Plot: What’s it about?
If there was ever a movie to make fun of a trilogy, it would have to be the “Scream” series (trilogy). The movies, while original or not so original depending on how you look at them, do have a point. The original Scream was vastly successful (as were its predecessors) due to the fact that they actually made fun of the movie that they were. Crappy horror movies (some even directed by the same guy who directed the Scream trilogy). Scream movies took all that we had learned by watching these low-budget movies in the 80’s and applied different rules that all of them had in common. Scream made a franchise of telling us what we already knew, but we still flocked to the theaters to see who bought it next. It’s this last movie that we’re talking about this time, to see if the rules still apply. To quote a character from the movie, “It’s the trilogy that all rules are off and anyone can get it!”. It’s a SCREAM baby!
Everyone who survived the first two movies is, you guessed it, back for this third installment. Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is now an abuse counselor who lives in a well-secured home in the woods. She’s vaguely aware of Stab 3, a movie based on her life that’s shooting on a Hollywood studio set. Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox-Arquette, at the time) is very aware of it. Add to this that a murder has been connected to it and this is where she finds Dewey (David Arquette) who’s serving as a technical advisor. The producer (Lance Henricksen) has made a career out of horror movies and the director (Scott Foley) is trying to use the film to launch his career. As we might expect, the plot is painstakingly simple: Anyone associated with the film starts, well, dying. Gale and Dewey believe that the murderer is trying to send a message to Sidney and they must solve that before everyone ends up dead.
This was the third Scream movie in 5 years, but audiences still loved it. The movie managed to rake in over $150 million worldwide. Though, oddly, the next Scream film would be more than a decade away with 2011’s Scream 4. Go figure. All of the elements are in place with Kevin Williamson once again adding his Midas Touch to the project. Wes Craven was behind the camera and all the (living) cast members were back for another rumble. But, even with the film’s success, this one wasn’t as highly regarded as its predecessors. There are a couple reasons for this: The market had become saturated with the “teen horror” genre and it was just a bit lackluster. Still, it’s part of the pantheon and love it or hate it – it’s here in 4K.
Video: How does it look?
Paramount is retroactively adding the Scream movies to 4K and in a nice steelbook case to boot. Purists will complain because the case is red. Then again purists complain about anything. Me? I call ’em like I see ’em. All of the Scream movies tend to have a nice balance of daytime, sun-kissed skies juxtaposed with the dark of night (and the red of blood). With this new 4K edition, gone are some of the things that plagued the earlier DVD and Blu-ray releases. The film has a much more theatrical look and feel to it with grain being all but eliminated, increased color bandwidth and improved detail. In short, it looks the best it ever has but still falls short of a modern release (but that’s OK, we’ll give them a pass).
Audio: How does it sound?
The DTS HD Master Audio mix hasn’t been upgraded to a Dolby Atmos track, but it’s of little consequence. The result isn’t half bad. As with the previous two installments, Scream 3 has its share of fight scenes that usually result in someone’s death. We hear the whisp of the knife as is slashes in the air and the constant unsheathing sound even though a sheath doesn’t exist. Dialogue is crisp and natural, as we’d expect. It’s a nice, well-rounded mix, but it won’t wake the neighbors.
Supplements: What are the extras?
There are no new features added (not a surprise), but the legacy DVD features are still intact.
- Audio Commentary – Director Wes Craven, producer Marianne Maddelena and the film’s editor talk about the movie. It’s informative, but nothing earth shattering. Still, considering that Craven is no longer with us – it’s nice to have.
- Deleted Scenes – About 15 minutes’ worth, but these were wisely cut. I felt the film stood on its own quite well without these.
- Alternate Ending – The obligatory “alternate ending that’s really not that different” is included.
- Outtakes – Shenanigans on the set!
- Behind the Scenes Montage – Yes, its’ really worded like that. And it delivers – it’s literally just a mashup of scenes from the shoot.
- Music Video – “What If” by Creed (back when they were somewhat relevant)
- Trailer/Television Spots
The Bottom Line
This has always been a polarizing installment in the series. I personally liked it, but I can see how others wouldn’t. Paramount’s new 4K gives us the best-looking presentation of the film to date. No new supplements have been added, but it’s an integral part of any movie-lovers Scream collection.