Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Wes Craven|
|Produced by||Cathy Konrad
|Written by||Ehren Kruger|
Courteney Cox Arquette
|Music by||Marco Beltrami|
|Distributed by||Dimension Films|
|Release date(s)||February 4, 2000|
|Running time||117 min.|
|Preceded by||Scream 2|
Scream 3 is a 2000 film, the third installment in the successful Scream trilogy of satirical horror films. The film stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courteney Cox Arquette, each reprising their roles from the first two films.
This is the only part of the Scream cycle not to be written by Kevin Williamson, as he was busy working on his short-lived television series Wasteland. Ehren Kruger (writer of the film Arlington Road, who would later go on to write the screenplays for The Ring, The Ring Two and The Skeleton Key) was given the task of writing the script based on notes Williamson himself had sketched out.
Having experienced the trauma of the killings at Woodsboro and at Windsor College, Sidney Prescott now lives in a secluded area of California where she works as a women's crisis counselor from her home. Her home has a security gate around it and she is now practically an agoraphobic, only leaving her house to walk her pet Golden Retriever. Her whereabouts are unknown even to her surviving friends (save for Dewey and her father). Gale Weathers has become a largely successful news reporter (of a sensationalist style), thanks to the books she wrote revolving around the murders of the first two films and subsequent films based on the books. Despite the books' success, it has affected her personal life, as Dewey has apparently given up of any chance of their relationship and is instead dating actress Jennifer Jolie. Gale questions if everything she has done for her career are worth the prices she has paid.
Cotton Weary, the man wrongly convicted of killing Sidney's mother prior to the first film, is murdered along with his girlfriend Christine Hamilton for refusing to reveal information about Sidney's whereabouts. Suspected of being related to the original killings, Los Angeles police detectives led by Mark Kincaid inform Gale Weathers of Weary's murder, asking if she may know anything about a picture of a young woman found at the murder scene. When she identifies it as a picture of Maureen Prescott, Sidney's mother, it becomes apparent the killings are linked to her murder.
Sidney, Gale and Dewey become involved in investigating. The cast and crew of the latest Stab movie are systematically being killed off one by one; the actors are being killed in the order in which they die in the script. Sarah Darling is the third victim of the killer (second in Stab) when she is tricked by the killer into going to an emptied office and is knocked through a glass window and then stabbed in the back. As paranoia sets in, menacing faxes are sent to the cast's mansion telling them that the killer is outside. Dewey takes this as a bluff, meaning that the killer wants them inside and leads everyone out. Tom Prinze however cannot resist reading the next fax and runs back in, flipping a lighter to read the message in the blacked-out mansion "the killer gives mercy to the one who smells the gas" and is ignited by leaked gas which then blows up him and the house. The others outside watching are thrown down the hill by the explosion. The killer attacks Gale but is deterred by Dewey's shooting and escapes, leaving another picture of a young Maureen Prescott with the words "I killed her" written on the back.
Producer John Milton invites the cast to a party at his house. Director Roman Bridger and Jennifer check out the basement while Tyson Fox and Angelina Tyler explore the house. After realizing that the killer has tricked them into congregating at the house, Dewey and Gale split up to round up the cast and escape. Gale stumbles upon Roman's body in a chest, but she meets Jennifer and Angelina. Extremely scared, Angelina runs off alone and is murdered. The killer brazenly attacks the remaining four and wounds Dewey and Tyson. He chases Tyson and throws him over the balcony, killing him. Meanwhile, in the shuffle, Jennifer falls into a hidden passage which happens to be connected to the room where Dewey and Gale are hiding by a one-sided mirror. She meets the killer and becomes the next victim in an ironic twist where Jennifer is banging on the mirror from her side to escape her attacker. Dewey then shoots the mirror, but is too slow and she is stabbed to death. The killer next attacks Gale and knocks out Dewey. He holds them hostage to draw Sidney out to the house. When she arrives, Sidney preempts his moves and shoots him, but before she can release Gale and Dewey, his body disappears. Kincaid arrives on the scene and although initially suspicious of him after finding out earlier that he had been stalking her case, Sidney is actually saved by him from an attack by the killer, but Kincaid is rendered unconscious.
The killer chases Sidney to a room where he locks her in and reveals himself to be Roman (who had faked his own murder earlier and had been wearing a bullet-proof vest the whole time). The photos of Maureen Prescott that Roman has been leaving at the murder scenes were publicity stills of her taken 28 years ago when she secretly came to the same film studios where Stab is being filmed now, in the hopes of becoming an actress, Reena Reynolds. She went back to Woodsboro after two years but not until after she had given birth to a son: Roman. He is Sidney's half-brother. Roman tracked Reena/Maureen down four years ago but she didn't want to acknowledge him, saying that Sidney was her only child and that Reena was dead. He took this idea literally and started following and filming her, discovering her affairs with Cotton and Billy Loomis' father, Hank. Roman then 'directed' her murder and the first Woodsboro killings by showing the tapes to Billy (explaining why Billy's mother had left his father) and spurring him to kill Maureen. He also gave him other advice such as to have an impressionable accomplice (Stu Macher) to help him and the idea to frame someone else (Sidney's father). Roman then brings out John Milton (who had been gagged and stuffed in a corner of the room) and kills him in front of Sidney, further revealing that Roman is a product of rape by Milton and others, which changed Maureen forever. Roman is angry at Sidney for the life that she had with Maureen that should have been his and wants to finish it all by killing her and claiming that he is the sole survivor of her psychopathic killing spree. After dealing with far too many crazed serial killers in her life, Sidney berates Roman for finding excuses to cover up his own personal desires to kill people and they fight.
After ineffective help from Dewey outside and Kincaid who is knocked out again, Roman shoots Sidney in the torso. On pausing to check the room and assess the situation, Roman turns round and finds Sidney's body gone. Sidney has escaped and she stabs him in the back, revealing that she too was wearing a bullet-proof vest. Finally, she stabs him in the heart. Dewey and Gail enter by opening the secret passage and revive Kincaid. Sidney and Roman, who is dying on the floor, have one last exchange as brother and sister, as she holds his hand. Sidney gets up and the others check to see if she is hurt when they are suddenly surprised to see Roman spring to his feet again, shouting and manically wielding a knife at them. Dewey fires numerous shots to Roman's torso until Sidney exclaims "Head!". Dewey shoots Roman in the head, killing him and ending the murders.
At Sidney's secluded house in the woods, Dewey surprises Gale with a wedding proposal, of which Gale agrees. Kincaid, still recovering from his injuries, invites Sidney to join him, Dewey, and Gale for a movie. Sidney closes her front door, but it creaks open a few moments later. Sidney, as she smiles at this, walks away realizing her long-time fears have diminished and she has a new found freedom.
Once again, Scream 3 uses self-aware characters and generally references itself as a movie most of the time.
Most of the story is set in Hollywood and focuses on the making of Stab 3, the film franchise within the story that is based on the events of the trilogy. For instance, actors (Parker Posey and Matt Keeslar) are playing characters that are actors (Jennifer Jolie and Tom Prinze) playing characters based on Gale and Dewey respectively. There is a constant comparison between the "movie Gale" played by Jennifer and the "real" one.
The character name "Jennifer Jolie" is a combination of Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie. "Angelina Tyler" is a combination of Angelina Jolie and Liv Tyler. "Tom Prinze" is a combination of Tom Cruise and Freddie Prinze, Jr. "Tyson Fox" is probably derived from the names of Tyson Beckford and Michael J. Fox.
Jenny McCarthy's character Sarah complains that she is playing a bit character in Stab sequel who is killed after two scenes. This is exactly what happens to Sarah, and the number of scenes she has in Scream 3. Furthermore, one of the first persons to die in Scream 2 is Casey "Cici" Cooper, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, who is also married to Freddie Prinze, Jr.
The characters believe Randy's rules about surviving a trilogy, and by the end even Sidney herself believes she is in a trilogy. Several scenes take place on movie sets which are actually sets of the first film. The climax takes place in a producer's house, with various movie props and filming equipment figuring prominently. Finally, the movie literally ends with "the door being left open" for future installments. Although some, and probably Craven as well, would view this as a moment of elation; the door swings open, usually a token of the killer's presence (highly reminiscent of John Carpenter's Halloween) and Sidney can disregard it because she is finally free.
In the climax of the film, Neve Campbell is wearing a green top and brown leather jacket, similar to the outfit she wore in the climax of Scream 2.
In the scene where Jennifer is banging on the mirror, before she is killed she reveals that in Stab 3 Gale Weathers is the killer so she cannot be killed due to that fact. Early on in the movie it is revealed that Gale dies in Stab 3 so it is actually mirroring itself. The reason is Jennifer and Gale realized Roman was dead but in the end Roman was the killer. That is referencing what actually happens in the film.
In 2009, Courteney Cox reunites with Scott Foley, in the ABC serie Cougar Town, in which they have a relationship.
Jay and Silent Bob, the popular characters from Kevin Smith's movies, appear as tourists visiting Sunrise Studios. In the original Scream, a VHS copy of their first film Clerks can be spotted in Stu Macher's house. Kevin Smith would later go on to include Wes Craven in a cameo as the director of a fictitious Scream 4 in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; in addition, a copy of Scream 3 can be seen in the background of a scene taking place within a video store in Smith's 2004 film Jersey Girl.
Wes Craven makes a cameo dressed as a tourist walking behind Jay and Silent Bob, outside the Stab 3 set.
Carrie Fisher plays Bianca Burnette, an employee of the studio making Stab 3. Talking with Gale, she says that when she was young she tried to win the casting to play Princess Leia, but the role went to a girl who slept with George Lucas.
Roger Corman appears as a studio executive in an early scene on the Stab 3 set.
The film had a sizable opening weekend of over $34 million. It grossed $161 million worldwide.
The film received generally mixed reviews from film critics; according to Rotten Tomatoes' general consensus from critics, Scream 3 became what the series originally started out spoofing, and concluded that it fell back on the typical horror movie clichés.
A fourth movie was announced by the Weinstein Company in July 2008, with Wes Craven saying that he wouldn't mind directing the film, but also went on to say, "It would take it being really as good a script as the first one was, and the pay day reflect what I've done for that company."
Writer Kevin Williamson is set to return for the fourth film, which he envisions to be the first of a new trilogy and could feature the return of David and Courteney Cox Arquette.
Jamie Kennedy told iFMagazine that he was in talks of reprising his role as Randy Meeks. Despite the character being killed off in Scream 2, Kennedy said, "I actually had a conversation with somebody very big in the organization, and there's a way. I don't know what's going to happen, but they have plans for a lot of things. You can see new faces you wouldn't expect and you can see old faces that you wouldn't believe. There's a way to bring a lot of things around."
In February 2010, Craven told the Los Angeles Times that shooting for the fourth film will begin in May 2010. However, five days after the article, Craven posted on his Twitter that he still hasn't officially signed on to direct.