Scream 2

Scream 2 ★★★★

If Scream is about a love for horror movies, Scream 2 is about defending that love. Horror fans know what it's like to hear others say things like, "How can you watch those?" and, "Horror movies are bad for people.". Scream 2 is a fun exploration of various responses to those accusations and declarations, all starting from the opening segments of the film where Wes Craven makes it clear he knows the difference between fictional and real murder through some metatextual cleverness (it's like 4 degrees of engagement if you ask me).

Subsequently, the rest of the film plays with these ideas, all while continuing the same deep knowledge of horror film as a genre with references to a myriad of horror deep cuts and tropes. We're introduced to the idea that if people aren't engaging horror movies, they may be engaging the macabre of true crime. If not modern true crime, perhaps the misery of millennia old theater tragedies.

Wes Craven doesn't finish the film without providing a reason for why people enjoy horror, tragedy, or the macabre. It's quite simple: Death is inevitable. It comes to everyone. Don't point and push the blame on horror directors for merely playing with death. There is plenty to find questionably moral or downright unethical about horror films in terms of portrayal of women and BIPOC. But, if one's complaint is as simple as, "It's bad because it makes people violent." or "It's bad because why would you want to watch people die?". Then things fall apart quite quickly.

Is Scream 2 innocent of being a "bad sequel" simply because it includes a conversation about sequels? That question sorta doesn't matter to me since I liked Scream 2 and it offered something new to me as a sequel to it's predecessor, a film itself that so heavily borrows tropes from other films because it's essentially about them. In that sense, Scream itself is less an original film and more a spiritual successor to several films within the horror genre. To that end, I wish I was in the film class discussing sequels so I could say, "Does it really matter? Scream wasn't really a solo film in itself.".

Of course, then I'd be the guy we all want to kick outta class for being so full of himself, and you'd all probably think I was into fedora-core or something.

Either way, this was a great watch. Unfortunately, seeing the trailer for Scream 2022 100% spoils things for me about these movies, so there's a fair amount of suspense lost for a few scenes. Even so, I was tense, engaged, and had a blast nonetheless.

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