A Home Video Release Review
The third part of the original trilogy – available now on 4K Ultra HD — promised it would provide closure to the Ghostface murder spree, but SCREAM 3 largely left fans unsatisfied and the eventual revisit to the reboot was born!
Oh for the longing for the perfect trilogy! In Hollywood, most franchises define the success of their cinematic blockbusters by landing on a perfect third act. It usually neatly wraps up all the loose ends, brings about the demise of a favorite legacy character, and has our franchise hero or heroine ride off into the sunset unscathed. In director Wes Craven’s third installment of the favorite horror film series Scream 3 the film-within-a-film-within-a-film goes literally full-on meta even before “meta” was a thing!
Available now for the first time on 4K Ultra HD in Dolby Vision and Dolby Sound, although billed as “the last” and most “terrifying Scream” yet, this flick left audiences in shock and awe, but for all the wrong reasons. Although the sequel to the original horror hit (released in 1996) was fast-tracked into production, Scream 3 wouldn’t debut in theaters three years after its predecessor. It was wrought with a series of stops-and-goes from the start. Wes Craven was working on another film, a drama, and wasn’t entirely ready to return to the horror genre, but the franchise execs demanded it.
Kevin Williamson’s dance card was also full. After the success of the first two films in the franchise, he turned his attention to other projects including Dawson’s Creek and various other productions. Both he and his creative partner, Julie Plec had several ideas in mind for how the trilogy might end, but a real-life tragedy, the Colorado shooting at Columbine High School, had made violence — especially teen-angst related — a very sensitive topic. Unfortunately on all fronts, the clock was ticking, and the timing to get the available cast together, and director was becoming an issue.
It was decided to start the engines, and even though Kevin Williamson was not available to write the script for the third installment, the studio pushed forward. As described in author Padraic Maroney’s book “It All Began With a Scream” the initial outline Williamson provided was tossed out the window by Dimension Films and the reigns for writing Scream 3 were handed over to Ehren Kruger — but there was a catch: Kruger had to turn it around in two weeks! Kruger met his deadline and instead of returning to Woodsboro, he transplanted the murder spree to Hollywood.
Scream 3 is as meta as the meta can get! The action and carnage is centered on the set of Stab 3, the in-the-world horror film series based on Courtney Cox’s character Gale Weather’s accounts of the original Woodsboro murders which she has fashioned into a cash cow for herself that has propelled her to the top of the heap of television entertainment news personalities. When Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber) is murdered by someone hiding beyond a Ghostface mask, the entire film’s cast and crew are on the killer’s hit list, and Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell, is thrust into the blood bath!
To complete the triumphant return of the legacy characters, David Arquette returns as Dwight “Dewey” Riley. The former Woodboro deputy gets himself brought aboard the Stab project as a professional consultant and rekindles his chemistry with then real-life wife Cox’s on-screen alter ego Weathers, who is reminded that in horror films, there are rules to follow, but in the final act of a trilogy — all bets are off! Assigned to solve the case is Det. Mark Kincaid (played by Patrick Dempsey) and among the new cast are Parker Posey, Scott Foley, Deon Richmond, and Patrick Warburton.
Among fans, Scream 3 is not a favorite. Many feel the premise is forced and contrived; it’s certainly missing a lot of the relevance of Kevin Williamson’s involvement. The film also went into production and was extensively rewritten on the fly. Much of the movie is written for laughs and even falls flat on several of its most prominent jump scares. The murders also don’t play as potently as expected, and although it attempts to put a face to Ghostface’s murderous intentions that run the length of the three films, it isn’t the satisfying climax many expected.
Scream 3 also bears the unique distinction of being the only film in the series to have only a single killer behind the sinister plot. The film did well at the box office, pulling in 161 million domestically, but it would be a decade later before a new Scream would take shape.
The film has been expertly bumped up to 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Audio for the most cinematic home experience yet and includes all the legacy bonus features as previous iterations of the home video release. Special Features provided are Audio Commentary from the film’s creatives, Deleted Scenes, Alternate Ending, and Outtakes. A poorly constructed “Behind-The-Scenes” montage takes a look at the entire original Scream trilogy from the set, and the series of promo trailers that promoted the film’s wide release.
Get your #FansEyeView of the Official Trailer here:
SCREAM 3 | directed by Wes Craven is now available on 4K Ultra HD and Digital Download.