Scream 2

**

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

One was enough. Copycat killers have an imagination defect. Why repeat someone else's dirty work when you can break new necks on your own? When murder-most-foul becomes murder-most-samey, goose bumps flatten.

Scream was a ticklish teen slasher that tweaked its genre with sharpened dialogue, while incorporating Munch's woman on the bridge as a mask of terror and delivering nubile corpses by the body bag. Tres arty, smarty and scary cool.

The sequel makes jokes about sequels. They don't match up, right? Right. A double murder occurs during the preview of a film, based on the original story. Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), disguising her gender with a boy's name, was the heroine first time around, as well as the serial slash's sweetie. She's quick to tell survivors of the Woodsboro slayings that it's happening again. Rewind the tape, guys. Repeat he's-behind-you music. Prepare for blood on the furniture.

Kevin Williamson's screenplay lacks surprise and finesse. The fear element is so marginalised, it's on the level of a waxwork chamber of horrors. The humour feels second hand and the actors are pawns. Courteney Cox, as the bitchy, ambitious TV reporter, has more to do this time, possibly because she's flavour of the moment, thanks to Friends.

David Arquette returns in the role of Dewey Riley, the nice'n'nerdy deputy sheriff, except he's off the force now, limping across campus like a lame seagull. Witnesses of the first onslaught are available as psycho meat and, as before, the questions remain, who's doing it and why? Who doesn't matter. Think of the most unlikely and double it. Why is more to the point. Why make a sequel? Why copy the cat? Wes Craven works better with original material. Regurgitated hokum loses its flavour on the knife blade at night.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
Share this with others on...
Scream 2 packshot
Maniac serial killer is back for a second dose of scares.
Amazon link

Director: Wes Craven

Writer: Kevin Williamson

Starring: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jamie Kennedy, Laurie Metcalf, Elise Neal, Jerry O'Connell, Timothy Olyphant, Jada Pinkett Smith, Liev Schreiber

Year: 1997

Runtime: 116 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: US

Festivals:


Search database:


If you like this, try:

Scary Movie
Scream
Scream 3