#274 -- Scream 2 (1997)
Rating: 4 / 5
Caution--will contain spoilers, because I just can't resist. And let's face it, everyone's seen these movies. And if you haven't, you deserve to have them spoiled. I'm joking, of course, but you should stop reading now and go watch them. Seriously. Get off the computer and go get these movies.
So, some people have a problem with this movie. A lot of people have a problem with sequels in general, but I am not one of those people. I'm all for sequels, as long as they're done well. Sometimes I even like them better than the originals. I guess Scream 2 could be bothersome to those who know a lot about film and really examine movies when they watch them. But I'm not (usually) that analytic. And I know jack shit about film-making. So I don't usually have that many issues with sequels. I view these movies simply as a horror lover. I'm not trying to pick them apart (unless they're so bad that it's the only thing I can do, of course). I'm just trying to have a good time. Sure, it's not quite as good as the first one, but who cares? I mean, look what it had to live up to. The bottom line is that it wasn't a bad movie at all. I think some people go into sequels hating them for the simple fact that they're sequels. When this happens, it's pretty much impossible to enjoy it. I myself have been guilty of this on occasion, but not with a movie that's so flipping amazing as Scream was. So, in conclusion to this ridiculously long and pointless introduction, I don't have a problem with Scream 2.
It's got pretty much the same premise: killer in a ghost costume stalks Sidney Prescott. The thing is, she's no longer in Woodsboro; she's in college now, I'm guessing millions of miles away from Woodsboro (that's what I'd do, at least), but this person still tracks her down. We know it's not Billy and Stu, so it's not like they were trying to finish the job. So just why in the hell would someone track Sidney down to kill her, wearing the exact same costume as the guys who already tried to kill her? Well, Sidney's got shit luck, that's why. In the beginning, there's a movie being released about the murders that happened two years before, based on Gale Weathers' book. I find it strange that they'd make a movie about some murders that happened such a short time ago. Seems kind of insensitive, if you ask me. But that's beside the point. The movie brings with it a string of new kills that are, of course, centered around Sidney.
I'm not going to go all, "the film-makers didn't know what they were doing," because come on...It's fucking Wes Craven we're talking about here. And writer Kevin Williamson wrote the first movie as well, so we know he's not all that bad either. But I will tell you why I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as the first one. First, the characters weren't as good. The first two characters we meet are Maureen and Phil, played by Jada Pinkett Smith and Omar Epps. Maureen is annoying and seems like a bitch. Phil was okay, but I really couldn't understand why he put up with her. They weren't even a good couple; it seemed like they hated each other and stayed together for...I don't know, the sex, maybe? So they die; boo-hoo, no one cares. There are a lot of familiar faces here, but none of their characters were any good. There was Sarah Michelle Gellar as a sorority girl; her part was too small for anyone to give a shit. There's Jerry O'Connel as Sidney's boyfriend, but everyone halfway suspects him the whole time, so we're not really able to care about him either. Plus, why would Sidney EVER date again? Just doesn't make sense. The other big names were only stars in "Stab," the movie based on the murders in the first one (Tori Spelling, Luke Wilson, and Heather Graham). There are, of course, the characters we grew to love: Sidney, Dewey, Randy, and Gale. But with no other characters to give two shits about...the only point is to make sure that the characters we already know make it out alive. Which they don't, by the way. My favorite character in the first (and this one) was Randy, so I think his death is the main reason this one just didn't live up to the first for me. Kind of silly, right? Oh well.
The motive for the murders is kind of...weird. Sure, Billy and Stu's motives were stupid. But, don't all serial killers have bad motives? Isn't just because they're crazy? Here's where the spoilers start. One of the killers was Billy's mother, and she was pissed at Sidney for killing her son. Really? Of course she killed him, no shit; hate yourself for raising a crazy fuck of a son. The other was one of Sidney's friends, and he just wanted to become (in)famous. That's cool, I guess. Oh, but here's where it gets great. Billy's mother was played by Laurie Metcalf. Yep, that's right. Aunt Jackie as a motherfucking serial killer. Who would'a thunk it? She's always been good at acting crazy; but that was always a seriously hilarious crazy. Here it was just weird. I think the fact that we all know her as Aunt Jackie kind of threw me off, and seeing her as a killer just made me laugh. Really, Aunt Jackie? Really? Go back to fighting with your sister for feeding your kid some Oreos. Damn Oreo eaters.
Anyways, even though I don't feel like it was quite as good as the first, that's not really saying much. Scream is one of the best horror movies ever made, in my opinion. So it would naturally be pretty difficult to live up to it. I still really liked this one, and I would hardly call it a shitty sequel.
Cinematography - 9 points. I don't think it had the spookiness and mystery that the first one had, but it was still great, of course. It looked good, and Wes Craven never disappoints.
Storyline - 9 points. The fact that "Stab" was made only two years after a series of grisly murders seemed really stupid to me. In all honesty, who would do that? It's just makes the entire movie less believable.
Characters - 9 points. While there were a jumble of characters I didn't care about, all my favorites were still there, which was good. But Randy died. BOO!
Gore - 8 points. I was only impressed by a couple of the kills. Most of them were only okay. And Ghostface used a gun. Guns suck, end of story.
Scariness - 9 points. Again, not quite up to par with the first movie. I saw this one years ago, but I only remembered one of the killers. This time around, I went through the whole movie trying to remember who the second killer was. So the mystery was still there for me. That's what I love about these movies: how they make everyone into a suspect, so we never know who is a real suspect until the very end.
Overall score - 44 / 50
Where Scream received a five star rating from me, I'd give this one four.