Scream 2 (1997) Review: Sequels Don’t Always Suck
“Someone has taken their love of sequels one step too far.”
Synopsis: Two years after the first series of murders, a new psychopath dons the Ghostface costume and a new string of killings begins.
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Wes Craven‘s Scream 2 is a surprisingly decent sequel to the original Scream. It has a similar mix of creepiness and campyness, though it trades in some of the creepy for an extra dash of meta. (Scream 2 is VERY meta.)
I tend to enjoy when horror movies give a glimpse into “what happens next” for the victim. When the focus isn’t just on a psycho killer out for revenge/looking to finish the score, anyway. Child’s Play 2 has Andy in foster care; Hellraiser II has Kirsty in an asylum. Those who experience horror and are left standing should be scarred, and it should show. And even though the Scream movies are generally more silly than serious, this one does an excellent job of following Sidney (Neve Campbell). It picks up two years after the first movie, with Sidney going off to college and trying to have a normal life, but plagued by annoying reporter Gale (Courteney Cox) and her book (which has been made into a movie). Most importantly, Sidney is also trying to deal with her own fears. In particular, her inability to fully trust those around her is heartbreaking, and leads to problems.
As the survivors of the first massacre gather on Sidney’s campus, they’re forced to confront the truth: that a copycat is trying to relive and outdo the original slaughter. Despite one of the horror movie rules involving more elaborate kills, Ghostface is still basically a slasher killer, and only one of the deaths is especially interesting. Still, there are a lot of tense moments. However, since Ghostface is always one or two very human people, there’s a recurring problem with the franchise where the killer always seems to be preternaturally lucky, fast, or agile – not exactly a believable normal human being.
All in all, I really enjoyed Scream 2. It’s a worthy follow-up to the first movie, and captures the essence of it well without seeming tired or too much of a copy.
I will warn you, though: if you or any of the people with you are movie buffs or watch too much TV, you might be distracted by the sheer number of actors you will recognize. Ludwig and I were shouting out “oh my God, that’s so & so!” about once every five minutes. (Some examples include Sarah Michelle Gellar, Timothy Olyphant, and Portia de Rossi.) It was fun to see a lot of these actors, many of them before they’d gotten to be big names, but it did mean I had a harder time seeing the characters as who they were, and not, well, Buffy.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B
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