By JOHN CARTER JR
Tiger Media Network
All of the most iconic slashers have had their share of sequels, with some doing better than others. Among some of the best sequels are the likes of “Halloween 4”, “Child’s Play 2”, and “Friday the 13th Part 2”. Some of the worst include “Halloween Ends” Or “Halloween Resurrection,” “I Still Know What You Did Last Summer,” and of course who can forget “Leprechaun in the Hood.” For me, at least, there is one film franchise that rarely misses. That franchise being of course the Wes Craven fan favorite “Scream”. Here at Tiger Media Network, we have examined the vast majority of the films in the “Scream” franchise, and today we will be reviewing the worst in the series “Scream 3.”
Firstly, let’s examine the positives. Gale and Dewey feel a bit more useful in this film. While I believe we have one of the best portrayals of them in the franchise in the previous sequel, this film gives us more time with them. The use of Sideny for what we get of her in the final act is good (however it does sideline Gale and Dewey). The killer reveal is shocking and the scenes with Ghostface throughout are intense, with the scenes at the Stab movie studio being among the most intense and scary. Parker Posey as Jennifer Jolie is not only a standout but also saves this film from going any lower in terms of my rating of this film. She is hilarious, is among the few supporting newcomers that add any flavor, and initially appears to be set up as a new returner. Sadly, she is not.
That being said, what makes “Scream 3” the worst in the franchise? Let’s first talk about Neve Campbell. The “Scream films aren’t the same without the series’ main protagonist, but if the recent “Scream VI” has taught us anything it is that a film in this franchise can work without her presence. “Scream 3” tries to have its cake and eat it too. Campbell could only shoot so much for the original film, the film demonstrates if you are going to bring back the strongest written characters in the franchise (Either Sidney or Gale) then you need to give us all or nothing. Sidney only felt significant in the final act of the film, and it is that final act that feels the most memorable. That being said, the finale includes one of the most disappointing and frankly shoehorned-feeling Ghostfaces in the series with Roman Bridger. With some script changes happening in this film burning its development it left characters feeling a bit emptier with their purpose or point.
While it could be said that Sidney having a killer sibling is an interesting idea, the attempt the “Halloween” franchise had on this and the execution in the “Scream” franchise proves only how problematic this writing is for the overarching story or narrative. This revelation (again taking place in the third act) changes our interpretation of the first film, taking away from the Killer’s character arcs in that it adds even more of a negative portrayal on Maureen Prescott (Sidney’s Mother). Finally, because of this confusion with how to use the killer or the original cast the film fails to fully flesh out its new cast with only one real standout that still gets offed anyway.
Jennifer Jolie is hilarious but sadly is slain without much purpose other than being a great complementary pairing for Gale on the other hand characters like Heather Matarazzo”s Martha Meeks only serve the purpose of bringing back the apparently prematurely killed Randy back into the fray through VHS tape, which doesn’t work. Finally, of course, what did they do to our girl Courtney Cox’s hair?
In conclusion “Scream 3”, while being an entertaining ride and having its positive moments falls quite a bit short. While it is the worst film in the “Scream” franchise, I’d hardly call it a bad movie, especially when compared to the films in the opening. The film had a lot of good going for it, but sadly the lack of prominence from series regular Neve Campbell, the unfulfilled arcs for both returners and newcomers, and the retroactive changes made to the series narrative make the film deflate. For a time it remained as a whimper of an ending for our beloved characters, The film series wouldn’t return to form until years later with Wes Craven still at the helm.
John Carter (He/Him and She/Her) is a senior at Fort Hays State University, studying Psychology. John has been reviewing films and interviewing talent since 2018. John hosts The Wynonna Knows Podcast and Dear Mr. Indigo Podcasts under the pseudonyms Wynonna Lincoln and Eduardo Valentine JR on Tiger Media Network’s KFHS Radio.