I made it a deliberate attempt to want to watch the Scream Trilogy, and made it to both part one and two until I realize that Scream 3 was not on rental at the Esplanade Library, until recently when their collection extended to films rated NC16 and M18. And watching this was also partly because Wes Craven's Scream 4 is due out later this year, and going by how intricately linked the characters are from one film to the next, this went up on the must watch list lest I enter into the upcoming sequel with a large information gap missing.
Scream 3 brings back the usual, and surviving cast, of the first two films, with Neve Campbell reprising her role as Sidney Prescott, now living the life of a recluse in the woods and doing so anonymously by taking up a job that only requires telephone conversations (which of course is a sign), Courteney Cox's Gale Weathers the dogged reporter now being estranged from beau Dwight Dewey Riley (David Arquette) who has resigned from the force and is now technical adviser to Hollywood's production of the Stab movie franchise, based upon the infamous Woodsbro murders that we've already seen in the first two films. Then Ghostface comes back to life and starts finishing off members of the Stab cast and crew while looking for Sidney Prescott, leaving behind the photos of Sidney's mom each time a murder gets committed, and it's down to our usual suspects to try and unravel the mystery behind the new Ghostface since they're quite sure he's been put down twice before.
In some ways Wes Craven's Scream now is like a typical Scooby Doo cartoon adventure, riddled with plenty of caricatures and red herrings on suspects that will keep you guessing right up until the end, and along the way come opportunities to spook and bump off a few bodies. What's interesting here is the existence of the Stab movie cast, who adds another dimension to the film as the cast members, with recognizable names such as Jenny McCarthy, Emily Mortimer, Parker Posey and even Liev Schreiber lending a short cameo as producer, all providing a parallel to the lives of the characters that we're already acquainted with. Patrick Dempsey also makes an appearance as the requisite investigating cop too.
And what this film never fails in, is the humour aspects both intentional and unintentional, and those usual bag of tricks that seemed a little tired, though no less effective in bringing about some jump scares. It does seem to drag out a little in the beginning for the story to allow us some catch up time on the current situation of all surviving cast members, before introducing us to their fictional Stab screen counterparts, and their one upmanship with each other was the best in terms of Parker Posey and Courteney Cox being the reporter Gale Weathers (or Jennifer Jolie in the Stab knock up). Events in the film start picking up its pace when Sydney Prescott reunites with the rest and things go into overdrive with set action sequences
Ultimately it's still a satisfying horror-comedy romp with quite the logical explanation of how things all ties up together going back to the first movie, and as explained, how the third film in a trilogy tend to be a different ballgame altogether with rules that were meant to be broken, getting thrown out of the window from the get go. While it may not be as classic as the very first Scream movie, this one still had its moments as far as third films go, but I'm now quite skeptical if a fourth is necessary, and what the focus will then be given how this trilogy as of now is quite self-contained. It remains to be seen, so let's hope Wes Craven still has plenty up his sleeve.
The Region 1 DVD by Dimension Home Video presents the film in an anamorphic widescreen format with English and French Dolby Digital audio. Subtitles are in English close captioned and Spanish, and Scene Selection is available over 29 chapters.
The Bonus Material was a bit of a letdown, with unfulfilled promise as listed in the DVD sleeve because of absent material such as the TV Spots, the Cast & Crew Bios, the "Creed" Music Video, and if all those don't really matter, touting a feature film commentary by Wes Craven and Crew that doesn't exist on the disc is almost criminal. And this version is touted as the DImension Collector's Series, so what gives? While most of the material aren't exactly final stuff, having very poor visual reproduction in letterbox format is really bad when you're watching it on a widescreen television / screen.
Outtakes consisted of a blooper reel that's running 6:32, and a Behind the Scenes Montage (6:18) takes material from all three Scream movies. Deleted Scenes (13:30) contain a total of 4 such scenes, with the first two highlighting the different versions for the introduction with Liev Schreiber's confrontation with Ghostface, and the other two are the Guard Scene and one involving talk about the Stab 3 film being shut down. More information gets gleaned from listening to the Commentary by Director Wes Craven, Producer Marianna Maddalena and Editor Patrick Lussier.
The Alternate Ending (10:00) isn't much to begin with since there are no major changes (and no, no changes to who exactly is Ghostface), and what could have been again only got described verbally in the commentary by Director Wes Craven, Producer Marianna Maddalena and Editor Patrick Lussier. Rounding the Bonus Material section are the Theatrical Trailer (1:24) and International Trailer (1:37).