Matt Hall’s review published on Letterboxd:
"There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel. Number one: the body count is always bigger. Number two: the death scenes are always much more elaborate - more blood, more gore - *carnage candy*. And number three: never, ever, under any circumstances, assume the killer is dead."
If there was ever a case of the sequel not only matching the original but improving upon it, it'd be Scream 2. I know, but here me out right now.
Scream 2 isn't a perfect product. It doesn't quite reach its full potential. There's so few sequels that do truly reach their full potential coming off the back of an original movie, especially when you're using it to build up a trilogy or anthology (again, apologies if we don't call it that, I do). Temple Of Doom, not as good as Raiders Of The Lost Ark. That doesn't mean Temple of Doom is bad, it's still very good but not quite there. The Empire Strikes Back, completely outdoes A New Hope, which is still a fantastic Star Wars film (heck, it's in my Letterboxd top 4).
Scream 2 sits somewhere snugly in the middle of that analogy. There's parts where the original does things better as far as classic horror tropes go but overall, Scream 2 cuts differently. Forgive the pun. I know, it's crap.
The movie explores classic sequel tropes and themes whilst adhering to those very things, playing on textbook qualities of secondary instalments. Making the events of the first movie into an in-universe comedy slasher, re-examining characters that we've already looked at throughout the first film - are they the killer in this sequel, bought on by the arrogance of surviving the original?
Well, no. Because Scream 2 gives us two very new killers but it does it in tremendous fashion and keeps the mystery very real throughout. Where in Scream it was not at all subtle about Billy and Stu being ghostface, Scream 2 seems to learn from that and keeps the mystery going right up until the end. There's hints of course but this time the motive is shrouded in mystery right up until the reveal of Mickey and Mrs Loomis as the ghostface killer.
Mickey was the one that was strongly hinted at given his obsession with movies and there was something a bit off about him throughout the movie but the reveal of Mrs Loomis was something spectacular because you've spent the entire movie thinking she's just someone that's there to bother Gail as a competitor whereas the entire time, she has a direct connection to the original and by default, to Sidney and it's gotta be said, Laurie Metcalf was a perfect bit of casting, who knew she could act like such a psycho?!
The eventual reveal doesn't have the same kind of holy crap factor as it does in Scream when Billy utters the "we all go a little crazy sometimes" line, telling us that in fact, he was the killer after all, having been the chief suspect right at the start but Mrs Loomis and Mickey are equally delightful in their insanity. Mickey just wants to be a superstar because of his obsession with horror and Mrs Loomis wants vengeance for Sidney killing her son.
It's brilliant. Not perfect, but brilliant and a damned good sequel.
4.5 out of 5 stars.