If you are a fan of the teen slasher movies, popular since John Carpenter’s Halloween began, then the Scream series is a virtual hoot. The first film made fun of the so-called “rules” of the horror film. The second film, of course, covered the obligatory sequel. Scream 3 delves into the horror trilogy. The same cast of characters, led by real-life spouses Courtney Cox and David Arquette, appears in the same goofy roles. Scream is one of the better attempts at satire to appear in cinemas over the last few years. Compared to attempts like “Scary Movie”, Scream 3 is almost pretty darn good.
On the set of a third “Stab” film someone is attempting to recreate the horrific events at Woodsboro. When a cast member is found murdered Gale (Cox) and Dewey (Arquette) snoop around for clues. A photograph left at the murder brings Sidney Campbell back to her friends. Once again a series of twists and turns leads to the killer, maybe.
Scream 3 contains a blazing Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The aggressive use of ambient sounds often seems out of place with the attempted “B” feel of the production. There is a lot to hear on this film: doors close all around you, a real good window shattering, and the screams, naturally. Placement is excellent in this production. Everything, and I mean everything, appears exactly where it should in a truly superior surround experience. The dialogue is always easy to hear.
Wes Craven provides an entertaining commentary. Wes is always into the film and provides a great deal of information about what you see on the screen. He also explains that the film schedule was hectic, with script pages literally changing every day. He is occasionally joined by the producer and editor.
Scream 3 is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The video doesn’t shine quite as much as the audio mix, but it is still a fine transfer. Colors are a bit dull at times but still mostly realistic. I found no noticeable film artifacts or score lines. There is little grain, but somehow the picture never really comes alive for me. Blacks are deep and certainly add to the atmosphere of the film. The best way to describe it is that it has more of a video tape feel than film.
The disc includes three deleted or alternative scenes. These scenes are nothing spectacular… yet still interesting. A feature on all three Scream films provides a peek behind the cameras. A Creed music video, trailers, and bios finish off the DVD.
Scream 3 is still fun, but I got the impression everybody was a little tired of the whole thing. The script rewrites are obvious throughout, making it hard to completely understand even the parts you were supposed to understand. Buy the disc if you already like the first two. Don’t start with Scream 3, or you will be so disappointed that you might miss out on some truly funny films. “In the third film, all bets are off.”