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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Scream 3
Scream 3
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Review by Jeremy Kleinman | posted July 10, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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The Movie:
Scream 3 is a fitting end to the Scream trilogy. It contains much of what made the first two films great, lots of frights, a few laughs, a good cast, a few great cameos and a self-awareness of both the horror genre and the first Scream film expressed this time in the filming of "Stab 3" throughout much of the first half of the movie. While those hoping for a movie which greatly outdoes the earlier Scream films might be somewhat disappointed by the film, fans of the Scream series will still greatly enjoy this film.
Because each of the three movies focuses in large part on who the killer is and there are references to the earlier culprits in this film, one should definitely watch the films in order and not watch Scream 3 first. Those who have seen the first two films however, will enjoy the subtle references made throughout the film to earlier events, particularly those in the original film.
Like the other two films before it, Scream 3 has an enjoyable cast, featuring returning cast members Courtney Cox Arquette, David Arquette, Neve Campbell and Jamie Kennedy and featuring new cast members Scott Foley, Lance Henriksen, Jenny McCarthy, Parker Posey, Emily Mortimor and Patrick Dempsey who does a surprisingly good job as a cop with more than a passing interest in the plight of Sydney Prescott, Neve Campbell's character as the people she knows and the people playing the people she knows find themselves in grave danger. Also extremely enjoyable in the film are the cameos of Carrie Fisher, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, and in a larger role, Patrick Warburton, ("Puddy" from Seinfeld) Warburton's use of the word "Aight" is a true high point in the film.
The suspense of the film is quite good and the audience is continually left guessing who the murderer might be. The killing scenes are at times graphic but will often leave viewers on the edge of their seats. Wes Craven unquestionably proves his mettle as a master of horror and suspense and does a good job of crowning off the trilogy with a good film. While many other horror franchises, including Craven's Nightmare on Elm Street have gone on to boast a series of eight or more films, Craven deserves a great amount of credit for making the film into a trilogy and settling there. This film does have a number of parallels with "Wes Craven's New Nightmare," the first horror film in the genre to truly deconstruct the genre from within, but even for those who have seen "New Nightmare," Scream 3 is still a very enjoyable film.
The Picture:
Scream 3 is presented in Widescreen format. It is an anamorphic transfer, at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. While the colors and skin-tones are generally quite good throughout the film, there were a few instances in which there appeared to be some imperfections early on the film. These were relatively brief and only perceptible with regard to the face of characters somewhat in the background. All in all, however, the picture quality is quite good. The film may also be viewed in full-screen format with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.
The Sound:
The sound on this DVD is extremely enjoyable. From the haunting music playing during the menus to the sounds throughout, the sound of the DVD, presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital makes the film even more enjoyable. The dialogue is clear throughout the film, and a viewer will not have to constantly adjust the volume when action is taking place.
The Extras:
The bonus materials provided on this DVD are quite good and bode well for the Scream Box Set which is supposed to be released later this year. The DVD contains a feature-length commentary by Director Wes Craven, Producer Marianne Maddalena and Editor Patrick Lussier, as well as deleted scenes and an alternate ending, also with commentary. The DVD also offers outtakes, a short behind the scenes montage, the theatrical and international trailers, literally a dozen television ads, cast and crew bios, a trailer for the soundtrack, and a music video for Creed's "What If".
The audio commentary on this film is extremely enjoyable. The commentary goes into great detail about the making of the movie, the rush to get the movie made and the great number of last minute additions and changes that take place, insight into Craven and Co.'s attempts to lead the audience to suspect different characters of being the murderer, all the unfortunate mistakes that made it into the film (quite humorously, they point out the day that they started shooting and how, in the middle of the film, Arquette and Cox Arquette are much more tan, having just arrived from their honeymoon in the Bahamas) the cameos, including one by Wes Craven as a tourist with a video camera just after two other notable studio tour guests, all the appearances of the film's actual crew in the film and all the many references to the original Scream and Scream 2. The commentary goes into detail about what the filmmakers wanted for certain scenes, what they tried but did not use and what was cut before the final product was released. Because there is some substantial discussion as to who the killer is, it is imperative that one not watch the commentary until after watching the movie, but it is thoroughly enjoyable and definitely worth listening to, particularly because it will clue the viewer in to Cravens manipulations and also the great detail employed. In a scene in which the original house from Scream is revisited, Craven does a great job pointing out all the items which refer to the deaths which took place in that house in the original. The commentary track is not to be missed.
The alternate ending is not drastically different from the ending which was used (still the same killer, etc.). Watching it with commentary is fun, particularly because it allows the viewer to understand the differences and why the ending used in the film won out. Both the alternate ending and the deleted scenes definitely look unfinished, however and are somewhat rough and blurry.
The deleted scenes- there are a few different takes of the film's introductory scene which are enjoyable but do not add too much to the viewing pleasure. There is an extended scene with the cast of Stab 3 in which the actor playing the black character in Stab 3 is horrified to find out that his character dies in the script and discusses the fact that "the black guy always dies." This is one of the few instances of an outright acknowledgement of a trend in the genre, other than Jamie Kennedy's character's posthumous speech on trilogies and how all the rules go out the window.
The trailers and the television ads do get extremely repetitive, particularly around the sixth or seventh commercial, but their inclusion does demonstrate the commitment to give the viewer everything the studio could give them, something that must be appreciated.
The outtakes are generally just the cast being silly or laughing while trying to deliver lines. It does give a sense of the fun the cast and crew had on the set. This is also extremely apparent in the behind the scenes montage, showing the filming of all three movies in a six minute montage set to a Nick Cage Song used in all three films.
Finally, the Creed music video, featuring David Arquette and the killer, is largely forgettable unless one is a big Creed fan. The song is decent, but does at times sound like a ripoff of the sound of the Stone Temple Pilots.
Final Thoughts:
While not necessarily the best film out of the three, Scream 3 is a fun, suspenseful, satisfying horror film which showcases Wes Cravens great talents well and builds on its two predecessors nicely. It attempts to wrap up the series and provide a whole new round of frights and thrills and does largely succeed on all fronts. While anyone who has avoided Scream 1 and 2 will know to avoid this one as well, for fans of the series, this film is highly recommended.
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