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Movie Review

In the first Scream, Sidney Prescott is stalked by two of her peers. In Scream 2 she goes off to college and the bloodshed follows her. Welcome to Hollywood. Scream 3 finds film director Roman Bridger preparing to shoot Stab 3, a movie about Sid’s tragic life in Woodsboro, Ill., where her friends always seem to end up dead. Far removed from the filming, Sidney goes into hiding, hoping to avoid being tracked yet again by a crazed killer. It doesn’t work. In Los Angeles, someone begins slaughtering cast members. Sid travels to the set to aid police in their search for the psychopathic cutthroat. There, she reunites with reporter Gale Weathers and long-time friend Dewey Riley. The trio’s search for clues leads to a final showdown.

Scream 3 integrates mystery, extreme violence, nail-biting suspense and gratuitous gore to create the climactic chapter of this hugely popular slasher franchise.

Positive Elements: With a murderer on the loose, Sidney and her companions band together and put themselves at risk in an effort to stop the madness.

Nudity and Sexual Content: In the opening scene there is rear nudity of a woman through a glazed shower door. Sarah Darling touches her covered chest in a provocative way. She also verbalizes her disdain for a death scene in which she will appear naked (it’s never shown). A number of conversations allude to sexual encounters.

Violent Content: Abundant. Just about everybody who’s anybody gets attacked with a knife. A man is stabbed in the arm, then fatally wounded with another jab to the chest. His girlfriend also dies from a knife wound. A bodyguard endures a slow death after being gashed with a dagger. Another man’s throat is slashed. Etc. Etc. Very little is left to the imagination. Additionally, a house explosion kills a man. And handguns make an appearance as the mysterious murderer is shot repeatedly at close range. All told, Scream 3 features a much higher body count than it’s two predecessors.

Crude or Profane Language: More than 50 uses of the f- and s-words. Numerous misuses of God’s name. Many mild profanities and crude expressions. Gale hoists her middle finger.

Drug and Alcohol Content: On one occasion characters sip wine. Another scene features someone holding a glass of alcohol. A comment is made about a man’s intoxication. Some scenes feature smoking.

Summary: The final chapter in this slasher saga is the third act of an extremely violent three-act play. Theater owners committed a record 3,467 screens to Scream 3, knowing that young fans would flock to see how things turned out. And they did. The sequel grossed nearly $35 million opening weekend.

According to film director Wes Craven, "Kids today have very real and generational-specific fears and they need a way to process these terrors in a positive and funny manner." What’s positive or funny about people—even pretentious Hollywood types—being stalked, shot, blown up, bludgeoned, brutally stabbed or sliced from ear to ear? This teen-targeted cross between Halloween and Murder, She Wrote is every parent’s generation-specific fear.

The film’s star, Neve Campbell, was so disturbed that she recently told talk show host Rosie O’Donnell of her refusal to watch her own work. With such disdain for the subject matter one must wonder why Campbell came back for a second sequel? And if the main character in this horrific story cannot bear to watch, then why should anyone else? Discerning families will do well to follow the lead of Campbell and keep their eyes off this frightful film.


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Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott; Courteney Cox Arquette as Gale Weathers; David Arquette as Dewey Riley; Scott Foley as Roman Bridger; Liev Schreiber as Cotton Weary; Jenny McCarthy as Sarah Darling; Parker Posey as Jennifer Jolie; Lance Henrikson as John Milton; Patrick Dempsey as Detective Kincaide; Emily Mortimer as Angelina Tyler; Matt Keesler as Tom Prinze


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Jonathan Bartha

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