Scream 2

Scream 2 ★★★★

Hoop-tober 3.0 #5

Scream walked a fine line between that wonderful feeling self-aware films can give you, and that awful cloying clunkiness self-referential films have. Scream 2 gets a little closer to the latter, but it's nevertheless a really fun, enjoyable movie. Like the first one, there are no real scares, but a couple of jumps. This makes it the perfect film to watch with friends.

Scream 2 pushes metacinema to it's limits. It's about the events of Scream, transformed into a film. This is clever, but almost too clever, as is the fact that the setting being a university allows for film students to discuss the merits of sequels. It's fine and funny, and the first one did it too, but the first one did it better, and that's kind of a problem.

I think the most fascinating theme explored here is that of catharsis. Sidney (notably a theatre major and not a film student) is cast as Cassandra in a staging of a greek play (I'm assuming Agammemnon but if anyone can correct me on this I'd love to hear it) Theatre is a key part of the final showdown's set up, and I think it's key to understanding the film. While Scream poked fun at horror tropes by having much of the plot take place at a teen party, the fact that here the horror plays out on a stage, where Sidney must take on the role of a hero is fascinating. It also tells us a lot about the way horror works; in Scream 2, horror is explicitly linked to the cathartic relief we get from watching gorey, scary movies. Horror is a cure to society's ailments, in a way. It's therefore brilliantly ironic that the villain should want to pin his insane acts on violence in film - Scream 2 is (in ways that are much cleverer and explicit than the first film) aggressively against the idea that horror films make one crazy or evil. On the contrary, horror films make us sane.

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