Scream 2 (1997) Movie Review
Written by: JM
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Kevin Williamson
Producer: Wes Craven, Cathy Konrad, Marianne Maddalena
Date Released: December 12, 1997
Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott
David Arquette as Dewey Riley
Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers
Jamie Kennedy as Randy Meeks
jerry O’Connell as Derek Feldman
Elise Neal as Hallie McDaniel
Timothy Olyphant as Mickey Altieri
Rating = 2.5 /5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Two years have passed since the Ghostface murderer caused terror in Woodsboro, and Sidney has already done her best to move on as she enters Windsor College. Along with fellow Woodsboro survivor Randy, Sid has a new set of friends. However, things turn upside down for Sid and Randy when another Ghostface killer surfaces, donning the same murders to the ones in Woodsboro.
Like all horror sequels, it attempts to match and even hopes to surpass its predecessor. While it doesn’t fully meet the high bar raised by first installment, it still delivers some wildly entertaining slasher fun. The most shocking thing it does do is when it kills off Randy, who writer Kevin Williamson has established as the one who voices out the horror movie rules. He has proved himself a useful tool and a fun relatable character for horror freaks so his brutal death was definitely unexpected. It’s an important moment in this film because from that moment on, things just escalate towards madness.
The Grave Review
Scream 2 (1997) is in principle a carbon copy of the first Scream, mirroring most of its elements in the same fashion of famous horror sequels imitating their predecessors in the hopes of replicating its effect on the audiences.
However, this kind of pattern has proved tiresome for most horror sagas, and the sequels always show the lack of creativity.
What sets Scream 2 apart is that it is done with an awareness of the previous plot. A self-reflexive move on Wes Craven’s part is that as one of the engineers of horror sagas (and sequels, in turn), he would know how to dodge the pitfalls. Except here in Scream 2, Craven doesn’t necessarily aim to dodge the pitfalls but rather continue with the cliché but make it more interesting. It’s stated in the movie itself: sequels suck. This meta approach of admittance already makes it clear that it’s not taking itself seriously.
Scream 2 (1997) can boast some extremely fun deaths that are well-executed (pun intended). Like the first movie, it opens with a delicious murder of a famous actress we think would survive throughout the film. First it was Drew Barrymore, now it’s Jada Pinkett-Smith.
Another interesting one is the death of the detectives. One gets slit in the throat and the other is brutally impaled by a pipe from the back of his head, which is probably the most brutal death in the film. The kill is a welcome scene since his character were developed to be hated by viewers.
With regards to the twist on who has donned the Ghostface mask this time around, it may have actually pulled a more interesting twist than the first film did. The killers are Mickey Altieri, a film student identified as a Tarantino freak, and Mrs. Loomis, the mother of the first movie’s Ghostface mastermind. While the latter seems more like a reverse nod to Friday the 13th’s twist about Jason Voorhees’ mother, the former is an interesting choice because this is where Scream 2 is able to inject and further improve its commentary on violent media. Mickey Altieri specifically tells Sid that he plans to blame the movies for his erratic behavior.
Along with the scares, the script is packed with little moments and funny lines that lighten the mood and keep things fun and the pace fast.
Sure, maybe because this is a sequel and not quite as fresh, it doesn’t live up to the original, but it comes damn close and is still more enjoyable than most first installment horror films.
Because of the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Scream 2 (1997) two and a half graves out of five graves.
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