Sunday, November 20, 2011

Scream to Scream, Scene by Scene: SCENE 7 of Scream 3 (0:21:56-0:27:36)

In this project I attempt to review the entire Scream trilogy scene by scene in chronological order. Heavy spoilers and gore throughout!

SCENE 7 of Scream 3
Length: 5mins 40secs
Primary Characters: Sarah Darling, Roman Bridges (voice), Tyson Fox and Ghostface
Pop Culture References:
  • Psycho and Vertigo (Sarah gets these two Hitchcock films confused)
  • Scream 2 (Sarah is an obvious play on Sarah Michelle Gellar from Scream 2 and references to the making of Scream 2 are included)

I hope they change these establishing shots up!

I've long held the belief that Scream 3 can be read as a spoof of its own franchise. What better way to continue mocking the horror genre than to mock your own series of films that revitalised the very genre you were mocking in the first place?! It's moments like this that make me believe I'm right in a way. There's no reason for the filmmakers to throw in a scene of Sarah here being spooked by a mysterious noise in the middle of broad daylight, there's just not, and yet they have it there. The filmmakers just decided to turn their own frachise's MO up to 11 and put every single cliche in there, even when it was completely unnecessary.

"Stab 3. Jesus, I gotta get a new agent."

So, we come to the second chase sequence of the movie. Scream 3 slicks closer to the Scream blueprint here with scene 7 here coming at exactly the same time in proceedings as it did in the original, unlike Scream 2 that featured far more talk and didn't get around to "the chick who gets killed second" until the 29 minute mark of scene 9.

I've said it before and I'll continue to say it, the cinematography of the Scream franchise is always really wonderfully framed. Always used in a great way to get the viewer into the space of a scene. Think of the way Drew Barrymore looked standing in front of those big glass patio doors or the way the above-angle shots of Randy in the park provided that sense of menace. I always like how characters are framed to show any manner of places in which the killer could be hiding. Like in this shot, for instance, we have an open door right in front of Sarah or the long passageway with doors opening up on either side into rooms that could easily hide the killer. He could quite literally be anywhere.

After working on Scream 3, cinematographer Peter Deming went and made Mulholland Drive with David Lynch, which worked the LA movie world in a far different, but even scarier, manner.

"Fuck you very much."

Why didn't this catchphrase, er, catch on? Oh, that's right... it's stupid. Although, in 2011 that line probably sounds like poetry to some people.

So, I see headshots for "Jennifer Jolie", "Cotton Weary", "Tyson Fox", "Sarah Darling" and "Tom Prinze". The one for Cotton is obviously a prop since there's no way that would actually be Liev Schreiber's headshot, but the others all look legitimate and real. Do you reckon they are? Who are the others, too? Scream 3 extras? Crew who got headshots taken as a joke and used in the movie as set decoration?

Okay, so, when I went to go see Shark Night 3D I inadvertently witnessed the trailer for that new Adam Sandler movie Jack & Jill. It looks really bad. Really, really bad. There's one bit where Sandler, dressed as a woman for some reason, kicks a football (or something - I am not going to YouTube to watch it and find out exactly) and it hits Al Pacino's Oscar, which then shatters into hundreds of little pieces. I don't think Academy Awards are that fragile, to be honest. Same goes for this award, whatever it is. What is this trophy made of if it falls apart the moment it gets dropped on the ground. I'm surprised it made it out of the ceremony unharmed if that's the case (especially given some of the stories we hear about award show after parties!)

"Since I've got you on the phone, let's talk about your character."
"What character? I'm Candy, the chick who gets killed second, I'm only in two scenes."

The meta is off the chart! Jenny McCarthy who is only in two scenes of Scream 3 and gets killed second (third technically, but second death scene) playing a character in Stab 3 who is in only two scenes and gets killed second who is obviously modeled on the actress who was only in two scenes of Scream 2 and got killed second (third technically, but second death scene).

Wait, what?

"Ring ring. Hello."
"Who is this?"
"Who's this?"
"It's Candy. Hang on, let me put on some clothes."

Hah. Amazing. I adore the way she says "ring ring" for some peculiar reason.

"I don't understand why I have to start the scene in the shower. The whole shower thing's been done; Vertigo, hello!"

Oh Candy. I actually like Jenny McCarthy in Scream 3. She's obviously playing off of her own dumb blonde routine - but future movies like, say, Dirty Love, prove she may be aware of her image but not willing to do anything about it - and I think she looks great, too, I just have a bit of an issue with the behind the scenes metamorphosis of her character. The story goes that Sarah Michelle Gellar was a bit too hands on for Wes Craven's liking and spend much of her time on set giving Wes "ideas" for how her scene could play out. Having worked on Buffy the Vampire Slayer had apparently given her ideas on stunts and the like. Craven was probably glad she got cast as CiCi and not someone who got to stick around longer.

So, apparently Sarah Darling is highly influenced by Sarah Michelle Gellar and makes me wonder what Smidge thought of Scream 3 if she ever did see it.

"Candy. Is that like candy cane or candy apple?"
"Come on, who is this? I think you have the wrong number."
"But you know my favourite name?"
"I'm hanging up right now."
"It's Sarah."
"Roman, that's not the line."
"It is in my script."

"Has there been another god-damned rewrite? How the fuck are we supposed to learn our lines when there's a new script every 15 minutes?"

"It's not just a new script, it's a new movie."
"What? What movie?"
"My movie..."
"... And it's called Sarah Gets Skewered Like a Fucking Pig."

"Still in character... Sarah?"

Okay, so, a few things about this exchange:

1. I actually like it. Played really well by McCarthy and I like that the "Still in character... Sarah?" bit reminds me of "Can you handle that... Blondie?" from Drew Barrymore's scene in Scream.

2. "Is that like candy cane or candy apple?" makes no sense. It's like both!

3. All that stuff about "another god-damned rewrite" makes me laugh. Poking at the stories about Scream 2 as well as Scream 3 about pages of screenplay being sent through on the actual day. Of course, they never learnt their lesson and the same stuff happened on the set of Scream 4, too. At least they had a sense of humour about it. But, then again, Scream 3 has a sense of humour about a lot of things it probably shouldn't.

4. I like that she just hangs up. I'm always so surprised when people do that in these movies.

One of Ehren Kruger's best decisions was having a scene like this. You're on a movie set, there's so much more they could have done, but at least they had the costume room full of Ghostface outfits. I like that Ghostface apparently took a chance on Sarah being too silly to leave the building and decided to hide out in this very room.

I just like this shot. Although I do like that the usual cliches of no reception/no battery/can't remember phone number are replaced by those infuriated prompt messages.

I really just wish the payoff for this scene was bigger. I really enjoy it and, as I just inferred, I think this moment in the costume room is really nicely done and inventive (the use of fake prop knives is cool, too). It's just that the chase that follows after it is weak and far too short (or, not so much short, as not as dramatic as it could be - even the music doesn't seem that interested). I mean, CiCi was all running up stairs and throwing plants and being thrown off balconies, but all Sarah gets is...

...thrown through a window and stabbed in the back? Wait, that's exactly what happened to CiCi, except she lived long long enough to die splattered on the pavement three storeys below. Aw. Still, this ending just feels weak. From the lack of gore, the barely PG-13 blood and the very quick manner with which it happens. If you listen, there is some bone scraping, which all kinds of lovely, but nothing else.

One thing I had never noticed before now though was how much Sarah reminds me - from a purely aesthetic point of view, of course, and only when you can't see her face - of another blonde-bobbed, pink sweater-wearing actress... perhaps it was mentioning Peter Deming and Mulholland Drive before that made my mind click, but, well, don't you think?

Ya know, just different.

Intro, Scene 1 Scene 2, Scene 3, Scene 4, Scene 5, Scene 6, Scene 7, Scene 8, Scene 9, Scene 10, Scene 11, Scene 12, Scene 13, Scene 14, Scene 15, Scene 16, Scene 17, Scene 18, Scene 19, Scene 20, Scene 21, Scene 22, Scene 23, Scene 24, Scene 25, Scene 26, Scene 27, Scene 28, Scene 29, Scene 30, Scene 31 Scene 32, Scene 33, End Credits

Scream 2
Scene 1, Scene 2, Scene 3, Scene 4, Scene 5, Scene 6, Scene 7, Scene 8, Scene 9, Scene 10, Scene 11, Scene 12, Scene 13, Scene 14. Scene 15, Scene 16, Scene 17, Scene 18, Scene 19, Scene 20, Scene 21, Scene 22, Scene 23, Scene 24, Scene 25, Scene 26, Scene 27, Scene 28, Scene 29, Scene 30, End Credits

Scream 3
Scene 1, Scene 2, Scene 3, Scene 4, Scene 5, Scene 6


Tony said...

I love this scene a lot too. I thought it was really well done. Jenny McCarthy was great in it as well. But I agree with you completely... had a great setup, but a BLAH ending. After punching her through the window, he could have at least kicked open the door and sent her swinging head first into the wall -- breaking her neck in the process... so much more twisted/creative/jarring isn't it than just a simple stab? Lol.

Drew Mackie said...

Damn good call on the remarkable similar styling between Sarah Darling and Betty Elms. And both did meet a bad end in Hollywood...