“Welcome to the final act”… or so we thought. ‘Scream 3’ is once again directed by Wes Craven and returns series favourites such as Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette and Liev Schreiber.

Sidney is now living in a hidden remote place, hiding herself from the world after the events of the first two instalments. However, someone is murdered on the set of ‘Stab 3’ and thus creates problems for Sidney, Gale and Deputy Dwight, a.k.a. Dewey.

Unlike the other ‘Scream’ films, this is the only one I hadn’t seen prior to reviewing. It became the lost ‘Scream’ movie to me and I felt like I was in an alternate dimension or in the ‘Twilight Zone’ of watching a new chapter of these fan favourite characters.

‘Scream 3’ runs into the problem of being “stylised”, something that the filmmakers didn’t want the first ‘Scream’ to be, however decide to turn their backs and made this one stylised instead. What I liked about the first two ‘Scream’ films is that they felt grounded in their reality. This time, I am now watching a movie within a movie, and that’s not because it focuses on a Hollywood movie set this time around. We get paranormal elements of dreams of Sidney’s mother, which were not featured in the first two films, which made me felt I was watching ‘A Nightmare on Scream Street’ instead. And the humour this time around never made me laugh as consistent as the first two films, making me roll my eyes in disbelief for most of the time. Sure, I was happy to see Randy again through a videotape getting his insights on the structure on a horror trilogy, but at that dispense the movie suffered thanks to ideally knowing when to pause for Dewey to speak? Am I watching a parody instead of an actual ‘Scream’ movie here?

The opening sequence, while predictable thanks to the formula that is ‘Scream’, was probably the most intense it got, thanks to already establishing this character in the second ‘Scream’. The others felt expandable, than leaving an impact. The new characters are as flat and flimsy like a piece of paper, I don’t know much about these characters, and it doesn’t help they are also playing the characters from the first two ‘Scream’ films, and lack of screen time also resulted in these undeveloped characters, more so than the second film. The writing doesn’t help much, having characters absent for a long period of time like the detective which doesn’t even give a good reason of why he abandoned his partner, and Sidney having brief appearances in a few scenes, despite being the central character in the first two films, until being a more prominent and featured character after the 50 minute mark, before that it was the Gale and Dewey show.

‘Scream 3’ is convoluted, messy writing and lack of real suspense, being a parody of itself than a fully-fledged ‘Scream’ movie that I have come to love from the first two outings.