If there’s one thing that the slashers were notorious for, it was going to the well too often and running their stories in to the ground with diminishing creativity and validity. The producers would milk the concept for as long as there was somebody out there willing to shell out their hard earned dollars or pounds.
So, when Wes craven announced that there was going to be a Scream 3, there was a momentary shudder that the Scream series could indeed face the ultimate indignity of becoming the very thing that is set out to if not spoof (because they’re perfectly good slasher movies in their own right) then comment upon with a wry tongue firmly in cheek.
But, the thing is, Wes Craven was cleverer than that, and despite Scream 1 & 2 writer Kevin Williamson being unavailable to complete the script, the magic was somehow still there in a film that concentrated more on its comedic aspects, but still delivered some shocks.
Since the events of Scream 2, Sydney has gone in to a self imposed exile, unsurprising, as she’s racking up a dead boyfriend in each film so far.
Cotton Weary now has his own daytime talk show 100% Cotton and in the opening sequence receives on his car phone what begins as a wrong number, which turns flirty as the female caller recognises his voice from his TV show, which turns chilling as the “female” turns out to be Ghostface – demanding to know Sydney’s whereabouts, threatening to kill Cotton’s girlfriend unless his demand is met. Ghostface is already inside Cotton’s home. A hectic cross city race later – Cotton arrives at the house, but can’t save her life, also losing his own as Ghostface slashes him.
Sydney, meanwhile is manning a Samaritans style counselling service from her home, away from the city in a remote cabin with more security locks than Fort Knox. But her seclusion is soon shattered when she starts being taunted by phonecalls from Ghostface, luring her to Hollywood and the set of Stab 3.
The cast of Stab 3 are being stalked and murdered by Ghostface, and where there’s a possible tie-in to Ghostface, Gale Weathers can’t be far behind to investigate and report. Surprisingly (or not) she bumps in to the special advisor for the film – Dewey. (And David Arquette STILL can’t act)
Are there rules for a trilogy? Of course there are – but with Randy having met his untimely end in the last film, who’s here to advise Sydney, Gale and Dewey? In the event that Ghostface managed a third, trilogy based outing, Randy had videotaped a warning that is delivered by Martha, his kid sister. Basically the rules are grim.
“Here's the critical thing-if you find yourself dealing with an unexpected back story and a preponderance of exposition, then the sequel rules DO NOT apply. Because you are not dealing with a sequel, you are dealing with the concluding chapter of a trilogy. here are some super trilogy rules: 1. You got a killer who's going to be super human. Stabbing him won't work. Shooting him won't work. Basically in the third one you gotta cryogenically freeze his head, decapitate him, or blow him up. 2. Anyone including the main character can die. Number 3. The past will come back to bite you in the ass. Whatever you think you know about the past, forget it. The past is not at rest. Any sins you think were committed in the past are about to break out and destroy you. So in closing, let me say good luck, God speed, and for some of you, I'll see you soon. 'Cause the rules say some of you ain't gonna make it. I didn't, not if you're watching this tape.”
So, unexpected back story?
Halloween 2 style shennanegans about.
It turns out that Sydney has a half brother, born to her mother Maureen. Maureen’s morals were as loose when she was a Hollywood starlet as they were later on in Woodsboro. Maureen had rejected her son’s attempts to reunite, and in his bitter jealousy, had secretly filmed her with her various sexual partners over the years. He even showed Billy Loomis footage of Maureen with his father, thus kicking off the events of the previous scream films. And the killer is…….?
Roman Bridger, director of Stab 3, who has earlier in the movie, faked his own death, thus eliminating himself from the pool of suspects. This time, despite being stabbed in the chest, Ghostface Roman still jumps up for one final attack – but is shot in the head by Dewey.
It seems to be a happy ending at Sydney’s house, Dewey finally proposes to Gale, Sydney finally has the confidence to leave her door unlocked, but it swings slowly open as she watches.
Was Wes Craven metaphorically telling us that the door was open for a yet another sequel?
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