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SCREAM 3

SYNOPSIS:
Three and a half years after the slayings which terrified the New England town of Woodsboro, survivor Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) lives in seclusion in California. Meanwhile in Hollywood, production is underway on Stab 3: Return To Woodsboro, a thriller based on the killings. When a murder occurs on the set of Stab 3, TV reporter and Woodsboro expert Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox Arquette) is called to the scene by LAPD detectives while Sidney is again menaced by a killer wearing the same mask and using the same methods as before. Teaming up with Gale and Sidney to track down the killer is Dewey Riley (David Arquette) a former Woodsboro policeman and old flame of Gale who is now the technical advisor on Stab 3. As the murders continue the race is on to stop the killer adding the real life Woodsboro participants and their on-screen counterparts to the body count.

"If the makers of Scream are so savvy about the rules of the horror movie game they should know that unless you're making a star-driven, A-grade epic like The Exorcist there's no excuse for a running time of over 100 minutes. Despite numerous clever touches, sequelitis takes hold of the series third time around where a bloated two hour running time and almost complete lack of genuine scares finally does it in. Running time aside it's almost as good as you could expect from a franchise which dealt so many smart cards in its initial outing anything else was bound to be a let-down. The main plot isn't worth worrying about and we all know it even before entering the cinema - the side attractions supply the oomph. Cameos by Roger Corman, Silent Bob and Jay of Clerks etc fame and Carrie Fisher's hilarious role as a photo archivist are much more lively than yet another body count by the killer in the cheap costume. Of the new characters Parker Posey registers impressively as the method acting screen version of Gale Weathers and Patrick Dempsey (missing in action since Lover Boy and Coupe De Ville) does a few neat things with his oddball detective character. It's always fun playing pick the killer, Neve Campbell is again splendid as poor Sidney and director Wes Craven still handles this kind of material as well as anyone but long stretches of inactivity make it a chore before the big reveal at the climax. Original Scream writer Kevin Williamson's touch is missing when it really counts and although there's just enough here to get by let's hope this is where the series is laid to rest."
Richard Kuipers

"Slasher parodies and slasher-parody parodies are loaded with self-reference. Itís what makes them so much fun while getting away with so much pointless gore. Scream, written by Kevin Williamson, ignited the tradition in 1996. Despite a slew of copycat horror-comedies starring model-perfect TV stars (think Scream 2, Urban Legend, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and the recent Aussie attempt, Cut), Scream stands as the pinnacle of the genre. It was sharply clever and delightful fun. Alas, the game is up, the scene is tired and worn. Itís time to call it a wrap. This little sub-genre is over as quickly as it began. Scream 3 - going to great lengths to explain itís completing the trilogy - is written by Ehren Kruger, not Kevin Williamson, and as a result is slower and sillier than its predecessors. Scream 3 follows the same blueprint that Williamson set in stone, the same running-from-the-masked-guy chase scenes, the same menacing phone calls, the same references to other movies (Reservoir Dogs, The Godfather, and Star Wars), the same innocuous hints toward the killer's identity. Campbell Ė whoís better than this Ė is treated like a guest star, not really getting involved until about half an hour in. The avalanche of dull exposition is of no real consequence, and is full of illogical hooey, of herrings as red as blood, and of cardboard characters. Wes Craven appears to be bored with the monster he created, giving us less stylish direction here. He over-kills the night scenes and the dimly lit interiors. The film (and the genre) is as limp as the string of pointlessly stabbed victims it leaves behind. They have no real bearing - they're just bodies - even if they are as cute as Jenny McCarthy. In fact she gets the most telling line; "Jesus, I gotta get a new agent!" They all do. The Scream movies now resemble episodes of Scooby Doo, which are super if you're 8. Itís obvious Scream 3 is pandering to the sophomore demographic. It delivers neither genuine scares nor genuine laughs. If horror films are to work, they require a little danger, a little creepiness. Try Wes Craven's New Nightmare, Evil Dead, Hellraiser, or the sci-fi horror Event Horizon for films which leave you truly unnerved."
Shannon J. Harvey

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 1

SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES

SCREAM 3 (M15+)
(US)

CAST: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Foley,

Lance Henriksen, Parker Posey, Live Schreiber, Carrie Fisher, Kevin Smith, Roger Corman

DIRECTOR: Wes Craven

PRODUCER: Daniel K. Arredondo, Dixie J. Capp, Cathy Konrad, Marianne Maddalena, Julie Plec, Kevin Williamson.

SCRIPT: Kevin Williamson, Ehren Kruger

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Deming

EDITOR: Patrick Lussier

MUSIC: Marco Beltrami

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bruce Alan Miller

RUNNING TIME: 118 min

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 23, 2000







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