Friday, October 25, 2019

Scream 2

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!  I scream, you scream, we all scream for Scream 2.

Scream 2 – 3 out of 5

In 1996, a horror film came out that ended up redefining the entire genre.  In came at the world of horror and slasher films in a way that was somehow self-referential, satirical but also as a love letter to the entire concept of these features.  Scream was an impressive feature that really took the genre into a new arena but also breathed new life into a subgenre of horror that was already very repetitive and incredibly stale.  Like all successful movies, a sequel was produced in 1997.  Recently, I decided to check out Scream 2—or possibly revisit it.  I don’t remember if I saw it before.  Somethings looked and felt familiar but they also might have felt that way just due to external pop culture experiences with the franchise.  If this was my first experience with it or whether this was a revisit, I gotta say that the film is…okay.

Look, he's surprised to see you!

It would have been a nightmare at this screening.
Not because of the murder but there was literally
people running around screaming and going nuts
for the film.
After a murder takes place at a screening of the film based on the Woodsboro murders, college student Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) fears that her past is coming back to haunt her and she might be targeted by this new copycat of the Ghostface killer.  Fellow survivors; Dwight “Dewey” Riley (David Arquette) and Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) help try to uncover who the new killer is while Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy), another survivor and a movie buff, tries to find the clues through the use of movie “rules” for sequels.  However, as the body count on the college campus starts to rise, it soon becomes clear that Sidney is once again the target and the Ghostface killer is ready to plunge their knife into her chest.

Move over, Gale!  There's a new journalist on the scene and she is also played
by a sitcom star!

It’s so easy to write-off a sequel as hollow because there are, without a doubt, plenty of examples to pick from to make the case but it is very possible for a sequel to live up to (and sometimes surpass what started it all).  Scream 2 isn’t one of those cases.  I won’t go as far to say this sequel is hard to watch or overtly terrible but it definitely isn’t as engaging as the first film is.  The production still does a great job of breaking down the tropes the slasher genre has built up over the years and there is some fun to be squeezed out of this one but, with a property like this franchise, sometimes more is too much as the self-referential elements start to feel a little dry and tiresome as the focus becomes about them and the reality of creating a captivating slasher within this self-parody takes a backseat.

At the very least, the "Well Actually..." character gets killed off.
And the movie came out in the late 90s.  Don't cry about Spoilers.

The mystery and the “whodunit” aspect of Scream 2 just wasn’t there for me to latch onto—at least, not in the same way it was in the first film.  The initial movie had a very satisfying and surprising ending but also threw in a lot of clues and red herrings along the way to keep myself as a viewer engaged and trying to figure out who was the person behind the goofy ghost mask.  This one just doesn’t have this and the big reveal at the end, while essentially satisfying from a story and character perspective, just didn’t have the same magic as it ultimately feels a bit tacked on and self-serving to the main character’s arc.

And the slayer will get slayed!

Quick, O'Connell!  Slide them out of there!
The cast in this one is extremely good, albeit at times feeling like a who’s who of the 90s as you get performers like Jerry O’Connell, Rebecca Gayheart, Tori Spelling and Joshua Jackson in the film.  Like the first film, Neve Campbell is doing a great job as the lead and is doing a tremendous job at showing her evolution as she is slightly weakened emotionally due to the trauma she suffered in the last film.  Other returning cast members like David Arquette, Courteney Cox and Jamie Kennedy are doing a great job at reprising their roles.  Timothy Olyphant is in the cast as a college friend of Sidney and his performance is…interesting, to say the least.  While not overtly terrible, it does feel like that he is channeling Nicholas Cage a bit.  However, my favorite bit of casting has to be the inclusion of Laurie Metcalf.  She is an undeniable talent and watching her in this film is super engaging.

The crazy eyes kinda sums up Olyphant's performance.

Scream 2 might not pack the same punch that the first film had but this sequel isn’t a complete waste of time either.  There is definitely a feeling that this was sorta rushed and not as prepped in the story department but there’s definitely merit to it and it is fairly entertaining.  Overall, it’s not a memorable sequel but it’s serviceable with its horror entertainment and not a bad sequel to watch in the month of Halloween (yes, Halloween is a month long holiday).

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