Stuff I Watch in October: Scream 2 (1997)

Happy October and welcome! All 31 days this month, I will be reviewing all the films I watch in the month of October. They’re mostly a selection of horror or suspense films in my own library or films and shows that have been recommended to me.

Please enjoy and leave a comment!

And if you missed any of our past reflections, take a look:

The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Psycho (1960)
The Haunting (1963)
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)
The Other (1972)
The Legend of Hell House (1973)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Halloween (1978)
Alien (1979)
The Shining (1980)
Halloween II (1981)
The Evil Dead (1981)
Halloween III – Season of the Witch (1982)
Ghostbusters (1984)
Teen Wolf (1985)
Aliens (1986)
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
Predator (1987)
The Monster Squad (1987)
The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
The Lost Boys (1987)
Evil Dead II: Dead By Dawn (1987)
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)
They Live (1988)
Beetlejuice (1988)
Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)
Ghostbusters II (1989)
Predator 2 (1990)
The Addams Family (1991)
Alien 3 (1992)
Army of Darkness (1992)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
The Crow (1994)
Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Scream (1996)
Alien: Resurrection (1997)

Our next film is…

WATCHING: Scream 2 (1997)

scream 2

DIRECTOR: Wes Craven. He was on a roll and his return here was most welcome.

WHAT IS IT?: With the success of Scream, you knew this was coming. As Stu said in the first film, “These days, baby, ya’ just GOTTA have a sequel!”

THE PLOT: Two years after the events of Scream, Sidney (Neve Campbell) is now in college. She’s also popular and receives prank phone calls from “The Ghostface Killer” every now and then, courtesy of the gullible youth who don’t seem to have the slightest clue that their calls can be traced. Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber) has been fully exonerated of the crime of murdering Sidney’s mom — and everything seems to be a-ok…

…that is, until “Stab” is released to theaters. Based on the book, “The Woodsboro Murders” by Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox), the film is released with all the 50’s fanfare a William Castle flick would have gotten complete with flying Ghostface Killers and “Stab-o-Vision”. When two people are murdered at a local screening, however, Sidney becomes a bit concerned.

But when the killer comes for her, Sidney realizes that history may be repeating itself.

WHAT DID CRITICS THINK?: The critics loved it, praising it for making fun of horror sequels and not falling victim to the same traps they fell into. Roger Ebert thought it was as good as the first film — but lamented the uptick in blood and gore.

scream 2

WHAT DID I THINK?: Oh boy…everyone was thinking the same thing..

Luckily, the original cast were all corralled, Kevin Williamson returned to write and Wes Craven returned to direct, otherwise, Scream 2 was threatening to become the punchline of its own jokes.

The joke of Scream 2 seems to be “sequels always have more” or else “you lose your target audience”, so says Randy to Dewey as they bullshit away from Sidney one day over drinks.

Indeed, Scream 2 seems to have more of just about everything: more victims, more suspects, a larger setting…the killer even reveals something we hadn’t yet known — but it’s largely up to the audience to see if it’s important enough that it warrants a sequel.

Scream 2 is a lot of fun. When I first saw it, I thought it was better than the first movie. Upon subsequent viewings, it’s not quite that, but I WOULD say that’s quite entertaining and as good as the first film. One can appreciate what Craven was trying to do here as this has just the slightest shades of “The Empire Strikes Back” but without the big reveal or heavy emotional heft.


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