Friday, October 16, 2009

THE RETURN OF 31 DAYS OF HORROR: #16 Scream 3


From the very start of Scream 3, the series has given up all the ambition that it originally had, while the sequel tried and failed to do something different, it’s clear from minute one that Scream 3 intends to scratch off the try. Which ironically allows it to put together it’s first decent suspense sequence since the original, which features Liev Schrieber’s wrongfully accused killer driving across LA traffic trying to prevent his girlfriend’s murder. It’s a suspenseful clever scene that takes a couple of nice left turns and it’s just about the only thing nice I have to say about this movie. Well OK they gave Lance Henriksen big screen work, and the Roger Corman cameo is nice. Also ironic since Craven didn’t come out of The Corman stable. And the way they choose to bring Jamie Kennedy back is actually kind of clever (Note that is the only time Jamie Kennedy and clever will be used in the same sentence).

Scream 3 follows the making of Stab 3, the final film in the trilogy inspired by the events of Scream. Aside from Day For Night, contrary to Samuel Johnston it is making a movie within a movie that is the actual last refuge of a scoundrel. It’s always the surest sign that a franchise has run out of ideas, and Scream 3 proves to be no exception.

It attempts to wring some laughs out of placing the characters together with their “real life” counter parts. But that just means we get Parker Posey (who don’t get me wrong is occasionally a comic genius “DQ”) at her twitchiest and a fucking Jay And Silent Bob cameo.

When cast members of the film start to die, what’s left of the original Woodsboro gang come together again. The movie does occasionally float a good idea only to ignore it. I like the idea of Sydney slasher proofing her home, but as she’s never attacked there the film misses the chance to test that theory. Scream 3 what it lacks in humor and scares it makes up for with missed opportunities.

Scream 3 is so amateurish at times that it’s hard to believe that Craven made it (hard until one considers that his follow up was Cursed). Parts of it are comically inept, as when the film subtly conveys that Sydney is afraid she’s turning out like her mother, by having a dream sequence in which her Mother’s ghost comes into her room and begins to moan “You’re just like me Sydney. You’re just like me.” Now subtly isn’t one of Craven’s qualities as a director but this looks gauche compared to even to the bumbling cop subplot in The Last House On The Left.

So the Scream trilogy ends in disappointment. But despite the “This is the final film in a trilogy” hype, Scream IV is apparently being prepped with Williamson back in the saddle, which considering the last thing he did was Vampire Diaries, means considerably less then it used to. Still it’ll be interesting to see what comes of it. Remember the first (and still only good) Scream came out when Slasher’s where very out of vogue. Underdog status suits it. All the raw materials for something great are present, now it’s just time to see if they can be put back together again.

1 comment:

Wings said...

Definitely the weakest of the 3. Or 4, maybe. In the future. Weird.