Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Month o' Horror: Scream 3

Well, it couldn't last forever, I suppose.

As inventive and subversive of the genre that they were intended to be a part of as the first two Scream films were, the third film simply couldn't live up to the bar set by its predecessors (and that's even conceding that the bar was lowered following the second film). While the marketing materials in the box set give the impression that Scream "Trilogy" was intended as a trilogy from the get go, it seems pretty obvious upon viewing the third that this is a flat out lie intended only to make it look like the third film wasn't a disgusting grab at fans' wallets.

Screenwriter Kevin Williams didn't return to pen the script for the third outting, and director Wes Craven only signed on after being promised a greenlight on his own non-horror project, ensuring that he was likely not putting his heart and soul into the film. Which, for the record, shows.

Even Neve Campbell seemed reluctant to return, as her character appears in no more than half the film, and it might even be subustantially less. Instead, we're left with Courtney Cox and David Arquette carrying the film, making Scream 3 the "Gale and Dewey" show. And while these character, and their on-again-off-again romance might have been moderately entertaining in the background of the previous two films, it's nowhere near interesting enough to be thrust into the spotlight, as is done in Scream 3.

Also lost in the third outting is any attempt to poke at the conventions of the horror genre. Instead what gets poked at is the Hollywood system in general. If I didn't know better, I'd assume after watching this that both the screenwriter and the director had a overwhelming hate-on for the film industry while they were putting this film together. Hollywood actors, actresses, directors, and businessmen are portrayed in a stunningly negative light. I can only assume that the producers behind the film though that these scathing attacks were funny, because otherwise I can't imagine how something this critical could have gotten the green light from within the hollywood system.

And without spoilling the specifics of the end, I can tell you this: The inevitable reveal of the third murderous mastermind is likely to leave you with a reaction along the lines of, "Oh, it's him. Uh, who the fuck cares about him?" instead of the sort of, "Oh, of COURSE it was him!" sort of moment that we'd been expecting after two films with a far more logical explanation at their respective climaxes.

While there has been recent speculation that a Scream 4 may be in the works, I can only hope that for fans of the horror genre, and fans of at least the first two scream films, that this speculation remains nothing more than speculation. The end of this serious is awkward and embarassing enough as it is. Let's not actively work to make it any worse.

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