Where’s The Love For Ehren Kruger?

In light of the recent fan outcry regarding Scream 4’s runtime and ill-opinion on Ehren Kruger for rewriting portions of the script; let’s take a quick trip down memory lane to where fans’ hatred toward Kruger began… Scream 3!

Following Scream 3’s release back in 2000, fans complained the film lacked suspense; was too comedic; and heavily criticized Kruger for ruining the “final” chapter. If Kruger had written the first 2 entries, would fans have a different take on the film?

Scream 3’s lighter tone and new approach breathed new life into the series. Kruger’s script scrapped the rules set forth by its predecessors and opted for a Hollywood satire based upon the story’s new location and Stab 3 characters; justifying the film’s overly comedic moments. Once our main characters made their way to the final act sans the Hollywood characters, Kruger stripped the film down to its roots and diverted back to the Scream we all fell in love with in ’96.

Say what you will about Kruger, but the guy gets kudos for being assigned the task to end a series – and deal with us Scream freaks – he never created. He satisfied fans by paying homage to the original film in numerous scenes (lets not forget the awesome chase scene involving Sidney on the set of Stab 3!) and brought the story full circle. The final moments with Dewey, Gale, and especially Sidney, ended the trilogy on an emotional high note.

I’m very anxious to hear Kruger’s thoughts on the upcoming Still Screaming documentary and wonder if it will change anyone’s view of the Scream 3 writer or the film.

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34 Responses to “ Where’s The Love For Ehren Kruger? ”


Reader Advisory: Comments may contain SCREAM 4 SPOILERS
  1. Agreed, while I do think Scream 3 is the weakest, Kruger handled it VERY well. Ending a complex series, such as Scream, isn’t a very easy task. Just think guys: IT COULD’VE BEEN WORSE.

  2. Wow, I refresh the page and see a new post, yay. After reading this, I like him a bit more since he gave us respect for the movie(He cared about the fans). At least he won’t pull a Kevin Willamson.

  3. Oh please, “If Krueger had written the first 2 films would we still hate 3″ What has that got to do with anything ? he didn’t write them so what difference does that make his interpretation of a scream film was terrible.
    Did he write the film for free ? was he not compensated for his work ? So why exactly would I need to give him kudos for taking on a job he was hired to do.

  4. “Kruger stripped the film down to its roots and diverted back to the Scream we all fell in love with in ’96.” Not by a long shot. He perverted the series with hokey, unintelligent dialogue and a clunky story.

    Had he written the first Scream, I guarantee a sequel would not have been made. Should I keep my fingers crossed for a Skeleton Key 2?

  5. “Had he written the first Scream, I guarantee a sequel would not have been made.”- jeff

    Pure speculation. As much as i love KW’s involvement with scream….he has had far more failures than success. I think he’s good with character development, but outside of that i personally don’t find him all that amazing at writing. Unless, you consider Dawson’s Creek quality writing.

  6. I will admit that Transformers 2 was one of the worst scripts i have ever seen on film, but i’m pretty sure i heard somewhere the Writer’s Guild strike greatly affected that film. I believe other people were brought on board to write….someone else can correct me if i’m wrong. He did the script for Ring….and that’s just one of the better horror flicks of the 2000s. I’m sure Gore Verbinski had much to do with that, and Hans’s score….but i think the writing on Ring was rather enjoyable.

  7. This isn’t about KW’s extracurricular writing activities — it’s about his ability to write a better SCREAM movie than EK.

  8. You’re comparing someone who conceived and wrote the first 2 films to someone who was brought on board in the final stretch to write something that wasn’t his baby. Look man, i think KW is good at the characters and he’s got a nice nack for dialog. But, to say that if EK wrote scream there would have been no sequel is just not accurate or fair. Do i think part 3 is the weakest? yes! Do i think EK is a good writer? He’s mediocre. But Williamson has written some pretty rough stuff himself man.

  9. And didn’t the MPAA really crack down hard on the production of S3 in terms of gore? I remember wes saying they were barely allowed any gore in the film.

  10. And at least EK finishes what he starts. Jeez, Williamson seems to split on half the things he starts. I’d hate to have Kevin be the captain of a ship……he’d probably leave halfway through a storm to go find a new boat.

  11. Does anyone know how much info KW provided EK with before he started writing? That is something i have wanted to know.

  12. I think everyone forgets the shadow that Columbine had cast over Hollywood at that time.

  13. Scream 3 isn’t completely bad but certain important scenes annoy me. Certain deaths were cheap and ridiculous. Candy’s death wasn’t suspenseful or fun at all like Casey’s or Cici’s deaths. A house explosion to whoever smells the gas? C’mon! Sidney chasing after Angelina because she forgot her hairbrush? Really, a hairbrush? At least a cell phone I would understand. Jennifer, Tyson and Angelina’s death at the house were really uncreative and lacking in suspense. Had the death scenes been more suspenseful and more dark I think it would have made Scream 3 a lot more stronger. That along with having Gale be Gale, not Monica (and the hair!).

  14. And let me add that whole supernatural thing they had with Maureen Prescott was really cheesy.

  15. I completely agree with JRT! I can’t even put in words how much Kevin Williamson disappointed me. And Erhen Kruger did write Ring and i thought it was a great movie. I think that SCREAM 3 compared to SCREAM 1 and 2 is the weakest BUT still a great movie had an amazing ending! It was shocking and the entire move was different in a good way. I also agree that Kevin Williamson is GREAT character development and dialogue but he could do a lot better

  16. I must be in the small group of people who prefer Scream 3 over the second. Nothing tops the first of course, but I really adored the direction that Scream 3 had taken and will give my props to Ehren. I loved all the characters and thought the direction in the story was a clever twist. I had little beef with Scream 3.

    I personally thought Scream 2 was the weak-link. However, that may have been more due to the fact that it fell into that TEEN SLASHER garbage that happened around 99-2001ish.

    So here is my props to you Ehren and no matter how Scream 4 turns out, I respect your efforts within this series and appreciate you taking the time to give us fans yet another movie.

  17. Wow, i thought we were going to get a balanced and subjective report on Krueger but this is basically your opinion presented as fact.
    Krueger gave us a horrible sequel that was not even close to being on par with the first two screams.
    The dialogue was corny, the new characters were paper thin, the death scenes were dull, and the killers reveal was far from “an emotional high note”
    Scream 3 while enjoyable because it involved our beloved characters was just plain fail.
    No matter how many failures Kevin has to his credit the fact is he knows how to write “Scream” movies and that’s all that matters in this instance.
    would there have been a Scream sequel had Ehren written the first? well the original Scream was powered by positive word of mouth from viewers and great critical reception. that is what kept is going in the cinema for so long and turned it into a sleeper hit.
    Scream 3 .. written by Ehren was widely panned by critics and viewers alike.
    I think there’s your answer right there.

  18. Agreed Deadlock don’t even get me started on those “ghost” scenes

  19. Funny you mentioned the emotional high note during the final moments of Scream 3.

    For Scream 4, I wonder if Sidney and Detective Mark “McDreamy” Kincaid have finally tied the knot.

    Kidding.

  20. @jrt, from what I remember williamson had a treatment/outline for scream 3 that was between 10 and 30 pages (I think). And I know s3 was originally set in woodsboro but all that changed when kruger got on board. I’ve always wanted to know if roman being sidney’s brother and s3’s killer was a part of williamson’s original concept

  21. Deadlock pretty much summed up my feelings towards scream 3 perfectly.

  22. I love the movie. I thought it was excellent. I love the scene where Sidney gets shot; my heart almost stopped!

  23. I totally agree with Deadlock… There was aboslutely no suspense in most of the deads. I did enjoy some of the new charachters though, like Jennifer Jolie…

  24. @nick ExactlyY that would be a nice piece of trivia. I’ve always wanted to know that! Thanks nick for the info on williamsons script.

    @deadlock You’re spot on with the kills….and btw who is monica? Was gale supposed to play an alternate person played Monica.

    I will admit freely that part 3 is the weakest, but i have always enjoyed it. I never saw the big deal with EK writing the script…..sure he’s an average writer. But, i feel that the power of the first two easily cary the third one all the way through. Could have been worse…EK could have half way through his script decided to go start a tv show….Just kiddin! =)

  25. I think it’s safe to say the majority in this conversation are unhappy with part 3….but i think it’s very safe to say we all can’t wait for the 15th! It’s good to be a fan here!

  26. I think we’re alot safer with Scream 4 than we were with 3, Williamson in 3 only got round to writing a brief outline then he left, In 4 Williamson wrote a whole script with what im sure includes his usual excellent character development.scream 3 was lacking character development and certain suspense which im sure williamson has nailed in his script which kruger can run with and update as the movie failed on certain points. I personally think if Scream 3 had been allowed to be a full on gory film like 4 is then kruger would have done fine creating a similar darkness he made for the ring, And as the ring was a remake he had an original whole script to work off, which he has in Scream 4 so therefore he has a proper framing and direction which he barely had for scream 3, i think it’ll be great.

  27. Also i found scream 3’s ending rather weak, it felt shorter than the other 2 which was fine but the way he made it her brother who had been weaving throughout each film, felt a little simple and cliche, but at least he tried to do something to bring the trilogy full circle. That was a problem for me for scream 3 that i want to be better in 4, the ending. And Out of everything the one thing wes craven’s said he thinks Awesome about 4 is the Long crazy ending.

  28. Well, he destroyed Scream 3 (and I hope the rewrites on Scream 4 are not that extense), so no, there can’t be love.

  29. @ JRT regarding Gale. I’m referring to her character on “Friends.” Courtney Cox felt more like she was playing Monica from “Friends” rather than Gale from “Scream.”

  30. I also loved the final scenes with the leading trio, there I see a bit of old Screams. My problem with Scream 3 is with the Stab actors who haven’t had a development and at least I didn’t care if they die or not. The tone is too comical, caricature; the scares are exaggerated and artificial. All the magnificent suspense and tension created by Kevin were destroyed in this third film. And Thank God that Ehren didn’t write the first two films, but today we wouldn’t have this classic franchise that is loved by us today!

    But don’t forget the weight that the Columbine High School massacre has in the absence of scenes of suspense and more blood. The Weinsteins didn’t want to waste time, so called any writer to close a hitherto successful trilogy with any film of low quality. I don’t blame only Ehren, it’s guilty of an entire context involved at the time. If they had waited longer or had done soon after the second, entirely written by kevin, we would have had something better, sure.

  31. You all do realize that Kevin Williamson outlined Scream 3? Kruger stepped in and wrote it, so the main sequences of event (including the revelation of Sidney’s brother)were probably Kevin’s intent.

  32. I love Scream 3 so looking forward to Scream 4. And the supernatural Maureen Prescott, that was just awesome. So no complaints here with Ehren Kruger. Will have a blast on April 15th. :)

  33. Loved Scream 3.

    Krueger did an excellent job in verybumpy conditions.

    Ghostface using Gale and Dewey as bait was genius to bring Sidney to the finale.

    Overall, granted it was more comedic than Scream 2.

    But it was also more complex, more mysterious, and above all..more entertaining.

    Oh, and more satisfying.

  34. He screwed up bad. There are simple elements that Williamson set in both Scream 1 and 2 and if you ask me it wouldn’t have been all that difficult for someone to follow those and make Scream 3 good. Here are some examples:

    1. Opening Scene-Scream 1 and 2’s openings were both brutal and shocking (especially Scream 1 with Casey being killed while on the phone with her mother and being discovered by her mom hanging from a tree with her guts out). Scream 3 had Cotton and his girlfriend being killed in their apartment. Snore.

    2. SUSPENSE!!! Scream 1 and 2 had some scenes where the victims were struggling with the killer making him seem a bit clumsy and more realistic. Scream 3’s kills were basically just a short, not-so-scary phone call followed by Ghostface just popping out and boom your dead.

    3. Realism-Scream 1 is completely plausible. Scream 2, less realistic (possibly due to changes in the script during shooting which may have been caused by Kruger). Scream 3 is about as realistic as any recent episode of Dexter. C’mon, the killer just assumes someone will light a match/lighter and ignite the fuel in the explosion scene. And then he just pops up and attacks Gail?!?!?! WTF

    There’s a lot more but I’ll leave it at that. Had Kruger just noticed those points he might’ve made something good. I do appreciate the second killer implications, however. The original script had Angelina being the second killer and it’s still implied in the movie, even though she is killed. Maybe Roman decided she was a shitty killer (for being caught in the bathroom with the mask/phone) and killed her off.

    BTW Kevin’s intent was for Dewey to be the killer. If you watch Scream 1 you can see that there are implications that he is involved and even in Scream 2 there is some light shed on this issue. The ending supposedly leaked and that’s why Kruger went with the half brother deal.

    I expect all of these KEY ELEMENTS to be in Scream 4, especially judging by early reviews. I don’t hate people for liking Scream 3 but if you like it more than the first two than your taste buds may be shot.

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