OK, when asked, I can only reply, “Ass-kickin!”
I realize that that is not a very useful review, so I will attempt to give you a bit more – but always remember the phrase “ass kickin” in the back of your mind.
If you don’t like horror movies and/or you didn’t like Scream, you will not like this movie. Otherwise, start pumping out the money, like everyone else is – it made $40 million opening weekend, double what Beavis and Butthead made last December and breaking December opening box office records.
SO? I am willing to bet that it was huge groups (like ours) filling the seats and repeat viewers (like I want to be) filling the lines. So, just like the preview suggests, there is a larger body count, more elaborate death scenes, and tons of suspects as to who the killer is. But so much more! Scream 1 was chock full of in-jokes about horror movies and following the rules of the genre, it was smartly written, and full of great booga booga slasher wackiness. Scream 2 is just as smartly written, if not more so, and takes the metafictional aspect of the Scream series one step further – I predict by Scream 5 we will be on live video watching ourselves watch the movie!
S2 discusses and obeys the rules of a sequel a la Scream 1, but it also pokes fun at the idea of “based on a true story” always being a lesser work than the true story itself, and it makes fun of capitalizing on an event…it really twists around on itself in a dozen clever ways, and to give a good example would be to ruin the surprise.
So, Scream 2 includes the premiere of the movie Stab which is based on the book that Courtney Cox’s character wrote about the events that occurred in Scream. So, Stab is Scream, and Scream 2 is indirectly about the fallout for Stab, while also picking up where Scream left off. It’s great.
Stab is great, too, because the footage we see is shot by shot a mimicry of Scream, but with different actors, who are not as good (on purpose) as who they are playing. Heather Graham a.k.a. Rollergirl plays Drew Barrymore’s part from the opener of Scream, etc. Very funny! You have to see it to get the full effect. Oh, and what a horrible horrible way to die! Oops! Did I give anything away?
The movie occasionally found me saying, “hey, what’s with all this plot? Let’s kill somebody already!” But then, action would resume, and really, the plot parts were never boring. I got to know a bunch of the characters so I cared when they died, and even having forgotten huge chunks of Scream I easily followed the sequel parts. Deputy Dewey (David Arquette) is back, with his Broken Arrow soundtrack and full Bruce Campbell hamming style, as well as the Tarantino video guy Jamie Kennedy, Neve Campbell, Liev Schreiber, and Courtney Cox. Oh, and that ghoulish black and white mask. A bunch of Neve’s new friends get killed too.
It was scary, more suspenseful than the last one I think, with excruciatingly tense scenes where your whole body is screaming GET OUT OF THERE! The guy behind me who was with us was saying in a very matter of fact voice at one point, “This is so scary. My god, this is really scary! Man, I am so scared!” He was serious, but it was hysterical. Myself, I was at that point pulling my hair (literally – I’m told it was rather adorable) and sitting on my feet and chewing on my coat making a high pitched GGGHHH! noise. I’m not talking about “ew!” and covering my eyes, people, I mean like eyes bugging out, sweaty armpits, rictus of grinning terror on my face, hopping up and down. My whole group was pleased with the film and he who plays the Hollywood Stock Exchange had giant glittery $$$ in his eyes.
I don’t want to give anything away but all the self-referential stuff is great, the ending is a surprise, and the scene with the car (that’s all I’ll say) is a bed wetter! Get a bunch of your favorite people, a few gallons of popcorn, and prepare to be scared. The nice part is there was no lingering paranoia walking back to the car, just Yahhooo!
So go see it already!
MPAA Rating R for language and strong bloody violence.
Release date 12/15/1997
Time in minutes 96
Director Wes Craven
Studio Dimension Films