OSW Review | Scream 2 (1997)

Scream 2 (1997)

Cast/crew: Direct and produced by Wes Craven, written by Kevin Williamson (who wrote Scream 1), with Arquette, Campbell, Cox, Jamie Kennedy and Liev Schriber (who had a very small role as Cotton Weary in the first) all returning, with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jerry O’Connell joining the crew.

Plot: The protagonists from the first film converge at Windsor College, the site of new murders by the costumed killer!

Thoughts on the film:
• This film was made under a year after the first film, and further to it’s 6-month production schedule, the partial script was leaked onto the Internet. This included the killers, causing a re-write of substantial parts of the film and character changes, leaving the director to hash out some scenes on the day of filming. How well does the final movie stand up?
• I’m sure as a direct response to criticism, the film follows two black actors watching Stab 2, which is a movie adaptation sequel in the ‘real’ world of Scream. What an amazing meta gimmick. They even put the black woman on the cover art despite only being in one scene. She loudly complains about the movie, to also hide her fear of horrors – it’s X-Pac heat. This was done SO much better in Scary Movie, where the obnoxious black actress plays it up, and is hilarious. YEAH! YOU ON CANDID CAMERA NOW!
• Continuing the meta, there’s a quick discussion on art causing murder. Given that Scream must’ve been put under this scrutiny, I wasn’t impressed with how weak the counter-argument was.
• Jamie Kennedy is more whiny & zany, which is sadly worse, my favourite character in the franchise. He throws up the idea of some sequels being better than the originals, which gave me a chuckle. I love hearing this kind of discussion on film.
• The first film had a cavalcade of celebrities, and since the first was a hit, we get more showing up, like Portia De Rossi! She’s way prettier in Arrested Development. Joshua Jackson is in the classroom! Billy (in the Stab movie) is played by Luke Wilson. Sarah Michelle Gellar re-enacts the phonecall scene from the original, to about 10% of the charm and impact. Sadly 90s actors like Tori Spelling and Jerry O’Connell are my kryptonite.
• Returning Cast: Dewey sells his injuries from the first film with a limp and reduced mobility in his arm. Neve Campbell is her sulky, negative self. Gale’s presented as much more of a vulture. Continually butting in on a press conference, ambushing Sidney with a face-to-face with Cotton Weary. She also has cheap red streaks in her hair (which Arquette insults) – maybe to differentiate her from Sidney, who has the same complexion, basic size and haircut.
• Ghost face says “remember me?” Well no I don’t, the killers died in scream 1!
• Gale has gotten rich with her book about the ‘real’ events of Scream 1 and subsequent movie franchise. Miraculously she’s able to re-shoot scenes word-for-word that she wasn’t in, from Scream 1!
• Randy iterates sequel rules (I love hearing this type of stuff): More deaths, more elaborate deaths and a third which gets cut off. I would’ve liked to hear better reasons why sequels can trump the original; greater character depth since they’re already established, expanding the universe etc, i.e. why Empire was so great!
• There’s some cheap storyline contrivances, like not killing/unmasking Ghostface when you had the chance (or stabbing him dead after he idiotically crashed a car). Lots of splitting the cast up and the one left behind gets attacked. Sidney acts in a play where masked men stab her, oh what’s that, you’re having a Scream 1 flashback? Get the boat. How can you get ‘lost’ on a stage, one side is the auditorium with all the seats! Lazy writing, that’s how! It was all MAHHHHHD GAMES!
• We spend an ice age with Cox & Arquette awkwardly flirting, it’s far less charming this time around.
• Some fun 90s references, like Cox alluding to those early internet photoshop porn pics “that was my face on Jennifer Anniston’s body”. What would happen if Gale watched Friends on TV?
• The soundtrack is this cheap daytime movie fluff.
• Hilarious that the final act is Ghostface asking Neve Campbell to please come to the art house, I’ve an elaborate theatrical set-piece choreographed just for you!

Spoiler Thoughts

The killer is revealed to be Mickey, Sidney’s boyfriend’s friend. He excuses his actions by blaming movies, which I enjoyed. His accomplice is Billy Loomis’s grieving mother – her plight for revenge really strips the tension away. As was Cox’s super-human recovery/excuse from a mortal bullet wound as it “bounced off her ribs”, she’s grand to run around. WTF!!

Overall, Scream 2 lacks the charm, wit and ingenuity of the first. It feels like the producers saw how popular the first was, and banged out a sequel asap to cash in. I’m a little annoyed that the critical/fan response to this movie is so positive. It’s pretty much a parody of the original, e.g. Sarah Michelle Gellar doing a re-thread of the opening scene, and Dewey being stretchered out. The bottom line is that you just don’t care about the characters in this film. Scream 1 to 2 is like SAW 1 to 2, sadly a massive step down. Very worried for what’s in store in Scream 3, coming next!

The videos embedded on this page are the best bits – avoid the film! Now let’s hear about THE RULES!


Release Date
August 8, 2015