Scream 3 Movie Poster Image

Scream 3

Same violent stuff in hit slasher saga, for the third time.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2000
  • Running Time: 117 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

No one behaves very admirably.


Vicious stabbings, close-range shootings, and hand-to-hand punching and strangling.


Characters talk frequently about sex, almost always in the context of using it to get ahead in show business. Heroine Sidney's own late mother is described repeatedly as this sort of specimen. A movie executive's bedroom has one-way mirrors, presumably for kinky voyeurism.


Profanity here is more graphic than the gore.


References to other movies.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while there's less extreme bloodshed here than in the other Scream features, stabbings and throat-slittings are still abundant, matched with (sometimes exceeded by) the swearing. The movie industry is described as an environment where vapid starlets boost their careers by having sex with influential men. There are ghoulish and defamatory references to the imperiled heroine's late mother throughout, and toward the end the idea of parental rejection comes to the fore as a motive for mass-murder.

What's the story?

In the last semi-sendup of slasher films, Scream 2, we learned of a hit horror film-within-the-film called Stab inspired by the killings in Scream. That detail dominates SCREAM 3, centered around the studio making Stab 3, third of the true-crime perils of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), who by now has suffered so many attacks from masked marauders that she lives in behind security locks and alarm systems, and works anonymously at home on a violence-counseling hotline. Suddenly, knife murders by a new killer wearing the familiar robe strike Los Angeles, causing police to shut down the "Stab 3" set. Sidney, meanwhile, is tormented by dreams about her mother (whose offscreen rape-murder years before set in motion all the Scream atrocities in the first place). She emerges from hiding to help hunt for the latest slasher who's obsessed with her.

Is it any good?


The third in the series is watchable and entertaining -- if you can take the blood, swearing and cynicism -- but shows signs of stretching characters and gimmicks a little too far. When you've been Screaming over three movies, it's not surprising that the voice starts to get hoarse. Two new characters (Emily Mortimer, Parker Posey) are self-centered actors who'll do anything to make it big, giving director Wes Craven the chance to skewer the movie industry. Roger Corman and Carrie Fisher provide campy cameos. The whodunit narrative is unwieldy this time, but to the film's credit, you don't need to see the first two to enjoy this one.


Late in the movie the thrill-ride takes on a disturbing dimension with ideas of parental neglect and dysfunctional relationships that give birth to monsters, falling in line with Craven's other horror films in which young people discover horrible things connected to their parents. There's also a suggestion at the end that the Scream storyline represents a maturation arc for Sidney, who learns to get over her fears about the past and embrace the present.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how fictitious violence portrayed in entertainment might incite real-life mayhem. They can also talk about whether screen bloodshed has a social effect.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:February 4, 2000
DVD/Streaming release date:July 4, 2000
Cast:David Arquette, Emily Mortimer, Neve Campbell, Parker Posey
Director:Wes Craven
Run time:117 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence, profanity, adult themes

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Kid, 9 years old May 1, 2011
i will say one thing. the role models are no good at all!! otherwise yes it is less gory than the other 2. but there is alot of swaring expessilly the d word and the s word. so yes there is alot of innapropiate language. i would though luv to see a 5th because there is already going to be a 4th. yes there is some drinking at mostly the manshion. there is also mention of a movie company and advertisment. though it is a really good movie
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 11 years old March 29, 2009
As I Scream fan, I found Scream 3 to be the weakest entry in the trilogy. Without the humor from the original and without the suspense from the first sequel, Scream 3 is stranded with just kills and crime investigation. This film lacked some serious charm from its predecessors, because it lacks the "fun" from the original and it lacks the amount of violence in Scream 2. Scream 3 isn't terrible and when compared to other slashers it is watchable, but it is just average at best. For sexual content 2/5, a woman is seen taking a shower although we don't see any actual nudity just her legs, shoulders, head, and a brief glimpse at her upper buttock. A passionate kiss that is non-sexual. Multiple sexual references and innuendoes. A sub-plot deals with a woman's mother being a mother who slept with many men. For violence and gore 3/5, while it isn't frequent, there is some and it can get bloody at times. Most of the violence here is just stabbing or shooting. For profanity 4/5, there are about 30 f words and its derivatives, anatomical terms, scatological terms, frequent uses of blasphemy, sexual references and innuendo, name-calling, and mild obscenities. For social behavior, it's awful since it involves a killer named Ghostface who kills people. For consumerism 3/5, there are constant references to other old horror films and celebrities. For substance use 2/5, people can be seen smoking. I recommend this film to audiences that are at least 15 and up. For content grading key, a 5 means that it is constant, 4 means that it is quite a bit, 3 means that it doesn't occur frequently, but sometimes, 2 means that there is some content but not a whole lot, 1 means that there is barely any content, and 0 means there is no content.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old December 17, 2013

Cool movie

I saw this when I was 8 it was good but not as good as the fourth