Scream 3

Scream 3 ★★½

Another mystery killer (or pair of killers, if this is to continue the series' usual turn of events) is dressing up in the same old Halloween costume and stabbing people associated with poor Sidney Prescott, a woman who must have an incredibly good therapist for her to still be going about her normal life given all the traumatic situations she's witnessed by now.

As in the first two films, Scream 3 has moments of knowing comedy, lots of red herrings and cameo appearances, and an excessive running time. It could easily have been shortened by a minute just by cutting out the pointless appearance by bloody Jay & Silent Bob, for a start.

Almost as annoying as those two is the fact that great swathes of the plot hinge on the killer(s) having a voice changing unit that can do perfect impersonations of the rest of the cast. Not just vocal matches, but every nuance, every figure of speech, is good enough to convince the person on the other end of the line that they're talking to a friend, male or female. And there are a lot of those scenes.

In fact the whole thing is extremely repetitive, especially three films in, and it doesn't help that Sidney, Gale and Dewey are still the main characters; I never really liked any of them in the first film, let alone now, they're just too damned wholesome. Of course, there needs to be a body count, so a group of new characters are introduced, primarily the cast of Stab 3, including Jenny McCarthy as one unfortunate actress. Really, the only way any Jenny McCarthy character should be killed is by something that she could've been vaccinated against; that'll teach her.

Given how obsessed the Scream killers are with making their victims the stars of their own slasher movies, it annoys me that the killers are rubbish at being slasher movie villains, only ever using knives and occasionally guns. They result in clean, gore-free deaths, and I'm bored of these movies having so little graphic content. Looking back, it's easy to see why Saw and Hostel had to happen, and why they were so controversial when they came along. Scream 3 is so tame. There's even a scene towards the end where the killer is throwing Sidney over furniture and full-on punching her in the face, and yet she doesn't have a scratch or a bruise on her, and her makeup remains perfect.

As a standalone movie, this is an okay watch; it passes the time just fine. But if you're marathoning the whole series, this is where it really starts to feel tired.

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