You've Got Mail), Jenny McCarthy (Diamonds), Stab director Roman Bridger (Scott Foley, Felicity), and producer John Milton (Lance Henriksen, Tarzan). Although the acting isn't spectacular, it is a couple notches above similar genre films. McCarthy in particular has some devastatingly funny lines that essentially make fun of herself. Cox Arquette and Arquette play nicely off each other (they married between Scream 2 and Scream 3). Replacing Williamson is screenwriter Ehren Kruger (Arlington Road, Reindeer Games) who manages to write a script in much the same spirit as the original two. The story is full of red herrings, and while the motivations of the killer become clear (well, to some) by the middle of the film, the identity is still not clear. Still, everything ties together well in the end, providing a satisfying sense of closure.

Haro Rates It: Pretty Good.
1 hour, 56 minutes, Rated R for strong horror violence and language.

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