Scream 3

It’s almost hard to believe it’s been 20 years since Scream 3 made its big screen debut, and yet, the final film in the original trilogy debuted February 4, 2000.

The third film finds the actors in the Stab franchise being picked off one by one in a sometimes convoluted effort to draw Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) out of hiding. In the meantime, Dewey (David Arquette) is on-set as a technical adviser and Gale (Courteney Cox) is brought in by Detective Mark Kincaid (Patrick Dempsey) to help provide insight into the killings.

Moreover, the studio upped the star-power in the third film while also underlining the “trilogy theme” of the third film.

Everyone from Lance Henricksen to Roger Corman to Jay and Silent Bob got involved in Scream 3, but my personal favorite was, of course, Carrie Fisher in the role of Bianca, a studio archives secretary who missed out on the role of Princess Leia because she wouldn’t sleep with the director! (It was rumored that Jamie Lee Curtis was offered Fisher’s role. Can you imagine how that would have played out?!)

Campbell was filming both Drowning Mona and Party of Five during the shooting schedule for the film, so Sidney’s role was cut back to fit into the total 20 days she was available to spend on set. This opened the door to really concentrate on other characters in the franchise as well as some who were newly added for this film.

The legendary Parker Posey was particularly good as neurotic Jennifer, an actress who has been playing Gale in the Stab films. Watching Posey trying to out-Gale Weathers Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers was hilarious. The film also boasted British actress Emily Mortimer as a young ingenue, who isn’t quite as innocent as she looks, to play Sidney in Stab 3.

The film brought in $34 million on its opening weekend going on to gross over $161 million in the worldwide box office despite the fact that it got just a tad more complex than it ultimately needed to be.

In fact, by the end of Scream 3–director Wes Craven shot three endings and didn’t event tell the actors which he was going to use–it almost seemed like they were throwing plot points at the wall to see what would stick. A film can only become so meta before it outgrows itself, after all. Despite its faults, however, it was a fun, fast-paced end to the franchise…until Scream 4 was released 11 years later!

Take a look at the film’s trailer below. Tonight may just be the perfect night to settle in with some popcorn and watch some Scream!