Fully aware of its status as the sequel to the surprise hit thriller of 1996, this lively follow-up trades freshness for familiarity, playing on our affection for returning characters while obeying--and then subverting--th... more »e "rules" of sequels. Once again, movie references are cleverly employed to draw us into the story, which takes place two years after the events of Scream, at a small Ohio college, where the Scream survivors reunite when another series of mysterious killings begins. Capitalizing on the guesswork involving a host of potential suspects, director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson have crafted a thriller that's more of a Scream clone than a genuinely inventive new story. But the shocks are just as effective, and escalating tension leads to a tautly staged climax that's simultaneously logical and giddily over the top. Background information for trivia buffs: to preserve the secrecy of plot twists, copies of the screenplay were heavily guarded during production and restricted to only the most crucial personnel. When an early draft was circulated on the Internet, screenwriter Kevin Williamson did rewrites, and subsequent drafts were printed with red ink on brown paper, eliminating the threat of photocopying. None of the cast members knew who the killer was until the final scenes were filmed! --Jeff Shannon« less
A terrific sequel that lacks the punch of the first film
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 12/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a whole, ignoring the conclusion for a moment, I judge Scream 2 to be the best film in the Scream trilogy. The opening scene is quite brilliant in design, setting the backdrop as a movie theatre premiering the movie Stab (based on Gale Weathers' book about the killing spree documented in the original movie); basically, we watch enthusiastic audience members raucously enjoy a dramatization of the opening scene of Scream, and the first murders take place in this theatre full of masked, knife-wielding audience members-it's a perfect backdrop (but Jada Pinckett's death swoon is incredibly prolonged). Rather than shirk criticism about this just being another rehashed sequel, Scream 2 is built around the very idea of recreating the events of the first movie. We are on familiar ground from the very start of the action, feeling quite comfortable with the main characters from the original film: Sidney, Dewey, Randy, Gale, and-in a manner of speaking-the killer. The introduction of Cotton Weary, the man who was wrongfully sentenced to prison for the murder of Sidney's mother, is a very effective addition that does much to increase both the suspense and mystery of the film as well as the list of possible suspects. New cast members I took special note of include Heather Graham, Sarah Michelle Gellar (in a definite non-Buffy role), Portia de Rossi, and the singular Rebecca Gayheart, and I am happy to report at least one of these most attractive women does not succumb to the killer's knife. The original Scream was a pretty original take on slasher films, and I was a little surprised to find the plot of this sequel equaling if not bettering that of the original film throughout the first two-thirds of the drama. To some extent, we have seen all of this before-the killer calling his victims on the phone and then jumping out of nowhere with that familiar mask and sharp knife, individuals trying to escape the killer's grasp and usually failing to do so; Sydney facing up to her fears and trying to survive. It all works well here, though. The killings are not quite as violent or gory this time around, but the suspense is palpable throughout the entire movie. The killer even made me twinge a time or two, and that rarely happens. The only criticism I would have of Scream 2 is the ending. It is much too long and drawn-out, for one thing. It is also somewhat weakened by the fact that we know what kind of revelation to expect; it was well nigh impossible, even for as talented a script writer as Kevin Williamson, to top the power and surprise of Scream's final moments. Even though I was unsure who the bad guys were in the first movie, in retrospect I could go back and analyze the clues to see that it made sense. While the identity of the killer(s) did surprise me somewhat in this sequel, this was largely because the evidence I needed to figure out the mystery was not there for the most part; too much of the truth is hidden from us until the climaxing moments of the movie. Scream 2 is a remarkably good sequel, one that does not fall victim to the curse of progressively bad follow-up films the horror genre is rife with. Its additional comedic element, such as can be found in the interaction between Dewey and Gale as well as in Randy's theories on horror sequels, does help to offset any disappointment to be found in the film's ultimate revelations. Of course, it is all but impossible for it to achieve the same effect on the viewer as the original Scream did because, while you may not know exactly what is coming, you can be reasonably sure that you know the form in which it will appear."
A Very, Very Good Sequel!
Brett Michael Roberts | Renton, WA USA | 06/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Scream 2 begins at a movie theatre, were a movie called 'Stab" (based on the book "The Woodsboro Murders" which in turn was based on the killings in the first "Scream" film and was written by Gale Weathers) is playing. Two college students (Omar Epps and Jada Pinkett/Jada Pinkett Smith from The Nutty Proffesor) are murdered by yet another killer clad in black and wearing a "Father Death" mask. The next day, Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is horrified to hear this on the news and runs to her new boyfriend, Derek (Jerry O'Connell) and her old friend from the first film, Randy (Jamie Kennedy) for protection, but no matter, she is soon attacked by the killer and Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox/Courteney Cox Arquette from Friends) is on the case like a lightning bolt. This annoys Sydney, but she has bigger things to worry about. The body-count is beginning to rise, and anyone is a suspect! Is it Derek ("Hello, Billy Loomis!"). Is it wounded deputy Dewey Riley (David Arquette),who seems to immediatlly show up right at the time of them murders? Is it Randy, who may have seen one to many movies and gotten brainwashed? Is it Gale, the annoying reporter who always in on the case? Is it Mickey (Timothy Olyphant), another movie freak? Is it Cici Cooper (Sarah Michelle Gellar), who defends the right to have violence in movies? Or, is it another reporter, Debbie Salt (Laurie Metcalf from Rosseanne)? Now, this mystery is going to be murder to solve! Scream 2 is an excellent thriller and wonderful sequel to a smash hit phenomenon, Scream (1996) which was also a great movie. Scream 2's great becuase it, like 1994's Wes Craven's New Nightmare, has the courage to talk about things most horror movies would avoid. Scream 2 asks the question "Do violent movies cause our violent actions?" Wow, that's a good question. Scream 2 asks the question, and leaves it up to us to answer the question. That's the courage of this film. It's got guts. Of course, people not looking for a real point and who just want slasher entertinment will adore this movie. Is it gory? Yes, quite. Lots of blood and goo (and brains). Some of the deaths include, stabbings in the head, guttings, regular old stabbings, a fall from a second story building, slit throat, and a pole through the head. Lots of blood and gore which is impressivly done. Also, the acting is swell. All the actors returning from the first are excellent, and the new cast is good, too. The writing from this movie is good, and once again, Wes Craven makes the film look very good. All the actors are on key, thnks to him, and he still has that style from the first. Th Scream 2 is available in two DVD releases. If you get the film separately (and not in The Ultimat Scream Collection box set) you get a pretty mediocre DVD. The picture is OK, though non-anamorphic and stretched out on widescreen TVs. The sound is a great 5.1 surround in which dialouge is clear and the music and sound effects are booming in action scenes. But where this disk really lacks is the extras. All you have is one trailer for Scream 2 and a few recommendations. Big dissipointment. However, if you get the truly awesome DVD box set you've got an exclusive Dimension Collector's Edition of the movie. It's really great. First off, the widescreen format is anamorphically enhanced for widescreen TVs (which is nice) and the sound is the same booming 5.1 Surround and it's just as good as the other disk. Then.... we get to the extras! First is a nice and informative commentary by Wes Craven, producer Marriane Maddelini, as well as the director of photography. Writer Kevin Williamson is no where to be heard on this track. This is a shame, because he brought a great wit to the track on the first Scream, but this commentary is still very good. Lots of interesting information to be found here! Also, we have a nice documentary on the making of the movie, some production notes, a few music videos, and lots of trailers and TV spots. A very nice supply of extras. Scream 2 is a great movie, and getting the box set is worth it for the Collector's Edition. If you found my review helpful, please vote for me! Thank you!"
MIND NUMBINGLY AWFUL SEQUEL
Inspector Gadget | On the trail of Doctor Claw | 08/06/2000
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Craven used to be known to make REAL horror movies. Sometimes they were experimentation horror films. But now he has fallen for Hollywood's love of cheap scares and loud, loud, loud soundtracks. This film only has one musical cue that isn't criminally loud noise. But it's music stolen from Hans Zimmer's Broken Arrow soundtrack. A soundtrack I love. This kind of made me annoyed the first, and only, time I saw this (well over 2 years ago).The photography in this film is the worst I have ever seen. Almost everything that isn't in the immediate foreground is blurred and out-of-focus. Horror films offer so many opportunities for creativity in all areas of film production. But as this film is made to appeal to mass audiences the style has to be simple. Even terrible. There is nothing worthwhile about this film and nothing to recommend. The part that I hate most seems to be what most people (for some reason) like the best. A class full of film students discusses if sequels are better than originals. That's it. You see...this IS a sequel, and they talk about sequels. Wow! So what! That's the irony! And it's not worth a penny. I have never seen a more simpleminded and superficial so-called "horror" film as bad as this. The fact that it thinks it's so cool just makes it worse. The true horror of this film is the horrifying ignorance to the audience. Watch Urban Legend instead if you want to watch a Campus "who's the killer?" flick. It's junk but it's better than this.The DVD is in Dolby 5.1 and is letterboxed at 2.35:1."
Jonathan Willbanks | Bethany, OK USA | 06/14/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Unfortunately, Scream 2 falls victim to the oh-so-common sequel-itis that plagues many horror sequels. After the original redefined the term "sleeper hit" by grossing $103 million (domestically), Dimension Films rushed to release the sequel. Less than a year after the release of the original, Scream 2 opened to less than enthusiastic reviews, yet still managed to make a killing at the box office (101 million).
Was Scream 2 a bad film? Not really. In fact it is much better than most of the disposable horror trash on the market today, however it does not hold a candle to the original. The script and acting seem very rushed, and the film falls victim to many of the horror cliches that the original so effectively denounced. The film's biggest downfall is the identity of the killers. Part of what made the first film so great was that all the clues to killer's identity were there. The sequel however, offers no logical clues to the identity of the killers, who turn out to be somewhat minor characters who have played a very small part in the narrative until this point. When they are finally revealed, it's like "Where did they come from?"
Scream 2 lacks the originality, script (though still helmed by Williamson), acting, and sheer terror that made the original such a classic. That said, it's still worth a rent, but think twice about buying it unless you are a die hard fan of the series."
Better than the 1st
M. F. Nores | usa | 06/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What do i have to say except far,far better than the 1st."