Horror Franchise – Scream 3 (2000)

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson, Ehren Kruger (Screenplay)

Starring: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Patrick Dempsey, Jenny McCarthy, Parker Posey, Dean Richmond

 

Plot: While Sidney and her friends visit the Hollywood set of Stab 3, the third film based on the Woodsboro murders, a new Ghostface begins to terrorize them once again.


Tagline – The best Scream is always the last one. Just hope the last one isn’t your own.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Best Horror Trilogy

 

Story: Scream 3 starts as we see just how successful Cotton Weary (Schreiber) has become, only now he has become the target of Ghostface who wants Sidney. Sidney now living off the radar helping abuse victims over the phone, with Gale Weathers (Cox) still making money off the murders.

Stab 3 is now being made with a string actors Tyson (Richmond), Tom (Keeslar), Sarah (McCarthy), Angelina (Mortimer) and Jennifer (Posey) playing the loved characters from the first film. Dewey (Arquette) is working on set and with Detective Kincaid (Dempsey) trying to get to the bottom of the murders.

With Sidney forced out of hiding, she must go face to face with Ghostface once again and learn just why the killer has returned in search of her.

 

Thoughts on Scream 3

 

Characters – Sidney is now living off the map, helping women in need of a helping hand, when the killer tracks her down, she comes to help from her hiding where she will come face to face with the true killer. Dewey is now working on the set of the Stab films, he is helping one of the stars of the film understand her character and gets stuck into the investigation this time. Gale isn’t as cut throat as she once was, her career didn’t go as well as it could have, she must put up with the needy actress who is playing her in the film. Detective Mark Kincaid is the cop assigned to try and track down the killer willing to push boundaries to uncover the truth. We get a string of actors that will be playing to the roles of the characters in the franchise, with Jennifer Jolie preparing to be Gale being the highlight of these and if not the whole movie. Our suspect list is long which only adds to the mystery we might be seeing through the film.

PerformancesNeve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette all return and give good performances through the film, they don’t build on what we know from them, Parker Posey however steals the whole movie, every scene she is in we want to see more from her. This film does suffer from having too many actors which does stop giving the stars the time required to truly shine.

StoryThe story follows the production of the third ‘Stab’ movie which is from the series of films that are based on the events of the Scream films, that starts getting its own body count from a new killer with connections to Sidney’s mother. This could easily be considered the weakest story of the three so far in the franchise, this is mostly because of the idea of being on the film set with the actors and real people gets overly complicated and takes away from the suspense we previously experience. As for the twists we learn the rules that make things feel like a larger scale operation which even after seeing the previous film do fit together much like what many of the 80s slashers did.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film comes from the slasher side of things which are all routine enough and work for the film, with the mystery coming from just who is truly behind the murders.

SettingsSetting the film in Hollywood, mostly in and around a film set makes us relive the moments we have gotten to know through the years and most importantly show us how a film could be getting made.

Special EffectsThe effects in the movie continue the style we have seen before, it gives us the blood we need to make look real without being over the top.


Scene of the Movie –
The continuing reference to how difficult Scream 2 was to make.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Some of the supporting characters, mostly the actors don’t get much screen time.

Final ThoughtsThis is the third part of one of the greatest horror trilogies, it continues to show us behind the curtain of horror movies with a twist we didn’t know about to keep the story feeling fresh throughout the film.

 

Overall: This is how to make a trilogy.

Rating

 

 

Horror Franchise – Scream 2 (1997) Revisited

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson (Screenplay)

Starring: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jamie Kennedy, Jerry O’Connell, Jada Pinkett, Liev Schreiber, Elise Neal, Joshua Jackson, Timothy Olyphant

 

Plot: Two years after the first series of murders, a new psychopath dons the Ghostface costume and a new string of killings begins.


Tagline – Someone has taken their love of sequels one step too far

Runtime: 2 Hours

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Sequel

 

Story: Scream 2 starts a couple of years after the events in the first film, a motion picture called ‘Stab’ is just being released from the Gale Weathers (Cox) book about the events, at the premier two teenagers are murdered. We pick up with Sidney (Campbell) at college still dealing with prank phone calls.

We get to see old faces in Randy (Kennedy) Gale, Dewey (Arquette) along with new friends Cici (Gellar), Mickey (Olyphant), new boyfriend Derek (O’Connell) and roommate Hallie (Neal) who bring us a brand new selection of suspects and potential victims, add Cotton Weary (Schreiber) the man who did time for a crime he never committed to the picture we will be kept guessing through this one.

 

Thoughts on Scream 2

 

Characters – Sidney is back studying a college and over the events of the first film, she has moved on with a new boyfriend and new friends, that is until the ‘Stab’ movie is released. Sidney becomes the primary target of the killer and must use the experience with surviving a massacre before to make it out alive. Dewey still suffering the effects of his injuries in the first film, he is no longer a cop and with the events occurring he arrives back in Sidney’s life to try and help before the killer can get near her. Gale wrote the book on the murders, the one that the movie is based on, she is still trying to get a story, but does start to learn the errors in her way when she deals with other reporters. Cotton Weary does have a bigger part this time, as he is trying to piece his life back together after the wrongful accusations. Randy returns to give us the rules needed to make a sequel which an important part of the original. Of our new characters we get the new boyfriend in Derek who seems to be the best part of Sidney’s new life. Cici is the best friend at the college that is the more popular one at the college. This movie does have a larger cast than the first film which doesn’t always give the characters enough screen time.

PerformancesNeve Campbell is still good in her role, she does make us believe she is the everyday student that is being tormented by the killer. Courteney Cox and David Arquette continue their good work in the supporting roles, where this film struggles to get the best of the of the supporting cast is by introducing too many characters, with Sarah Michelle Gellar seemingly filling the Drew Barrymore type role, where we expect to see her more in the film.

StoryThe story picks up in a universe following the events of the first film where Hollywood makes movies on massacres, with this release we get to see the darker side of Hollywood taking advantage of real-life murders and how the innocent victims and survivor can be painted differently to cinematic purposes, well that seems to be the message I picked up on in this one. when it comes to the slasher side of things we get to watch the victims getting picked off by the killer, this does feel the same as before, while the references through this film focus on the idea of the sequels that Hollywood makes, and how they always story to improve on the last, though we do step away from the horror discussion this time.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of the film comes from the ideas that people can take advantage of tragic stories for a bigger story, reflecting the events of the film, the mystery can keep us guessing to just who could be behind it this time around with plenty of potential suspects.

SettingsThis time the film is set in a college that show us just where Sidney is now in her life which is important as she has moved on, but the event will always be part of her life.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film once again show us how blood and gore can be achieved without going over the top.


Scene of the Movie –
The showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many supporting characters this time around.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sequel that is well worth the watch, it shows progression in the horror genre with a sequel that does make sense to how an everyday person would be moving on with their life after the events in the first one, while still having the tragedy on their shoulder.

 

Overall: Good fun sequel.

Rating

 

 

Horror Franchise – Scream (1996) Revisited

 

 

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson (Screenplay)

Starring: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich, Drew Barrymore

 

Plot: A year after the murder of her mother, a teenage girl is terrorized by a new killer, who targets the girl and her friends by using horror films as part of a deadly game.


Tagline – I’ll Be Right Back.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Perfect Modern Slasher

 

Story: Scream starts when Casey Becker (Barrymore) who is getting ready to settle down to watch a scary movie, when she gets a phone call which soon turns nasty when a psychopath starts trying to test her horror movie knowledge and we get the first look at the killer for the film, Ghostface who claims his first victims.

The next day the talk of the school is the murder, Sidney (Campbell) is still holding Billy (Ulrich) from sex, Tatum (McGowan), Stuart (Lillard) and Randy (Kennedy) go through the reactions of losing a classmate, which is the worst crime in the town since the murder of Sidney’s mother.

It isn’t long before Ghostface starts staking the friends targeting Sidney, Deputy Dewey (Arquette) tries to help stop the killer, while ambitious reporter Gail Weathers (Cox) is trying to put her name on the map by getting the big break reporting the story. the question is who is Ghostface and what are their motives?

 

Thoughts on Scream

 

Characters – Sidney Prescott is our strong teenage lead, she is still recovering emotionally from her mother’s rape and murder one year ago. She has close friends, a boyfriend in Billy and knows how to handle herself in a tight corner. Sidney does fill the final girl traits while being the main target for the killer. Tatum is the best friend, she is the one that is more sexually active of the two girls not being afraid to drink and show affection in public. Billy is the boyfriend of Sidney, he is becoming frustrated being with her and not getting sex, he soon becomes a suspect because of his strange behaviour around the group of friends. Stuart is the loose cannon practical joker of the group he always goes too far with his jokes and plays on that. Deputy Dewey is the rookie cop and brother of Tatum, he seems to be the only one keeping an eye of the girls during the time the killer is on the loose. Gail Weathers is the ambitious reporter looking for her next big story after reporting on the murder the year before, she doesn’t give us any reason to like her as the film unfolds and treats her cameraman even worse.

PerformancesNeve Campbell taking the lead role is great, she fits the final girl perfectly with her innocence while showing the strength required. David Arquette in the cop role works very well because he gets to play on the idea that he might not be ready to deal with a killer. Courteney Cox breaks her nice character in Friends to be one of the characters you simply don’t like through the film. with Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard working as the boyfriends on edge who shine in the important moments in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a group high school students who have become the target of a deranged killer in a Ghostface mask. The slasher genre has been reborn with this idea because we get to see the rules of horror explained and of course we get references from horror films left right and centre. The story manages to almost parody the horror genre while remaining serious with how everything is told, it gets to poke fun at genre as only the audience could. We are kept guessing to who the killer is which is everything we want in the film with the big plus coming from the fact we are not dealing with supernatural forces.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of the film focuses on the idea of the slasher genre with a killer picking people off when they break the horror rules. The mystery is the highlight of the film because we are left guessing to who the killer is going to be.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the small-town setting with most of the horror taking place in a home or around a school. It brings everything back home for the victims giving it a personal feeling.

Special EffectsThe effects are good showing real body injuries through film over going full CGI like most do.


Scene of the Movie –
Referencing the horror movies so smoothly.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact the school kids are celebrating after a death of a classmate.

Final ThoughtsThis is the stand out horror of the 90’s it brings the slasher into the modern world accepting the idea that horror films exist, one that must be watched.

 

Overall: Must Watch Horror.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – # – Eight Legged Freaks (2002)

Director: Ellory Elkayem

Writer: Ellory Elkayem, Randy Kornfield (Screenplay) Jesse Alexander, Ellory Elkayem (Story)

Starring: David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra, Scarlett Johansson, Doug E Doug, Rick Overton, Leon Rippy, Matt Czuchry

 

Plot: A variety of horrible poisonous spiders get exposed to a noxious chemical that causes them to grow to monumental proportions.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Creature Feature

 

Story: Eight Legged Freaks starts by showing us the Mike Parker (Terra) visiting Joshua the spider expert of the town who has been feeding his spiders enlarged crickets and of course they now escape. One week later when Mike goes to return his mother Sheriff Samantha Parker (Wuhrer) stops the visit because of waste being dumped into the local watering hole.

With this we get to see the rebellious teenage daughter Ashley (Johansson) who is dating bad boy biker Bret (Czuchry) step-son of Mayor Wade (Rippy) who is trying to cover up the fact the town is nearly broke. Chris McCormick (Arquette) a local who returned to town after his father’s death refusing to sell the mine in a deal which could save the town.

When Mike makes it back to Joshua’s he learns of the super-sized spiders that have been released into this small town, the resident must now fight against the spiders that have infested the town.

 

Thoughts on Eight Legged Freaks

 

Characters/Performance –  Chris McCormick returns to his hometown to claim what is his, the mine, he also needs to make up for the mistakes he has made and this gives him the perfect chance too. Sheriff Parker is a single mother of two trying to keep the local community together and being the former love interest of Chris. Mike is the expert on everything going on playing out as the reminder to all the different spiders attacking styles. Ashley is the bad girl daughter of Samantha who is mostly trying to discover who she is. We have the rest of the town which includes the conspiracy crazed radio host, the greedy mayor the comic relief deputy.

Performance wise, David Arquette is great in this leading role managing the comedy side of everything as well as the action horror when needed. Kari Wuhrer fits the part of sexy sheriff very well too. Both Scott Terra and Scarlett Johansson are good choices too. The rest of the actors all give good performances to fit the films mentality.

StorySmall town gets invaded by giant spiders thanks to cost cutting measures. We do have a reluctantly hero needing to help save the day but otherwise this is everything you need in a creature feature, plenty of potential victims, plenty of creature and plenty of laughs.

Action/Comedy/HorrorThe action is all big and plans into the idea of the comedy being used in the creature feature side of the film.

SettingsThe small town setting helps with the story telling here because they have no communication with the outside world after the attack starts and not many escape routes of places to hide.

Special EffectsWe have a mix of practical and CGI here which all help create the low budget feel behind this film and while moments have dated other parts are all fun.

Final ThoughtsThis is by far one of my favourite creature features out there, it is fun, over the top and filled with perfect comic timing, never trying to be serious.

 

Overall: Purely fun creature feature.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – R – Ravenous (1999)

Director: Antonia Bird

Writer: Ted Griffin (Screenplay)

Starring: Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, David Arquette, Jeremy Davies, Jeffrey Jones, John Spencer

 

Plot: In a remote military outpost in the 19th Century, Captain John Boyd and his regiment embark on a rescue mission which takes a dark turn when they are ambushed by a sadistic cannibal.


Tagline – Bon apétit!

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tasty Addition

 

Story: Ravenous starts as Captain John Boyd (Pearce) is left disgraced during a battle gets set to a quiet military outpost to save face for the army. The Outpost is filled with a mix of different men including Cleaves (Arquette), Toffler (Davies) and Hart (Jones).

When a stranger Colqhoun (Carlyle) is rescued he tells the tale of his journey which saw his men turn into cannibals but he escaped the panic. The men set out to rescue the remaining survivors across the harsh snow-covered mountain range with Colqhoun as their guide. When Colqhoun’s true nature is released it becomes a battle to survive against the blood thirsty maniac.

 

Thoughts on Ravenous

 

Characters – Captain John Boyd is known to the people as a hero, but he is anything but that as survived rather than won his battle. He is relocated to a small outpost where he can work with the quiet group of soldiers but soon he finds himself needing to face his own demons when a sadistic cannibal starts picking off his unit. Colqhoun is the stranger discovered with a story of a cannibal group in the woods, but soon we learn he is a lone sadistic cannibal just looking for more food. The rest of the characters are just other soldiers in the unit that have different drive through the film.

PerformancesGuy Pearce is great in this leading role of a man who must face his own demons while also questioning his own sanity. Robert Carlyle is also great in this film, we see his calm ability to keep people listening to him even if he is the one doing things wrong. The rest of the cast are good without getting too much time to shine on the level of the two leads.

StoryThe story takes us into a world of cannibals and disgraced soldiers, we see how one man is left to battle his own demons while dealing with a sadistic cannibal that no one else is believing his true colours. This is a battle between the two men to stay ahead of the other and as things unfold we get twists on how they will stay ahead of each other too, which does keep us guessing to how this will play out.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy side of the movie comes from the effects of cannibalism on the characters with the horror showing us just how far a character could go to survive, including eating human flesh.

SettingsThe setting helps because our characters feel isolated through everything that happens which helps Colqhoun get around so easily.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show the horrors of what is happening with the most part being practical effects which helps us enjoy the environment we are placed into.


Scene of the Movie –
Mountain search.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Wasting David Arquette.

Final ThoughtsThis was a good fantasy horror involving cannibals, it does have a few tonal problems mostly with Colqhoun because one minute he is calm but the next he is blood driven and it flicks between the two too often.

 

Overall: Great addition to the cannibal movies.

Rating