Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson pulled off something unique with Scream 2: They managed to craft a horror sequel that added to the original’s body count while also maintaining the tricky balance of self-referential humor and legit scares. While not the genre’s own The Godfather Part II, Ghostface’s second go-round still honored its lauded predecessor.
But once writer Ehren Kruger took over the script duties for Scream 3, the franchise’s jokiness went overboard. Other than the straight-faced and vicious opening scene with Liev Schreiber, Scream 3 doesn’t even try to scare; the kill sequences feel like unfunny comedy bits and transpire predictably (fake jump scare followed by virtually blood-less knife attack).
Shooting the attacks with the exact same pacing and camerawork as in the previous Scream flicks, Craven just seems bored throughout, as if only guided by mega-producer Bob Weinstein’s checkbook. Cue the Ghostface voice: “Who’s your favorite dead president?”