Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My Review of Scream 2 (1997)

Written by Kevin Williamson
Directed by Wes Craven

Debbie: "Oh! Mickey was a good boy, but my God! That whole "Blame-the-movies" motive? Did you buy that for one second? The poor boy was completely out of his mind."
Sydney: "And you're not?"
Debbie: "No. I'm very sane. My motive isn't as 90's as Mickey's. Mine is just good, old-fashioned revenge. You killed my son! And now I kill you, and I can't think of anything more rational!"

The inevitable sequel. They're often not quite as good as the original but if they're lucky, they're at least a satisfying follow up to what came before and this one certainly managed that as two years from the events of the Woodsboro murders, Ghostface has resurfaced to get back at Sidney Prescott and her friends once again.

From the imaginative opening sequence where an unfortunate couple (Jada Pinkett Smith and Omar Epps) ended up getting slaughtered at the cinema showing of Stab (that movie within a movie thing that the next sequels will play around with as well) to Randy Meeks unfortunate demise in the back of a camera van to the final shoot out between Sidney, glory seeking Cotton Weary and the killers in question, this movie certainly packs a punch or two.

What other movie has shown Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar making an amusing cameo) getting thrown out of a window by Ghostface or Sidney being attacked herself during a rehearsal of Cassandra while also providing one hell of a meta commentary on the nature of sequel along with a very cringey rendition of I Think I Love You. This movie isn't lacking in memorable moments now is it?

As for the killers, finding decent motives is always hard. Timothy Olymphant is perfectly charming as murderous film student Mickey but Laurie Metcalfe is the one who shines as the vengeful Debbie Salt. The mother of Billy Loomis, Metcalfe spent most of the movie coming across as an annoying foil to Gale Weathers before her real identify was revealed during an electrifying confrontation with Sidney made all the better when Cotton, desperate for more fame also stepped into the fray.

Debbie's motive of revenge might have been old fashioned but it worked pretty well and she's actually one of my favourite killers to take on the Ghostface mantle along with her son and Sidney's cousin in a later movie. Mickey's amusing but the movies thing, it really was so 90's even by the time the movie was released.

However while the villains of this sequel are great, the new friends/love interests somewhat lag by comparison. Jerry O'Connell is pretty bland as Sidney's frat boy boyfriend, Derek and even Hailie (Elise Neal) wasn't quite as memorable or engaging as Tatum was from the first movie. On the other hand, the continued dynamic with Gale and Dewey continued to be a highlight in this franchise and Sidney has plenty of great moments herself.

- The Stab movie bits managed to boast appearances from Heather Graham (as Casey Becker), Tori Spelling (Sidney) and Luke Wilson (Billy).
- Titles for this movie originally included Scream Again and Scream Louder. Think we fared well with Scream 2 if I'm being honest.
- Hailie and Derek were originally meant to be the killer but this movie suffered some serious online leaks and script delays.
- This is the first of the movies not set in Woodsboro. The third one also won't be set there.

Sequels are tricky to pull off but Scream 2 is impressive. It's self aware to the hilt, but back when this was released this was something new-ish rather than being an overused trope. The killers are great, there's memorable moments aplenty and the change of location certainly helped things as well.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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