Scream 3

USA 2000

Film still for Scream 3

Reviewed by Kim Newman


Our synopses give away the plot in full, including surprise twists.

Hollywood. Cotton Weary, a talk-show host once unjustly convicted of the murder of Maureen Prescott, is killed by someone masked like the murderers who have terrorised Maureen's daughter Sidney. Producer John Milton is working on Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro (the latest film in a series based on the murders that have revolved around Sidney), with music-video director Roman Bridger making his first feature, Dewey Riley working as a technical advisor and actresses Jennifer Jolie and Angelina Tyler cast as real-life figures Gale Weathers, a news reporter, and Sidney.

When actors Sarah Darling and Tom Prinze and a security expert are killed, Stab 3 is shut down. Gale digs further into the story and Sidney comes to help. It turns out that Maureen was once a starlet at the studio, leaving Hollywood after an orgy at one of Milton's parties. At Roman's birthday party, the killer strikes again, murdering Roman, supporting actor Tyson Fox, and Jennifer and Angelina. Sidney confronts the masked maniac, who turns out to be Roman (who faked his own death), her long-lost half-brother. Having prompted the original Woodsboro killings, he has been taking his rage out on the family he feels cheated out of. Sidney kills Roman.


In one of the wittiest moments in Scream 2, film nerd Randy, explaining the rules of sequels, wound up his argument with "and if you want your sequel to turn into a franchise, never ever ..." only to have his thought cut off before his wisdom could be delivered. Randy pops up again here via a video-diary entry. Explaining what happens when your sequel turns into a trilogy, Randy tells us to expect any character could be the killer and survivors from the earlier instalments will end up dead. Sadly, Scream 3 is not nearly ruthless enough to go through with this delicious warning/promise.

With original screenwriter Kevin Williamson now pursuing a directorial career, series director Wes Craven is here partnered by screenwriter Ehren Kruger (Arlington Road). There's a sense that Craven's emotional investment was in his significantly named 'personal' project Music of the Heart, completed last year, leaving this to come together by itself. Has Sidney Prescott been so abused in two Scream movies that she has herself become the new killer? Is her dead mother, whose murder kicked the whole thing off, coming back as a ghost to add a supernatural twist? Will Riley and Gale, fake-killed several times in the earlier entries, finally die for real, or get to be unmasked as the secret fiends behind it all? The disappointing revelation here is that a new character with far less dramatic weight than the killers in the first two films is guilty, and Sidney gets to gun him down for a pat wrap-up.

The Hollywood setting allows for a pleasant succession of in-references and gags. Jenny McCarthy has a great set-up-for-death speech as she complains about being a 35-year-old playing a 21-year-old who takes a shower before getting killed, and there's a neat cameo from Carrie Fisher as a studio functionary who claims not to have won the part of Princess Leia because she didn't sleep with George Lucas. The best thing in the film is the bickering between Cox Arquette's Gale and Parker Posey as the Method actress who thinks she's better at being Gale than Gale herself. With the exception of a chase through a soundstage, Craven rarely exploits the potential for suspense of his Hollywood setting. Mostly, his visual imagination seems stretched thin; the stalk-and-slash scenes are directed merely with anonymous competence. A warning to the avaricious: if Randy the movie geek has left another video testament, it might well cite Omen IV and Halloween IV through H20 as dire examples of what happens when your trilogy is complete but the producers go back to the well. If you want your trilogy to become a franchise, make something grander than Scream 3.


Wes Craven
Cathy Konrad
Kevin Williamson
Marianne Maddalena
Ehren Kruger
Based on characters created by
Kevin Williamson
Director of Photography
Peter Deming
Patrick Lussier
Production Designer
Bruce Alan Miller
Marco Beltrami
©Miramax Film Corp.
Production Companies
Dimension Films presents a Konrad Pictures production in association with Craven/Maddalena Films
Executive Producers
Bob Weinstein
Harvey Weinstein
Cary Granat
Andrew Rona
Co-executive Producer
Stuart M. Besser
Dan Arredondo
Dixie J. Capp
Julie Plec
Associate Producer
Nicholas C. Mastandrea
2nd Unit Production Supervisor
Lisa Becker
Production Co-ordinator
Lori Spall
Unit Production Manager
Stuart M. Besser
Location Managers
Robert Decker
Ilt Jones
Post-production Co-ordinator
Tina Anderson
2nd Unit Director
Rick Avery
Assistant Directors
Nicholas C. Mastandrea
Dan Arredondo
Maria Mantia
Michelle Jaeger
2nd Unit:
Rosemary Cremona
Script Supervisor
Sheila G. Waldron
Lisa Beach
Sarah Katzman
ADR Voice:
L.A. MadDogs
2nd Unit Director of Photography
Paul Hughen
Camera Operators
Paul Hughen
Mark Ludwig
Steadicam Operator
Mark R. Van Loon
Wescam Operator
John Trapman
Digital Visual Effects
Pixel Magic
Visual Effects Supervisor:
Ray McIntyre Jr
Compositing Supervisor:
Reid Paul
Digital Compositors:
Patrick Murphy
Bruce Harris
Digital Film I/O Supervisor:
Victor Dimichina
Special Visual Effects
Fantasy II Film Effects
Visual Effects Supervisor:
Gene Warren Jr
Visual Effects Producer:
Leslie Huntley
Miniature Photography:
Christopher Warren
Pyrotechnic Supervisor:
Joseph Viskocil
Robert Ahmanson
Joe Heffernan
Robert Hutchins
Thomas Zell
Model Makers:
Bryan MacLaren
Anita Osterhage
Mick Persion
Optical Supervisor:
Betzy Bromberg
Camera Operator:
David Tucker
Roto Supervisor:
Bret Mixon
Digital Supervisor:
Tim Molinder
Digital Artist:
Kieran Carew
Special Effects
Ron Bolanowski
William D. Lee
Graphics Designer
Steven Samanen
Art Director
Tom Fichter
Set Designers
Nancy Deren
Anthony D. Parrillo
Barbara Ann Spencer
Sloane U'ren
Set Decorator
Gene Serdena
Storyboard Artist
Raymond Consing
Costume Designer
Abigail Murray
Costume Supervisor
Eden Coblenz
Department Head Make-up
Carol Schwartz
Make-up Artist
Lesa Nielson
Department Head Hair
Kathrine Gordon
Hazel Catmull
Main Title Design
Grady Cofer
Robert Dawson
Digital Main Titles
End Titles/Opticals
Pacific Title/Mirage
Background Vocals
Rose Thomson
Synth Preparation
Buck Sanders
Orchestra Conductors
Marco Beltrami
Pete Anthony
Pete Anthony
Bill Boston
Jon Kull
Kevin Kliesch
Frank Bennett
Jeff Atmajian
Kevin Manthei
Marco Beltrami
Music Supervisor
Ed Gerrard
Score Producer
Marco Beltrami
Executive Music Producer
Randy Spendlove
Music Editors
Bill Abbott
Adam Kay
Scoring Mixer
John Kurlander
Midi Consultant
Thomas Bartke
"What If", "Is This the End" by Mark Tremonti, Scott Stapp, performed by Creed; "Red Right Hand 2" by Nick Cave, Michael John Harvey, Thomas Wydler, performed by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds; "So Real" by/performed by Static X; "Spiders" by Baron Malakian, Seri Tankian, performed by System of a Down; "Sunburn" by Carl Bell, performed by Fuel; "Click Click" by David Arquette, Gabriel Cowan, Sam Music, performed by Ear2000; "Suffocate" by James Black, Scott Anderson, Sean Anderson, Arnold Lanni, performed by Finger Eleven; "Automatic" by Kevin Quinn, Noah Shain, performed by American Pearl
Sound Design
Todd Toon
Sound Mixer
Jim Stuebe
Re-recording Mixers
Andy D'Addario
Tim Chau
Dubbing Recordists
Neal Porter
Chris Sparkes
Supervising Sound Editor
Todd Toon
Sound Editors
Albert Gasser
Piero Mura
John Kwiatkowski
David Kern
Don Malouf
Jeannette Browning
Doc Kane
Supervising Editor:
G.W. Brown
Howell Gibbens
Dan O'Connell
John Cucci
Stunt Co-ordinator
Rick Avery
Animals Provided by
Birds & Animals Unlimited
Animal Handlers
Stacy Basil
Cheryl Harris
David Arquette
Dwight 'Dewey' Riley
Neve Campbell
Sidney Prescott
Courteney Cox Arquette
Gale Weathers
Patrick Dempsey
Detective Mark Kincaid
Scott Foley
Roman Bridger, the director
Lance Henriksen
John Milton
Matt Keeslar
Tom Prinze
Jenny McCarthy
Sarah Darling
Emily Mortimer
Angelina Tyler
Parker Posey
Jennifer Jolie
Deon Richmond
Tyson Fox
Kelly Rutherford
Liev Schreiber
Cotton Weary
Patrick Warburton
Steven Stone
Jamie Kennedy
Randy Meeks
Beth Toussaint
female caller
Roger L. Jackson
'the voice'
Julie Janney
Richmond Arquette
Lynn McRee
Maureen Prescott
Nancy O'Dell
female reporter
Ken Taylor
male reporter
Roger Corman
studio executive
Josh Pais
Detective Wallace
John Embry
stage security guard
Lawrence Hecht
Neil Prescott
Lisa Beach
studio tour guide
Kevin Smith
Silent Bob
Jason Mewes
Erik Erath
D.K. Arredondo
office security guard
Lisa Gordon
Heather Matarazzo
Martha Meeks
Carrie Fisher
Bianca Burnette
C.W. Morgan
Hank Loomis
Buena Vista International (UK)
10,505 feet
116 minutes 44 seconds
Dolby digital/Digital DTS sound/SDDS
Colour by
Prints by
Anamorphic [Panavision]
Last Updated: 20 Dec 2011