With Scream 5's release less than a year away, die hard Scream fans have been spending most of the last year revisiting the hits and misses of the Wes Craven-directed slasher franchise. While the Sidney Prescott-stans might not agree on much -- like if Scream 2 is doing too much meta-horror akin to Wes Craven's New Nightmare or if Scream 4's killer really needed to be a new character instead of one of the surviving Woodsboro trinity of Gale, Dewey and Sidney --  the Scream fandom will often agree on one thing: the third film fails Sidney's story.

Although Scream 3 was meant to focus on Sidney's secluded life, specifically her choice to self-isolate after the events of the first two films killing nearly everyone close to her that she actually liked, Neve Campbell's contract only allowed her to film for 20 days on set. While filming Scream 3, she was also midway through filming 2000's Drowning Mona.


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Due to Campbell's limited time on set, the entire film had to be rewritten. Scream 3's script wasn't even finished while the slasher flick was being filmed. Further complicating matters, her long, streaked hair for Drowning Mona meant that Campbell spent two hours each day on Scream 3's set getting a wig applied, limiting her acting time on set even more.


If it feels like the bulk of the film seems to be happening to everyone else around Sidney, it's because it mostly is. In lieu of the franchise's final girl taking center stage to confront the new emergence of Ghostface in Hollywood, audiences found themselves spending even more time with Gale Weathers, Dewey Riley and their will-they-get-it-on-already relationship.

In retrospect, it seemed as if screenwriter Kevin Williamson intended Scream 3 to be closer to what fans saw of Laurie Strode in 2018's Halloween -- a depiction of a woman who has been through so much unimaginable trauma but has shifted it into a guarded, astute and tough as nails approach that suffers no fools and is always looking out for those unaware of the evils lurking in mankind. However, Williamson was replaced by screenwriter Ehren Kruger, and while some of his notes were adapted, the film faced constant rewrites during production to its detriment.

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Although Kruger would go on to make arguably one of the best J-Horror adaptations with 2002's The Ring, the final result of Scream 3 fails Sidney. While viewers see glimpses of her post-Scream 2 life, working as a woman's counselor under the pseudonym of Laura, that's about it. She's inevitably dragged into the murder investigations on Stab 3's Hollywood set after the death of Cotton Weary, but Sidney doesn't have an active part in the mystery. Instead, she's regulated to waiting around for Detective Mark's updates.

The fact that the surprise killer of the film is actually Sidney's half-brother fails to land, as audiences only see this surprise tension play out in the film's final act, so viewers are left processing who the heck Roman is -- the apparent mastermind behind all the deaths of Scream -- without seeing any push-pull between the ill-fated siblings' relationship. At least Scream 3 gives fans three little victories -- Parker Posey as wannabe-Gale Weathers, the eternal joke of Gale Weathers' bangs and Sidney wearing Derek's fraternity necklace, honoring the love of the one human who unconditionally accepted her before dying brutally.

Scream will see the return of Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott, David Arquette as Dewey Riley, Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers and Marley Shelton as Deputy Judy Hicks. Cast newcomers include Jack Quaid, Dylan Minnette, Mason Gooding, Mikey Madison, Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega. The film is scheduled to hit theaters on Jan. 14, 2022.

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