7/19/10

Things I Love about Scream 3

For some reason, Scream III always gets treated like the red-headed stepchild of Wes Craven's Scream Trilogy.  People don't like it as much as the first two films; and I don't get that.  For my money, Scream III is the wittiest, most self referential of the films.  With it's knowledge of what's come before, and it's constant ribbing of the movie business in general; I find it to be one of those rare movies that not only works as a horror film, but a satire as well.  That said, let's take a look at some of the things I love about Scream III:


* Hooray for Hollywood!: The movie opens with a shot of the Hollywood sign lit by a traffic chopper, and immediately we are aware of the fact this is a movie about movies; more so than it's predecessors.
* Respect for the Master:  Roger Corman appears as a studio executive who seems to frown upon the exploitative nature of Stab 3, the film within the film.  Fans of the work of Mr. Corman will no doubt get a chuckle from this.
* After all, Gale Weathers, you're such a complex character: Parker Posey as the ditsy, driven, crazed, Jennifer Jolie playing Gale Weathers in the Stab 3 film ... no doubt about it, Posey and Courtney Cox are a match made in Bitch Heaven!
 * The Death of Sarah Darling:  Killing off the irritating Jenny McCarthy early in the game was a good move.  Much like the similarly irritating Drew Barrymore being knocked off in the first reel of Scream.  I am sure that Ms. McCarthy and Ms. Barrymore are nice people, but, for whatever reason, I find them both nerve racking - I am pretty sure it's their speaking voices - just sayin' is all.
* Jay and Silent Bob's cameo appearance at the studio:  Jay see's Gale on the studio lot and say's, "Holy shit, Silent Bob, it's that TV newschick Connie fucking Chung. Hey Connie, how's Maury?" 
 * Detective McDreamy: Patrick Dempsy as Detective Kincaid, the movie obsessed cop investigating the murders is a great character...right up to the big reveal, he's a prime suspect!
* A Job that suits her: Sidney (Neve Campbell) is hiding out in Monterey, California under an assumed name and works for a women's crisis hot line.  Brilliant!
 * The Killer's scripted clue: When the killer faxes a new script as to how the movie (and the killings) will progress...
*KA BOOM!!: ...and then blows up Jennifer's house.
* Randy's Back!: When the gang meets up with Randy's sister, they are given a video tape the dead hunk made just before he was killed - and from beyond the grave, Randy Meeker (Jamie Kennedy) continues his sage advice as to how you survive a horror film.
* The Hardy Girls:  Jennifer and Gale team up to figure out who Sid's mother really was; the banter between the two of them is a riot...I wish someone would give Posey and Cox a sitcom!.
* Carrie Fisher!: As the studio archivist, and dead ringer for that actress who played in Star Wars, Fisher delivers one of the funniest lines in the film: " I was up for Princess Leia. I was this close. So, who gets it? The one who sleeps with George Lucas."
* Gee, but it's great to be back home:  When Sid ends up on the set of Stab 3, she is pursued by the killer through a mock-up the house she lived in during the events of Scream.  This scene reminded me of a similar moment in Wes Craven's New Nightmare.

*Milton's House of Fun:  The film's climax is set in a sprawling Hollywood mansion that is filled with hidden passageways and secret rooms.  I could not help thinking how much the house was reminiscent of Norma Desmond's palace from Sunset Blvd.
* The Secret to being Superhuman: When the Killer reveals his bullet proof vest, we finally understand how Michael Myers, Jason, and the rest of them keep on coming back for more!
* Is that the best you got, punk?! :  Sid's reaction at the Killer's explanation as to why he's doing what he's doing is priceless - "God, why don't you stop your whining and get on with it, I've heard this shit before!" 
 *Art imitates life:  In the end, the survivors go back to Sid's ranch house and Officer Dewey asks Gale Weathers to marry him ...everyone say it with me, "Awwwwwww"
*Letting in some fresh air, finally:  In the final seconds of Scream III, we watch as a breeze blows open Sid's front door and we wait for the shocking ending, for the killer to reemerge brandishing his knife...and we continue to wait.  But all we get is an idyllic setting, the sounds of wind-chimes, and the promise of a happy ending.

8 comments:

Fred [The Wolf] said...

I don't get why 3 gets so much hate either. I think 2 is the worst of the trilogy. I thought this one was pretty fun and Parker Posey was the best part for me.

Drew said...

I don't hate it, but I also don't like the move toward more comedy at the expense of horror. I never found this one very scary. And I think the kills are lamely bloodless, especially. Tyson getting tossed onto the cement? Angelina getting it in the hall? Christine in the opening sequence? It all seemed sanitized, almost as if had already been edited for TV. I also don't think the script has the zing of the first two, overall. It's funny, but I feel like Ehren Krueger just didn't get the characters to sound like Kevin Williamson characters as much, and that just made the movie feel different in a way that didn't work quite as well. I do, however, think Parker Posey was awesome and I do think the plot took Sidney to the next logical progression while dovetailing nicely into the first film.

In short, not hate but not love.

Emily said...

Hm. You bring up some of Scream 3's charms. I hated this when it came out--and I looooved the meta sequelness of 2--and have never been happy catching moments of it in more recent years. My biggest beef is that no one important dies in the film, making it just feel kind of empty. Also, the goofy humor never amused me at the time. Perhaps I should revisit it, at least as a preview to the soon-to-come Scream 4.

Pax Romano said...

Fred, no doubt Parker pumped a lot of energy into this film.

Drew, I think by the time they got to 3 they had few choices left - if it was going to be a real horror film, it would have been something akin to a Friday the 13th-by the numbers affair. By going the satire route, I think the film makers managed to create something enjoyable. That said, I was shocked when Cotton was knocked off in the first reel- furthermore, Randy tells them (via videotape) that "all bets are off:, so that makes the viewer assume that one of the three central characters is going to die - but they don't! That's because "all bets are off". Whatever the case, I appreciate your view, thanks for the comment!

Emily, I felt the same way the first time I saw this movie, but subsequent viewings have made me appreciate it. It sort of grew on me, and over time, I think I "got" the joke. Or maybe I am just getting easier to please as I age.

Sarah said...

I love all 3 for different reasons. I even love seeing the shiny Dimension Films logo at the start! Scream was alway very self aware. I am literally peeing my pants (in a good way) about Scream 4!

Pax Romano said...

Sarah, not sure if I want to see anymore Scream films. For me it was all wrapped up with 3; just make a new movie and put in a subtle nod to Scream, but don't drag out the same story and then "up date" it.

Rob said...

I had seriously mixed feelings about S3 when it came out (I still sorta do, but I'll watch it when I happen across it on TV), but those are good solid defenses, esp/ Parker Posey, she never fails to amaze me!

Spike Ghost said...

i don't get the hate this movie gets. Sure it's not as good as the first, but i find it nearly as clever and fun. Courtney Cox and Parker Posey were great together.
I mean sure, the motive is a little pulled by the hair, but that's not so bad, especially since it fits in that kind of movies.