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Film / Scream 3

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Scream 3 (2000) is the third film in the Scream franchise.

After being targeted by Ghostface twice, Sidney has gone into complete isolation. The Stab film series is gearing up to film its final chapter in a trilogy, until another Ghostface surfaces who proceeds to kill off the cast. Gail Weathers investigates, discovering that the events are somehow linked to Sidney's late mother Maureen Prescott. Sidney returns to confront Ghostface and face her past.


This film provides examples of:

  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: John Milton to his son, Roman.
    Milton: You don’t have to do this, Roman. Just tell me what you want. I can make it happen. Any picture. Name your budget. Script approval. Final cut!
  • Alliterative Name: Jennifer Jolie (and her real name Judy Jurgenstern) and Steven Stone.
  • Arc Welding: The killer, Roman, reveals that he was the one who originally convinced Billy and Stu to start killing, making him directly responsible for the events of the first movie and indirectly responsible for the second.
  • Award-Bait Song: Does Is This the End by Creed count?
  • Big Bad: Roman was the one that convinced Billy and Stu to become killers in the first film, and was indirectly responsible for Mrs. Loomis wanting to avenge Billy's death, plus Mickey, Jill and Charles fame-seeking motivation for being the next Ghostfaces. Furthermore, Roman was the lone Ghostface killer in the third film, so one could arguably consider him as the Biggest Bad for the series, at least for the original trilogy.
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  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Subverted when Ghostface throws his knife at Dewey, and it hits him on the handle side. It still hurts enough for him to fall down the stairs.
  • Bookcase Passage: Provides the entrance to Milton's secret home theater.
  • Call-Back:
    • When Sidney arrives on the Stab 3 set, she notices that all the house models resemble her old house and Stu's house. She then spends some time studying the replicas. For Stu's house, she takes great notice in the garage door, and for her own house, she sits in the replica of her bedroom, remembering her conversation with Billy.
    • Moments later, Ghostface attacks her, and at one point, the chase sequence resembles Sidney's first chase sequence back in the original film.
    • Roman fakes his death just like Billy did.
  • Cameo:
  • Chekhov's Handgun: This little dialogue says it all.
    Kincaid: (hands Dewey his pistol) Take this GET THE SON OF A BITCH!! he does get him.
  • Dawson Casting: Happens in-universe. Sarah is 35 years old, but her character in Stab 3, Candy, is only 22. Subverted in reality as Jenny McCarty, who plays the role of Sarah was born in 1972, meaning in 2000, she would have been either 27 or 28. Scott Foley is the same age as Jenny McCarty, yet his character Roman is celebrating his 30th birthday.
  • Death by Sex:
    • Lampshaded by Randy, who taped a video prior to his death just in case, and blames what became his eventual death in the last film on the fact that he had sex with a girl in the video store.
    • One of the most egregious instances ever: Angelina gets killed seconds after revealing that she slept with the producer to get the role. Damn, do the rules strike fast! Doubles as a Death by Irony, since Angelina played Final Girl Sidney in Stab 3, and yet she herself failed to follow the rules that Final Girls are to obey (but then again, so did Sidney herself in the first film).
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Cotton.
  • Dumb Blonde: Sarah, who mistakenly believes that Psycho's famous shower scene was in Vertigo instead.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Subverted (possibly even inverted). Roman's motivation for killing everyone was because his mother disowned him and ran off to start a new family.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The sudden appearance of Randy's previously unmentioned sister foreshadows the sudden appearance of Sidney's previously unmentioned half-brother as the killer.
    • Likewise, in Randy's videotape, Randy talks about trilogies and how "true trilogies" are about going back to the beginning and discovering something that wasn't true from the get-go. When he notes examples of "true trilogies", he uses Return of the Jedi, the film where Luke discovers that he has a secret sibling.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: The Ghostface Killer gives his past rejection by the world as the reason for his murderous rampage during his Motive Rant to Sidney. However, Sidney has heard this story too many times from previous killers to care, and calls Ghostface out by pointing out that it's just an excuse for their own sadism.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Half of Steven Stone's fate; the other half is being stabbed multiple times.
  • Horrible Hollywood: The third movie in the trilogy reveals that the entire series was the result of Sidney's mother Maureen Prescott's failed attempt to become a Hollywood actress, only to be forced into a Casting Couch gang rape by unscrupulous Hollywood producers.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: It's Roman's birthday.
  • The Ingenue: Angelina. It's all just an act, though. Underneath this persona, she's actually a foul-tempered bitch who slept with the producer to get the role of Sidney in Stab 3.
  • Kill It with Fire: Tom Prinze is killed when he uses his lighter to try and read the script, only for the house to blow up thanks to Ghostface tampering with the gas.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Liev Schreiber (as Cotton Weary) has a cameo at the beginning. He is talking on the phone with his agent, complaining that the only gig he could get is a cameo at the beginning of Stab 3.
    • Also, the Stab 3 cast can't predict their characters' fate: the script is being kept under wraps to avoid it being leaked on the Internet. This happened during the production of Scream 2, and may have lead Craven & co. to change that movie's outcome: in a leaked version, Derek and Hallie were the killers.
  • Lighter and Softer: De-emphasized explicit violence in favor of humor, due to being made post-Columbine.
  • Lost in a Crowd: The killer conceals their location by hiding in a rack of Ghostface costumes. Which Sarah Darling found out the hard way.
  • Made of Iron: Randy's "trilogy rules" state that, at the ends of trilogies, the killers become supernaturally strong and tough, and can only be killed through decapitation, cryogenic freezing or other extreme means. As it turns out, he's partly right. The killer is able to survive multiple gun shots, because he's wearing a bullet-proof vest.
  • Matricide: The Ghostface who turns out to have been The Man Behind the Man for the one from the first movie reveals that he arranged for his biological mother to be murdered by his accomplice because he was revolted that he had been born of rape and deemed her a whore.
  • Murder Simulators: One of the producers of Stab 3 notes how violence in cinema has become a touchy subject recently; the unstated-yet-obvious cause of this is the fact that, a year before, the Columbine massacre took place. They also speculate that Cotton's murder may have been by a deranged fan.
    Milton: Detectives, there's no reason to presume that Cotton's death had anything to do with this movie, is there?
    Kincaid's Partner: He was making a movie called Stab. He was stabbed.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: In the beginning, Sidney is revealed to be living as a recluse, convinced it is the only way to stay safe from psychotic killers from coming after her, and killing those around her. She lives in the middle of nowhere, locks and sets an alarm on her gate before locking and setting the alarm for her house. In the end, she leaves her gate open behind her, and doesn't set the alarm for her house. When the wind blows the door open, she looks at it and walks away.
  • The Other Darrin: In-universe, Stab 3 sees the replacement of Tori Spelling as Sidney with Angelina Tyler.
  • Rasputinian Death: Tyson, who is stabbed, forced into a foot chase, lands on his neck when Ghostface pulls up the carpet, slammed into a glass cabinet, and finally thrown off a balcony.
  • Reality Ensues: Throwing a knife at someone is harder than it looks. There's always the possibility that the blade won't land correctly.
  • Red Herring:
    • Angelina becomes this after Sidney finds her holding the Ghostface costume in a bathrooom stall. In addition, she disappears before Ghostface attacks Sidney on the set. However, in an earlier script, she indeed was one of the killers.
    • Milton also becomes a red herring due to his past affiliation with Maureen Prescott.
    • Detective Kincaid is implied a number of times to be the killer, in fact, his innocence leads to a Plot Hole/What Happened to the Mouse? incident. It was never explained how the real killer got Sidney's phone number, and Kincaid used Dewey's phone just before the scene in which Sidney gets the phone call from the killer. And it doesn't explain why he had all those newspaper clippings on Sidney in his desk, but the ending shows him now all chummy with the main three.
  • Remember the New Guy?:
    • Randy has a previously unmentioned sister named Martha, who arrives on the Stab 3 set to give Sidney and co. Randy's tape for surviving horror trilogies.
    • Speaking of previously unmentioned siblings, the killer is Roman Bridger, who is Sidney's half-brother. However, in this case, it is justified as the one person that did know his true identity, Maureen Prescott, wanted to start a new life and to forget the past, which included Roman.
  • Secret Keeper: Sidney is living as a recluse, convinced it's the only way to stay safe. The only people who know where she is are her father and Dewey.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: The killer Roman explains that he is Sidney's half-brother, and fires off as to why he committed the murders. Sidney then cuts him off, saying she's tired of all the bullshit that the killers she has encountered have told her, and says that all of the reasons she has heard are just pathetic excuses that the killers use to hide the fact that they kill people simply because they enjoy doing it. This leads to a rather large Villainous Breakdown.
  • Stage Names: It's revealed that Sidney's mother Maureen was a failed actress who went by Rina Reynolds. In the same scene, it's also revealed that Jennifer's real name is Judy Jurgenstern.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Cotton.
  • Tempting Fate:
    Sarah: Guys, we are not in any danger.
    Tyson: "We are not in any danger," says Candy, page 15.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: Played with. Disguised as Dewey, the killer has a phone conversation with Jennifer Jolie's bodyguard while he's looking through Dewey's trailer. When he insults "Dewey" over the phone, the killer responds with "That makes me... angry!" (with a definitive emphasis of rage on that last word), while bursting in and stabbing him in the back.
  • Theme Naming: A number of characters (Angelina Tyler, Jennifer Jolie, Tom Prinze) are named after real-life actors. Fitting, since the characters are actors themselves, and in Jennifer's case it's actually a stage name.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: When Dewey catches the the killer by surprise, he retaliates by throwing his knife at Dewey... though it's hilariously averted as the handle side hits him square in the forehead.
  • Tonight, Someone Dies: Randy mentions that the rules of the trilogy mean that someone big is going to die before it's over. He's wrong though, Sidney, Gale, and Dewey all live.
  • Video Will: Randy's tape, also counts as The Tape Knew You Would Say That (somehow).
  • Wham Line: From Ghostface, while unleashing its Motive Rant in Scream 3
    Ghostface/Roman: I searched for my mother, an actress named Rina Reynolds... searched for her my whole life. I finally tracked her down, knocked on her door, thinking she would welcome me with open arms... but she had a new life, a new name: Maureen Prescott! You were the only child she claimed. Sid, she shut me out in the cold forever! Her own son. (takes off the mask, revealing who they are) Roman Bridger, director... (uses the voice changer) and brother.
  • Wild Mass Guessing: The cast of Stab 3, since they don't have the full scripts for the movie (to keep the ending from being leaked), indulges in this while on-set. Angelina (the actress who plays Movie!Sidney) speculates that her character might even be the killer this time.


Example of: