Scream 3
Scream 3
Scream 3 film poster.
Directed by Wes Craven
Produced by Cathy Konrad
Marianne Maddalena
Kevin Williamson
Written by Ehren Kruger
Starring David Arquette
Neve Campbell
Courteney Cox Arquette
Patrick Dempsey
Parker Posey
Scott Foley
Deon Richmond
Emily Mortimer
Lance Henriksen
Jenny McCarthy
Matt Keeslar
Patrick Warburton
Liev Schreiber
Music by Marco Beltrami
Distributed by Dimension Films
Release date(s) February 4, 2000
Running time 118 minutes
Language English
Budget $40,000,000 (estimated)
Gross revenue $161,834,276
Preceded by Scream 2
Followed by Scream 4

Scream 3 is a 2000 film - the third installment in the successful Scream series of satirical horror films. It was originally meant to be the last installment of the Scream series, but in 2008, Scream 4 was officially announced by Dimension Films.

The film stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox Arquette, each reprising their roles from the first two films.

This is the only part of the Scream trilogy not to be written by Kevin Williamson, as he was busy working on his short-lived television series Wasteland. Ehren Kruger (writer of the film Arlington Road, who would later go on to write the screenplays for The Ring, The Ring Two and The Skeleton Key) was given the task of writing the script based on notes Williamson himself had sketched out.


Having experienced the trauma of the killings at Woodsboro and at Windsor College,

Scream 3 Opening Title

Sidney Prescott now lives in a secluded area of California where she works as a women's crisis counselor from her home. Her home has a security gate around it and she is now practically an agoraphobic, only leaving her house to walk her pet Golden Retriever. Her whereabouts are unknown even to her surviving friends (save for Dewey and her father). Gale Weathers has become a largely successful news reporter (of a sensationalist style), thanks to the books she wrote revolving around the murders of the first two films and subsequent films based on the books. Despite the success, it has affected her personal life, as Dewey has apparently given up of any chance of their relationship and is instead beginning to be the bodyguard for actress Jennifer Jolie. Gale questions if everything she has done for her career is worth the prices she has paid.

The film begins when Cotton Weary, the man wrongly convicted of killing Sidney's mother prior to the first film, is murdered along with his girlfriend Christine Hamilton for refusing to reveal information about Sidney's whereabouts. Suspected of being related to the original killings, Los Angeles Police Department detectives led by

Killer calls Cotton

The Killer calls Cotton in traffic.

Mark Kincaid inform Gale Weathers of Weary's murder, asking if she may know anything about a picture found at the murder scene. When she identifies it as a picture of Maureen Prescott, Sidney's mother, it becomes apparent the killings are linked to her murder.

Sidney, Gale, and Dewey become involved in investigating. The cast and crew of the latest Stab movie (based upon the events of the previous movie Scream 2) are systematically being killed off one by one; the actors are being killed in the order in which they die in the script.


Jennifer's house explodes.

Sarah Darling is the third victim of the killer when she is tricked into coming to an emptied office by the killer and is knocked through a glass window and then stabbed in the back. Steven Stone (Jennifer's bodyguard) gets a phone call from Dewey while rummaging through his trailer. After delivering an insult about Tatum, Ghostface emerges from a back room, having used Dewey's voice via the voice changer and stabs Stone in the back. Although Stone fends him off, Ghostface kicks him back into a cupboard, plunging the knife deeper in his back before bludgeoning him several times with a frying pan. Stone manages to muster up enough strength to walk to the front door of Jennifer's house, dying in front of Dewey, Gale, Angelina, Tom, and Jennifer.

As paranoia sets in, a menacing fax is sent. Tom Prinze flips a lighter to read the message in the blacked-out mansion, unknowingly falling into the killer's plan, as the fire ignites the leaked gas and blows up the house, killing him and throwing the rest of the cast down the hill. The killer attacks Gale but is deterred by Dewey's shooting.

Gale and Jennifer Jolie meet archiver Bianca Burnette as they investigate Maureen's murder. Sidney meets Angelina Tyler at the movie set, before wandering onto the set and being attacked by the killer, though it seems as if she imagined the whole incident. 

Killer outfit

Gale and Dewey find the killer's outfit.

Producer John Milton invites the cast to a party at his house. Director Roman Bridger and Jennifer check out the basement while Tyson Fox and Angelina explore the house. After realizing that the killer has tricked them into congregating at the house, Dewey and Gale split up to round up the cast and escape. Gale stumbles upon Roman's body in a chest, but she meets Jennifer and Angelina. Extremely scared, Angelina runs off alone and is murdered. The killer brazenly attacks the remaining four and wounds Dewey and Tyson. He chases Tyson and throws him over the balcony, killing him. Meanwhile, in the shuffle, Jennifer falls into a hidden passage which happens to be connected to the room where Dewey and Gale are hiding by a one-sided mirror. She meets the killer and becomes the next victim in an ironic twist where Jennifer is banging on the mirror from her side to escape her attacker. Dewey then shoots the mirror but is too slow and she is stabbed to death. The killer next attacks Gale and knocks out Dewey. He holds them hostage to draw Sidney to the house. Sidney preempts his moves and shoots him, but before she can release Gale and Dewey, he escapes. Kincaid arrives on the scene and saves Sidney from an attack by the killer, but Kincaid is rendered unconscious. 

Dewey Shoots

Dewey shoots Roman in the head.

The killer chases Sidney to a room, and he reveals himself to be Roman (who had faked his own murder), the connection is that he is Maureen's illegitimate son and Sidney's half-brother. He brings out John (who had been gagged and stuffed at a corner of the room) and kills him in front of Sidney. It is further revealed that Roman is a product of rape, which occurred during Maureen's brief stint as a B-list movie actress. Roman tells Sidney that her mother left her father and cheated on him with Hank Loomis, causing Mrs. Loomis to leave her husband. Roman managed to track down Maureen and revealed himself to be her son but she slammed the door in his face. Swearing revenge, Roman told Billy Loomis why his mother had left his father, and convinced him to kill Maureen. Roman also told Billy to have an accomplice who was weak and easily willing to help him out, which turned out to be Stu Macher which ultimately triggered the events of the first movie and that of the second.
S3-61 thumb2
Tired of hearing another killer blaming the circumstances of their life on her. Sidney berates Roman who gets angered enough to attack her leading to a fight. Roman manages to gain the upper hand but a distraction by Kincaid allows Sidney to grab his knife.
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The handshake.

He, however, finds Kincaid's gun and shoots her, knocking her down. He shoots her in the chest to be certain in killing her. But Dewey and Gale on the verge of breaking into room distracts him for a moment, when he turns around, Sidney is gone. Roman tears the room apart trying to find her before going to use his cell phone to locate her. Sidney beats him to punch using a phone to catch him off guard before popping up from behind the bar, stabbing him several times in the back before stabbing him in the heart. As Roman dies, Sidney reveals she had a bulletproof vest on as well, commenting they weren't so different. The two siblings seem to reconcile. But just as Dewey and Gale arrive, Roman jumps up to attack them again. But Dewey stuns him with several shots to the chest before, on the advice of Sidney, finishes Roman with a headshot, killing him for good.
Door Open

Sidney walks away leaving the door open, with no anxiety.

At Sidney's secluded house in the woods, Dewey surprises Gale with a wedding proposal, of which Gale agrees. Kincaid, still recovering from his injuries, invites Sidney to join him, Dewey, and Gale for a movie. Sidney closes her front door, but it creaks open a few moments later. Sidney walks away realizing her long-time fears have diminished and she has new found freedom.

Cast & characters

Satirical/self-referential style

Once again, Scream 3 uses self-aware characters and generally references itself as a movie most of the time.

Most of the story is set in Hollywood and focuses on the making of Stab 3, the film franchise within the story that is based on the events of the trilogy. For instance, actors (Parker Posey and Matt Keeslar) are playing characters that are actors (Jennifer Jolie and Tom Prinze) playing characters based on Gale and Dewey respectively. There is a constant comparison between the "movie Gale" played by Jennifer and the "real" one.

The character name "Jennifer Jolie" is a combination of Jennifer Aniston and
All Deaths in Scream 3

All Deaths in Scream 3

All Deaths Scenes in Scream 3

Angelina Jolie. "Angelina Tyler" is a combination of Angelina Jolie and Liv Tyler. "Tom Prinze" is a combination of Tom Cruise and Freddie Prinze, Jr. "Tyson Fox" is probably derived from the names of Tyson Beckford and Jamie Foxx.

Jenny McCarthy's character Sarah complains that she is playing a big character in Stab sequel who is killed after two scenes. This is exactly what happens to Sarah, and the number of scenes she has in Scream 3.

The characters believe Randy's rules about surviving a trilogy, and by the end, even Sidney herself believes she is in a trilogy. Several scenes take place on movie sets which are actually sets of the first film. The climax takes place in a producer's house, with various movie props and filming equipment figuring prominently. Finally, the movie literally ends with "the door being left open" for future installments.

There are also celebrity cameos (such as Carrie Fisher, Nancy O'Dell, Jay and Silent Bob), and general Hollywood references (including Brad Pitt, Connie Chung, Seinfeld).

In the climax of the film, Neve Campbell is wearing a green top and brown leather jacket, similar to the outfit she wore in the climax of Scream 2.

Rules for the end of a trilogy

A signature device, started in Scream and continued in Scream 2 and Scream 3, was the typical "rules" for that type of horror movie being stated by the characters. In Scream 3, Sidney, Dewey, Gale and Randy's sister (Heather Matarazzo), watch a video made by Randy (Jamie Kennedy, in a cameo role) before his death in Scream 2; he states that if the third movie is just another sequel, then the standard rules for a sequel (given in Scream 2) apply. However, "If you find yourself dealing with an unexpected backstory, and a preponderance of exposition, then the sequel rules do not apply. Because you are not dealing with a sequel, you are dealing with the concluding chapter of a trilogy." The rules for the final concluding chapter of a trilogy are different:

  • 1. "You've got a killer who’s gonna be superhuman. Stabbing him won’t work, shooting him won’t work. Basically, in the third one, you gotta cryogenically freeze his head, decapitate him, or blow him up."
  • 2. "Anyone, including the main character, can die. This means you, Sid."
  • 3. "The past will come back to bite you in the ass. Whatever you think you know about the past, forget it. The past is not at rest! Any sins you think were committed in the past are about to break out and destroy you."

Although, in the first few drafts, there was a fourth rule: "Never be alone" but this was taken out because Gale immediately goes off alone afterward.

Cameo appearances

Jay and Silent Bob, the popular characters from Kevin Smith's movies, appear as tourists visiting Sunrise Studios. In the original Scream, a VHS copy of their first film Clerks can be spotted in Stu Macher's house. Kevin Smith would later go on to include Wes Craven in a cameo as the director of a fictitious Scream 4 in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back; in addition, a copy of Scream 3 can be seen in the background of a scene taking place within a video store in Smith's 2004 film Jersey Girl.

Wes Craven makes a cameo dressed as a tourist walking behind Jay and Silent Bob, outside the Stab 3 set.

Carrie Fisher plays Bianca Burnette, an employee of the studio making Stab 3. Talking with Gale and Jennifer, she says that when she was young she tried to win the casting to play Princess Leia, but the role went to a girl who slept with George Lucas.

Roger Corman appears as a studio executive in an early scene on the Stab 3 set.

Fan Reviews

  • Scream 3 is the one film in the series that got a pretty poor reception. I didn't find it to be that bad. It isn't without its problems, and yes, it probably is the weakest entry in the series but the plot did seduce me and Roman made the best Ghostface in my opinion. 6/10 -Votesmall

References to people

  • The name on the empty cinematographer's chair on the set of the fictitious Stab 3 is the name of the real film's actual cinematographer, Peter Deming.
  • Jay and Silent Bob, who makes an appearance, mistake Gale for TV reporter Connie Chung. They also ask her about Maury Povich. To return the favor, Kevin Smith, who plays Silent Bob, let Wes Craven be a part of his movie Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. He plays himself, who is on set directing the then fictional Scream 4.


  • Shot over a period of twelve weeks.
  • At one hour and fifty-six minutes, this is the second longest film in the Scream franchise.
  • This film's ending reveals the true mastermind behind the Woodsboro Murders
  •  Stu Macher was originally gonna be the villain of the movie, having survived his death from the first. He was the mastermind behind a plot of new killings from prison and then targeting Sidney. But this idea was scrapped due to the Columbine High school Massacre incident. Matthew Lillard said this in an interview.
  • In Scream 3, when Sidney jumped over the bar and stabbed the killer in the back with an icepick, Neve Campbell missed the pad that she was supposed to plunge the pick into and actually hit flesh. Scott Foley's scream is genuine.
  • Scream 3 is the first and so far the only film in the franchise to only have one killer in the movie.
  • Roman is the only killer in the franchise to have acted alone. All of the other "Ghostfaces" in the franchise have had an accomplice.
  • Patrick Dempsey was hired the day before shooting began. He had one night to learn three big dialogue-heavy scenes.
  • Wes Craven filmed three different endings and didn't tell the cast which one he was going to use.
  • Neve Campbell's contract allowed her to be on the set for just twenty days, which is why Sidney has less screen time than in the other films. As a result of her role being reduced, more emphasis was put on the supporting characters.
  • Wes Craven was briefly considered for the role of John Milton.
  • The publicity stills of young Maureen Prescott, or "Rina Reynolds", are actually early modeling photos of a young Lynn McRee, the actress who portrayed the adult Maureen Prescott.
  • Scott Foley's feature film debut.
  • Jamie Kennedy, despite appearing in each of the first three films, has never appeared on any of the movie posters.
  • The rules for a continued horror film sequel as stated in the movie are: The killer must be superhuman. Mere stabbing or shooting will not be enough to kill the killer. Anyone can die, including the main character. The past will come back to haunt someone.
  • The only film in the franchise not written by Kevin Williamson.
  • Liev Schreiber insisted that Cotton Weary should remove his jacket in the opening sequence. Schreiber had been working out a lot at the time and wanted to show off his physique.
  • Different endings were shot concerning the fate of Kincaid (Patrick Dempsey), as the producers were unsure about whether he would die or not at the time.
  • In Scream (1996) and Scream 2 (1997), Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) was punched in the face by Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell). In this movie, Jennifer Jolie (Parker Posey), who is playing Gale Weathers in "Stab 3", is punched in the face by the real Gale Weathers.
  • Kevin Williamson wrote a script for this movie until they hired a new writer and disregarded his draft.
  • Wes Craven encountered repeated conflicts over censorship with the MPAA regarding violence, with Craven stating in an interview that the issues made him consider leaving the horror genre.
  • Because of the Columbine massacre, the producers were pressured into toning down the film's violence. (At one point, the studio attempted to demand no blood to be seen in the film at all). As such, the film is a bit more satirical and comedic than the first two.
  • Some versions of the script had Mark Kincaid (Patrick Dempsey) getting killed in the finale.
  • If Courteney Cox and David Arquette look a little tanned in the film, it was because they had just honeymooned in the Bahamas.
  • Scott Foley, Neve Campbell, and Patrick Dempsey appeared on Grey's Anatomy (2005).
  • Jenny McCarthy turned down a role in Scary Movie (2000) to make this movie. However, she appeared in Scary Movie 3 (2003).
  • Throughout the film, Sidney (Neve Campbell) can be seen to be wearing the Greek letters around her neck that were given to her by her boyfriend Derek (Jerry O'Connell) in Scream 2 (1997), shortly before he was killed.
  • Another idea for Jamie Kennedy to reprise his character Randy Meeks was to have him survive the stabbing in Scream 2 (1997), his family having rescued him secretly. This was ultimately deemed to be too far-fetched so Randy was resurrected via a post-mortem video appearance instead.
  • This is the only Scream movie where Sidney (Neve Campbell) doesn't know nor meet the killer personally. The killer in Scream (1996) was Billy (Sidney's boyfriend) and Stu (Billy's friend). In Scream 2 (1997), the killer was Mickey (Sidney's college friend) and Debbie Loomis (Billy Loomis' mother). But here, Sidney never met Roman nor talked to him before he revealed himself.
  • Sarah (Jenny McCarthy) complains about her "Stab 3" character, Candy, only having two scenes before she is killed. Sarah only has two scenes in this film before she is killed, too.
  • Tyson Fox (Deon Richmond) says that Cotton Weary's (Liev Schreiber's) murderer was "probably some "Stab" fan pissed off they killed Randy in "Stab 2", which is a reference to "Scream" fanatics being upset that Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy) was killed in Scream 2 (1997). Wes Craven got hate e-mail at his official website because the character was killed. It was the fans upset that led to the idea of Randy surviving Scream 2 (1997) as a twist, later via a video recording.
  • Roman Bridger is the only character not to be seen killed on-screen. This is to trick the audience, as it is later revealed that he is the killer.
  • The ten deaths in the movie in order are: Christine (Kelly Rutherford), Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber), Sarah Darling (Jenny McCarthy), Steven Stone (Patrick Warburton), Tom Prinze (Matt Keeslar), Angelina Tyler (Emily Mortimer), Tyson Fox (Deon Richmond), Jennifer Jolie (Parker Posey), John Milton (Lance Henriksen), and Roman Bridger (Scott Foley).
  • In Scream (1996), Tatum (Rose McGowan) argues that a woman could be the killer, referencing Sharon Stone in Kôri no bishô (1992). The guys reply that an ice pick is not the same thing. At the end of this film, Sidney (Neve Campbell) stabs the killer with an ice pick.
  • Originally, Angelina's (Emily Mortimer's) odd behavior was intended to end with her revealing she was Roman's (Scott Foley's) accomplice. Sidney (Neve Campbell) would have recognized her as Angela Crick, a girl from college who became obsessed with her. Roman manipulated the situation to get her cast as Sidney to fulfill his psychotic, incestuous fantasies. Gale (Courteney Cox) fights with Angelina (Emily Mortimer), who is later shot by Sidney. However, she survives, only to be shot to death by Sidney, mirroring Mickey's (Timothy Olyphant's) death. She then turns around and remembers Randy's (Jamie Kennedy's) advice that Roman is superhuman, only to shoot him in the head, in turn mirroring Mrs. Loomis' (Laurie Metcalf's) death. The producers found the reveal too bizarre and last minute, as well as too similar to the ending of Scream 2 (1997), so they changed the ending. However, this version explains her oddities in the final version.
  • When Sarah (Jenny McCarthy) is reading the script with Roman (Scott Foley) over the phone, there is a hint to the killer's identity when Roman's voice changes to Ghostface.
  • The Killer took eighteen shots to the body and one to the head. The body shots were five .38 Special rounds and thirteen .9 millimeter rounds, and was quick enough to dodge six .357 Magnum rounds from a Python. This would cause heavy arterial bleeding (if not death).


The film set a record in its opening weekend for the number of screens in the United States: 3,467. This was later surpassed by Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) with 3,762.

The film had a sizable opening weekend of over $34 million. It grossed $161 million worldwide.

The film received generally mixed reviews from film critics; according to Rotten Tomatoes' general consensus from critics, Scream 3 became what the series originally started out spoofing, and concluded that it fell back on the typical horror movie clichés.

In a positive review, the Los Angeles Times called the film, "Genuinely scary and also highly amusing", and the BBC stated that "as the conclusion to the trilogy it works more effectively than anyone had a right to expect". Variety also praised the film as the end of the Scream trilogy, saying "Aficionados will be the best able to appreciate how wittily Craven has brought down the curtain on his much-imitated, genre-reviving series" while Empire called it "satisfying" though believed the premise of the series had worn thin.


External links

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