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Festivale online magazine
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Scream 2 movie review

Scream 2

As the horror movie expert Randy (Jamie Kennedy) states: "There are certain rules one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel." Scream 2; just like its predecessor, structures itself as a parody to all those predictable horror films that have filtered through Hollywood for decades. But as the wise Randy also remarks - "No sequels are good as the first."

Movie poster; Scream 2; Festivale online magazine; 220x324
Movie poster; Scream 2
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Set two years after the original killings in Scream, Sidney (Neve Campbell) and Randy are now in university and have put the tormenting memories of their past behind them. TV Reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) has written a book based around the killings two years ago, and it's just recently been made into a popular film named Stab.

Just as we witnessed Drew Barrymore killed off in the opening scenes of Scream, another celebrity (if you can call Jada Pinkett one) is iced early on in the sequel whilst attending Stab. So begins a spree of copycat killings on campus.

Goofy small town cop Dewey (David Arquette) also returns, and along with Gale and Randy attempts to figure out who the killer is. One particularly engaging conversation with himself and Randy occurs, where the "rules of sequels" are observed.

"Number one, the body count is always bigger. Number two, the death scenes are always much more elaborate. Number three, never ever, under any circumstances assume that the killer is dead." Although the more attentive viewer of Scream would have noticed that some of the "rules" were obviously broken, this is not the case for Scream 2, as everything mentioned is carried out to the fullest degree.

The nine killings in Scream compared to fourteen in the sequel speaks for itself, but statistics are unfortunately limited to what happens rather than how it happens. Scream 2 is considerably less scarier than the first, and although director Wes Craven (infamous for the Nightmare on Elm Street series and Scream) follows the same shock-commotion formula, much of the seductiveness and charm that its predecessor has seems to have been lost. That is, as much charm as a gruesome horror film can have.

If you're put off by the promise of good looking teens acting irrationally and predictably, rest assured - the characters slip up but the film rarely does. The only major stab-in-the-foot that Scream 2p gives itself is the huge amount of gore yet marginally small amount of fear that is bestowed to the audience.

Also, as many horror films tend to do, Scream 2 kills off its most interesting character long before credits fill the screen. As to whom this character is I will leave you guessing - but allow me also add that he gave both films a sense of structuring and originality - so it would be incredibly hard to make a successful third installment (which is currently in consideration) without him.

Although not as thrilling or classy as the original, Scream 2's Scooby Doo who-done-it style proves to be a cut above the rest, and Wes Craven has once again given a much-needed refreshment to the horror genre of which he has successfully mastered.

Click here to buy films from one of the online stores in Festivale's on-line shopping mall3 stars out of 5
Review © copyright Luke Buckmaster

See also: Simon Feeney's review
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Title: Scream 2 (1997)
Directed by: Wes Craven

The Players: Courteney Cox, Neve Campbell, David Arquette
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ISSN 1328-8008
Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Filed: 25-Nov-1998 : Last updated: : Last compiled: 3-Jul-2014
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