[Movie Review] Scream 2

Scream 2Starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette
Director: Wes Craven
Genre: Horror
Cert: 18
Released: 1997

If ever a film cried out for a sequel, it was “Scream”. The first instalment of what is currently a trilogy, was as unique and sharp as a slasher horror can get. Director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson (writer of “I Know What You Did Last Summer”) put together a film that successfully poked fun at itself and the genre it represented. Even though the humour came from basically telegraphing what was coming next, it worked effectively thanks to expert direction from Craven. Even I found the first movie enthralling to the point where it made me jump.

“Scream 2” continues from where the prequel ended. Reporter, Gale Weathers has penned the true story of “The Woodsboro Murders” (ie “Scream”) and a movie called “Stab” which is based on the book, has hit the theatres. When two college students are murdered while watching the movie, it seems that a copycat killer has begun a new spree. It eventually becomes clear that Sidney (Neve Campbell) and her friends are in danger again. Bumbling but honest cop, Dewey (David Arquette) flies out to visit Sidney when he hears and all the remaining characters from “Scream” are re-united.

If you didn’t know what to expect in “Scream 2”, don’t worry. Movie buff Randy (the excellent Jamie Kennedy) quickly fills us in on what is likely to happen in a horror sequel – higher body count, more suspects etc. And so “Scream 2” mimics the original in it’s use of irony and ‘in-jokes’.

And that’s not a bad thing. It is much of the same, but it’s done with a great deal of style as before. There may be more violence, and less humour but the combination is such that it still manages to entertain. There are too many flat characters – Sidney for a start, and I’m no fan of Dewey or Gale. But thankfully the young, relatively unknown cast members, Randy, Mickey (Timothy Olyphant), Cotton (Liev Schreiber) and Derek (Jerry O’Connell) all bring individual and different talents to the script.

Derek is the intriguing boyfriend of Sidney – can we trust him? Cotton is the man that Sidney wrongly accused of the murders in the original movie. He did a year in prison because of it. Is he out for revenge? You’ll ask yourself these questions throughout the movie as you search for the person who ‘done it’. As it turns out, the climax is disappointing and kind of felt forced and illogical.

But overall there were enough scares, tension and humour to make this a very respectable and entertaining sequel. However, having just watched the third installment (review elsewhere on the site), I wish they would have quit at this point.


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