Scream struck cinematic gold with its combination of true scares and tense winks at genre conventions, rounded out with spices of pop culture. The sequel eeked out a lesser version, and the final installment, Scream 3, chases itself into a dead end. There just isn't anywhere to go. Although the familiar characters chat about how in the third movie of a trilogy all bets are off, the surprises that come don't come from surprising places. Of course, you'll jump when the killer lunges—Wes Craven is the director after all—but the smug spooks and eerie competence of Kevin Williamson's original script have been reheated into staleness.
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