Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Scream 2

image directed by: wes craven

release date: 1997

Some horror sequels, okay, let’s be honest, most horror sequels are subpar to the original movie. I don’t think this can be said for the second installment in this franchise though.
Plot summary goes like this: Sidney is in college, dating Derek (Jerry O’Connell), has a roommate, Hallie (Elise Neal), and life is swell until…the opening sequence with Jada Pinkett Smith and Omar Epps in which they are murdered in a movie theater during the screening of Stab while everyone has Ghostface masks, stabbing each other with fake knives. We soon learn there’s a copycat killer on the loose and that’s when things go crazy.
Talk about meta-ness to the max with all the pop culture references (especially of Friends co-stars of Courtney Cox), Gale Weathers new hair (it’s new in every movie), the star power (so many well-known people known now), and the tension as well as fun created in the first installment.

Although one of the killers in the movie was obvious to me upon first viewing because he was 1-the newest edition to Sidney’s gang and 2-barely around for a huge chunk of the movie along with the second person who should have also been obvious to me as well, the picture was still just as enjoyable. Actually, the second time was much better than the first time.
The first time I saw this picture I was in high school (15) so many of the references and horror homage to other classics were lost on me. I walked out of the theater completely disappointed. As an adult, I absolutely loved this sequel – the social commentary on the media’s obsession with serial killers at the time was spot on which is why the film worked on so many different levels.
I know the movie didn’t perform as well as the first movie in 1997 and there are mixed reviews from critics and fans alike but for this Wes Craven fan? She was thoroughly impressed and entertained throughout the movie.
*Warning – minor spoilers below for those who have not seen it*
The performances weren’t all necessarily memorable but I loved Jerry O’Connell’s performance because I saw how he was trying so hard to be the understanding boyfriend but also create a red herring for the audience the whole time. It was a double performance – which is hard to do with a fine line between subtlety and over the top-ness. Jerry O’Connell succeeded!
Oh and I forgot Sarah Michelle Gellar was in this movie (along with Portia De Rossi and Rebecca Gayheart – former Noxzema girl and now married to Mr. McSteamy Eric Dane) as one of the many victims of Ghostface (although the other actresses I mentioned didn’t die but that would have been kool too). Knowing her as Buffy was weird because I kept expecting her to kick Ghostface’s ass but alas, her fate was to die…and stay dead in this movie.
Scream 2 worked because the same team was in place (Williamson/Craven), all the actors were on board (that survived the first film), and the energy/thrill was re-created in this movie. A great sequel – and I don’t say that very often for most pictures. Worth a re-watch.