Scream 2 (1997) — Maybe sequels aren’t the worst

“Stab 2? Who’d wanna do that? Sequels suck.”

Justin’s rating: Poppin’ fresh!

Justin’s review: The disadvantage of any Scream movie is that you absolutely have to see it in the theater. There’s just no way you’re going to be as scared when it’s on the TV and your dog is piddling in your lap. But even on the small screen, Scream 2 exceeded my expectations beautifully. Although not as terrifying as the first movie, the humor and characterization came through twice as strong this time around.

Everything’s pure tongue-in-cheek as the sequel makes fun of itself — and other horror sequels — in its trademark way. The masterstroke of genius was having the events of the first movie inspiring an in-universe movie franchise called Stab (with Tori Spelling, Luke Wilson, and Heather Graham starring in bit cameos), which, of course, served as meta commentary to so many degrees that it made my head swim.

I was less thrilled with Sidney (Neve Campbell) being a constant sour grape and Jada Pinkett Smith being so annoying, but it was worth the price of admission alone to watch Buffy’s Sarah Michelle Gellar face far scarier threats than mere vampires. Far more welcome are the return of geeky sheriff Dewey (David Arquette), ruthless media maven Gale (Courtney Cox), nerd supreme Randy (Jamie Kennedy), and a host of other first-timers (Jerry O’Connell, Timothy Olyphant, Liev Schreiber, Rebecca Gayheart, Portia de Rossi, and Omar Epps). It seemed like everyone wanted to get on board with this red-hot franchise back in the ’90s.

I won’t reveal who dies, but I can tell you that I got severely cheesed at the movie makers for who they chose. But by and large, Scream 2 was far better than it should’ve been considering the extremely quick turnaround that Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson had to do to churn out a sequel in a year. It’s kind of become the forgotten Scream entry, but it really shouldn’t be.

Andie’s rating: 4 out of 4 Gale Weathers’ streaks

Andie’s review: I went into the theater to see Scream 2 with very low expectations. I mean, sequels usually pale in comparison to their original. But what I found instead was a witty, well-cast, scary, tongue-in-cheek horror movie that I definitely want to add to my collection.

I have to admit that parts of it were not even close to being up to par with the original, like the opening sequence. Drew Barrymore’s opening sequence from the first Scream is classic. From the moment you hear the line, “Cause I want to know who I’m looking at” until the moment she’s hanging from the tree, it’s action-packed and tension-filled. Scream 2 just didn’t deliver. The opening scene was fairly stupid with no really memorable lines. Also, later in the movie there was one choice of a victim that I thought totally sucked. This victim was totally awesome and deserved to go on to the third Scream.

Those gripes aside, the rest of Scream 2 kicks butt. Highlights include Randy’s film class that have a debate as to whether sequels suck or surpass the original. Randy also has an extremely funny phone conversation with the killer. There’s also a pretty neat phone terrorizing/death scene involving a sorority girl named Cici. (One thing I would change about Scream 2 is that more annoying sorority girls would’ve died horrible, gory, bloody deaths. Especially that Noxema girl).

Scream 2 also had something the original didn’t have. After the opening sequence, Scream really didn’t have much tension, just startles. In Scream 2, there’s a scene involving a cop car that had me gripping my chair and the person next to me because the tension and anticipation were killing me.

This movie is a must-see and as far as sequels go, as this is the best I’ve seen.

Kyle’s rating: Always make sure you sit with the chick you want to sit with

Kyle’s review: After the fun experience Scream was, I had high expectations for Scream 2. I organized an opening night party, a huge group my college friends and I went to the newest theater in Colorado to see it, and I was all ready to enjoy sitting next to this hot chick I had my eye on (but not in a homicidal way). Through a mishap with buying everyone refreshments (here’s a tip: DON’T GET STUCK BUYING ALL THE REFRESHMENTS!) and the fact that the showing was totally sold-out, I wound up not sitting next to the girl I wanted to, and I eventually moved to California, losing all track of her. Sorry, dear.

But I digress once more. Scream 2 pounds into us that sequels suck and are never as good as the original, so I guess they were simply making a point when they purposely made this sequel suck. It’s adequate entertainment to be sure, but it doesn’t measure up the first Scream.

Character motivations are less likely and more contrived, and the thrills feel canned and hokey. There are a few great jump sequences, but upon repeat viewing Scream 2 just doesn’t hold your interest. In the first Scream, the horror affected everyone and you could tell, with the town emptying out and kids frightened. Everything that happened with the characters and around them was a natural extension of the killings going on.

Here, everything is played to keep the idiot teenage ticket-buyers amused, and true horror fans and left to shake their heads that a generation will think of the Scream films as true horror entertainment. See Scream 2 for completion’s sake if you must, but if you want thrills and chills, stick with the original.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s