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Scream 2 (1997)
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Review Date: June 23, 1998
Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Kevin Williamson
Producers: Kathy Conrad and Marianne Maddalena
Actors:
Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott
Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers
David Arquette as Dewey Riley
Plot:
Sidney finds herself in college two years after all of the murders went down in Woodsboro back in the original SCREAM. A movie called "Stab", based on the events of the small town, as written in the book by Gale Weathers, has also just come out, and sparked what appears to be a "copycat killer" on the campus grounds. Who can this wacky person be? Scary stuff ensues.
Critique:
Some thrills. Some chills. But overall, just a basic scary movie that does little to improve on the elements tiled down in the first, and more effective, SCREAM. Ironically, one running theme in this film is how movie sequels generally don't surpass their originals in regards to quality, and SCREAM 2 is a perfect example of that well-founded theory. Mind you, this is not a bad film by any stretch of the imagination (some pretty neat murders, and another pretty decent "who donnit?" premise), but it just doesn't live up to the first.

Having said that, I think that this statement has less to do with the actual content and quality of this picture, and more with the sensitized nature of its audience during this second time a go-go. I guess we all just need something a little more spectacular to impress us, now that this genre is back "in" again (And while the addition of every other Joe and Mary "young, hip Hollywood" actor might bring in some box-office bucks for the first and second weeks of release, it sure does little to impress us once they (on the most part) waste their jolly time on the big screen.)

The acting was fair in this picture, but I saw the Campbell character as a little too nerve-wrecked for my taste. The film references by writer Williamson were extremely well-sprinkled, and enjoyed mucho by yours truly (For the record, I definitely agree with the man's theory about ALIENS (9/10) being a much better film than its predecessor, ALIEN (7/10)). Also, I liked the fact that most of the African-American characters in this film seemed to be much wiser to the whole carnage scenario, as opposed to most Hollywood pictures, in which there always seems to be a convenient "murder seat" reserved for the token black characters. The cameraman in this movie was especially funny and enjoyable.

Another thing that really didn't compare to the first movie was its ending. I was thoroughly surprised and amazed by the ending of the original SCREAM, as opposed to this one, which just left me kind of shrugging my shoulders in indifference. Also, even though I am reviewing this movie as a person who has already seen and thoroughly enjoyed the first movie, I thought it might be harder for those non-original SCREAM viewers, to fully comprehend the many references to the first film. Oh well. 'Tis life in the big city, I suppose. Overall, I guess this flic is a good scary movie for a long, dark, lonely old night with your loved-nacho by your side. But for your complete enjoyment faculties to truly savour all the delicacies in this decent spook-fest, I suggest you rent the original before popping this pepper into your VCR, and then of course... don't forget to scream !!!
(c) 2015 Berge Garabedian
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