This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
kman’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
7th, maybe 8th watch:
(Scroll down for thoughts from previous viewing).
Despite rewatching this a couple of weeks ago, my sister watched the original with her friend the night before last and wanted to watch the sequel. Of course I watched it with her. My thoughts have basically all the same, with the exception of it feeling slightly longer. It didn’t drag in anyway but the 2 hour runtime just felt a lot more apparent this time around. Watching with my sister also helped me realise some things. My sister is left handed so she noticed that the killer ￼was using their left hand. Mrs Loomis also uses her left hand to hold the gun so it was smart that they kept that consistent throughout the film. I also never fully appreciated how much this film subverts expectations. My sister kept telling me what she thought was going to happen, especially during the car escape scene, but of course those things didn’t happen. Although, she did manage to guess that Mickey was the killer because he was missing for half the film, she also made a quick comment about Debbie Salt maybe being involved but I don’t think she thought much of it. But speaking of Debbie Salt, Laurie Metcalf is so fantastic. I always thought she was but it was set in stone on this rewatch. She’s just comedic and camp gold here. My sister also said Neve Campbell looks exactly the same now as she did in 1997 and I completely agree with her.
Previous viewing thoughts:
At least 5th, maybe 6th watch:
A fantastic follow up.
I’ve always loved this sequel. So much so that I own a snow globe of it and the original UK cinema quad poster. I also own two separate DVD copies as well as the Blu-ray.
What I love about this is that it keeps the tone and vibe of the original film without feeling like a copycat. It keeps the core elements of what made Scream good and build on those. And despite this being released just less than a year after the first, its incredibly well written and even wittier than the original. I think this one is actually funnier than the original. Both films deal with the comedy in a subtle way but I actually found myself laughing out loud with this one, specifically with Gale. Gale is my favourite character in the franchise and it’s because of her bitchy but lovable charm. I burst out laughing when she insists in saying ‘author of The Woodsboro Murders’ every time she says her name and I love it when she calls Mrs Loomis ‘local woman’. She’s also still holds the badassery that she has in the first film, while also adding more depth to her character.
The cast in general is still fucking awesome. Neve Campbell is again fantastic as Sidney, she’s still incredibly strong but this time she’s less naive and isn’t taking any risks. Her takedown of Mrs Loomis in the final act is so satisfying and she proves here once again that she is one of the best final girls of all time. Jamie Kennedy is really good as Randy too and I was genuinely shocked and saddened when he died the first time I seen this. Laurie Metcalf also puts on a really good performance as Mrs Loomis. She really is great at waving around a gun (just like in Desperate Housewives) and she was great at pulling off both Debbie Salt and the psychotic Mrs Loomis. I’ve always thought Dewey was an alright character but David Arquette does a pretty good job nonetheless. I also think this is probably one of Sarah Michelle Gellar’s best performances. She’s one of my favourite actresses and she does a phenomenal job and her death scene is iconic. There’s also a lot of great cameos like Rebecca Gayheart, Tori Spelling and Joshua Jackson which is fun but Joshua Jackson’s character really just disappears after his first scene and is never seen again.
The deaths are also really cool. The opening scene is literally so iconic. I remember in 2012 I heard my sister’s friend talking about the opening of this film and how they killed this people at the cinema. It completely freaked me out, so much so that when I went to go see So Undercover (we were the only ones in the cinema) I keep checking behind me go make sure that Ghostface wasn’t going to come and kill me while I was watching Miley Cyrus kick some ass. But, the opening itself is literally the most meta thing ever and it’s perfect. It’s eerie but it’s also super entertaining. Maureen and Phil were also likeable characters which made their deaths even sadder. Randy’s death is also a really sad one, like I mentioned above, but the rest of them are kinda eh. Sarah Michelle Gellar’s death is also super fucking iconic. Having Buffy show up and get killed by Ghostface in a fantastically tense chase scene is so fucking awesome. The death of the cop, the one who gets a pole through his head, was actually a really sick gore effect too . I also love the scene in the audio visual room. It’s probably one of the best moments in the film just due to the sheer tension that it carries throughout the whole scene and the way it develops and ends (temporarily) the relationship between Dewey and Gale.
I have a small issue with the killers in the film. I’m aware that Halle was meant to be one of the killers but the script leaked so they scrapped that. I honestly don’t really know what it would have been like it been kept in but my biggest issue is with Mickey. He really doesn’t do a lot in the film so the reveal doesn’t really real like anything and there’s not really any emotional impact. It also didn’t help that Timothy Olyphant probably could have brought the craziness up a bit more because sometimes he comes off as a bit wooden. Although, I love the Mrs Loomis reveal. And while it probably could have been hinted at a bit more, I love the idea of her wanting to get revenge for her son and it’s the only actual motive in the series that actual makes any sense. Of course the motive is in no way right because Billy deserved what he got but at least her motives were somewhat sympathetic.
I also have a slight problem with the length. Clocking in at ten minutes longer than the original, at 2 hours, it just feels like it’s a little bit too long. This is not a problem with the pacing by the way. The film is consistently interesting, intriguing and wildly fun. However, like I said, it does feel a little long for a horror film, but it’s still entertaining so it’s a very small criticism. I also watched a video where it said that Scream 2 is kind of written like a soap opera, with different storylines with different characters weaving together and I agree. The film has kind of a Dawson’s Creek vibe about it, which makes sense considering Kevin Williamson also created Dawson’s Creek. The college setting also adds to this soap opera vibe immensely. It’s not really a criticism of a positive, just an observation. At least it changed it up from the original.
Overall, Scream 2 is a very worthy sequel to a horror masterpiece that ups the stakes while also treating its characters right.
Solid 4 out of 5 stars