Scream 3 has done so much screaming that it has now lost its voice. Oh Craven. You just never know when to stop, do you? The majority of franchises eventually hit a level of fatigue, when the premise or story rarely changes and becomes a repetitive exercise in acquiring money. As I mentioned in my 'Scream 2' review, the meta concept was losing its freshness. Well, this third instalment lost it entirely, in what was a poignant stab leaving the audience bleeding out in pure boredom. Another serial killer dressed up in the infamous "Ghostface" costume is after Sidney and Gale, whilst also killing the cast of 'Stab 3'.
Craven lost in with this chapter. The intelligent use of meta dialogue, referencing the tropes and narrative structures found in films, was forced to the point of being eye-rolling. Yes, this sequel shoves the idea of a "trilogy" so far down your throat that'll you be gagging for escape. "All bets are off", "descriptive unexpected backstory" and "the main character can be killed, so sorry Sidney". The irony of mentioning the fact that this segment of the film was expositional was, well, conforming to that very trope. It was unshaven, glossy yet raw exposition that failed to provide any chuckles and felt wholly unnecessary. Just because the other instalments ingeniously utilised meta references does not mean this third chapter must harshly contain it. Subtlety, dammit!
If you've seen the other films, then you know how this plot will play out (despite the above quotes). Another serial killer slices, dices and entices its victims in unoriginal ways that inadvertently lost the thrilling slasher element that made the series fantastic. The horror (if you can call that) consists of loud jump scares whenever someone taps another on the shoulder. Literally. Count how many times it happens! Well over seven. Heck, the kills themselves were infrequent and lame.
The characters, aside from Sidney's backstory (more on that in a little bit), remained the same and lacked progression. The acting was functional, I mean Campbell and Cox were enjoyable to watch yet again as Sidney and Gale "My Fringe Will Cause Storms" Weathers. Arquette seemed somewhat distant in comparison to the predecessors, probably didn't care for the series at this point. Oh, and a nice cameo from the late Fisher who was sublime. Even going as far as quipping about Princess Leia. Classic.
So the central spine to these films is the mystery of the serial killer. Who is if? What is it? Why is it? The killer in this film is revealed and suddenly becomes this convoluted family affair that, whilst I'm sure was a surprise for hardcore fans who have invested their lives into "Ghostface", just didn't connect with me. I wasn't phased. In fact, by that point in the story, I didn't care anymore. Interest was lost and the motives the killer blubbered out were flimsy and menial. Just backstory that acted as plot convenience.
Suffice to say, franchise fatigue hit me hard. Nothing in this third instalment differs itself from its predecessors, following the exact same narrative structure and repetitive nature. Craven had let out his last scream, finishing a trilogy in uninspired form. Well, that is until 'Scream 4'...