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Overall Rating

Awesome: 15.13%
Worth A Look26.97%
Average: 17.11%
Pretty Bad: 21.05%
Total Crap: 19.74%

4 reviews, 128 user ratings

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Scream 2
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by Rob Gonsalves

"The concept was pretty good the second time."
4 stars

A sequel to a well-loved movie like 'Scream' has a lot of good will going for it -- and a lot of high expectations going against it. How to recapture the freshness and surprise of the original -- the feeling that you were seeing an entire subgenre both trashed and rejuvenated? The experience of seeing an original movie for the first time can't be duplicated in a sequel, which, by definition, is the same only different.

The Scream franchise, though, has one other thing in its favor: This stuff wasn't original the first time, either. Scream, as I noted in my review of it, was a clever and effective satire of the then-moribund slasher subgenre. I liked it well enough, and subsequent video viewings have endeared it to me more; it's a postmodern, endlessly quotable cult phenomenon. With Scream 2, you don't necessarily want a radical departure. You want familiar elements with a spin -- everything you liked about Scream, only different. On that level, it triumphs.

Director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson resume their Scream duties, atoning for their earlier misfires -- Craven executive-produced the inept Wishmaster, while Williamson wrote the popular but lame I Know What You Did Last Summer. They're working near the top of their form here. Scream 2 isn't quite as witty as I'd hoped -- it should've had more fun with the idea of sequels -- but it's twistier, gorier, and, at times, more shocking. Anyone could be the killer (the cast is full of red herrings), and anyone can die at any time.

Except Neve Campbell. She is, after all, the pole holding up this franchise. Her Sidney Prescott, now in college and pledging a sorority, wants to put the horror behind her and move on. Three reasons why she can't: Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), the ice-blooded reporter who wrote a book about the Scream killings, which has been made into the movie Stab, starring, of course, Tori Spelling; Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber), who spent the first Scream in jail for killing Sidney's mom (he was innocent) and now demands media absolution; and, yep, the killer in the Munch mask. He's back. Or she's back. Or they're back. More than this I cannot disclose.

I can say that I enjoyed seeing Neve and Courteney again, as well as geeky horror addict Randy (Jamie Kennedy) and doofus deputy Dewey (David Arquette). The sequel also serves up such new-to-Scream faces as Jada Pinkett (who shines in the virtuoso opening sequence, set in a theater showing Stab), Sarah Michelle Gellar (not very Buffy-like here, but still much better than she was in Last Summer), Laurie Metcalf as a reporter stalking Gale (for a change), and Duane Martin, who's funny as Gale's apprehensive new cameraman ("Brothers don't last long in situations like this," he accurately points out).

Had Scream 2 been left in other, lesser hands, it would surely have sucked, as most sequels do (as the movie itself acknowledges in its best film-nerd scene). That it escapes suckage is due to Craven and Williamson, who operate under a productive philosophy: "There's gonna be a sequel anyway, so we might as well come back and do it up right." They do.

'Scream 2' is as clever and nerve-wracking as the original; on its own self-referential, crowd-pleasing terms, it's a success. Yet I will end this review as I ended my review of the first movie: How about a truly original horror film -- some new blood in the genre? Where is the next Wes Craven? See, I can do same-only-different, too.

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originally posted: 01/14/07 12:27:46
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User Comments

2/21/17 morris campbell good sequel if a bit tame 4 stars
2/27/13 David Hollingsworth A good sequel that holds up to the original. 4 stars
3/08/12 jcar a pretty good sequel with some clever and style, but not in league with sequels like Aliens 3 stars
7/18/11 art I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER,BURRIES scream!!!! 1 stars
6/21/10 Sarah Rips off 'He Knows You're Alone' in scene 1, otherwise better than the original. 5 stars
10/14/09 Joise Cotton is a goddess My favorite of the trilogy 4 stars
9/15/08 ghostface LOVED IT 5 stars
2/18/08 Pamela White funny in a juvenile way 4 stars
2/08/08 Anthony Feor Good acting, good story, and I love Courtney Cox 4 stars
1/28/07 mets1986 Best of the three..... 4 stars
9/09/06 Michele i love crappy horror movies 4 stars
8/09/06 Doreen Great sequel! 4 stars
4/03/06 scream himself awsome and amaising scary every time you see my face in the movie 5 stars
2/13/06 Anthony A great sequel 4 stars
12/05/05 cody movie discussion by great sequels, ok followup, mrs. loomis is not a mrs voorhes sorry! 3 stars
9/05/05 Katie . Two things. 1) I HATE TORI SPELLING!!!! 2) WHY RANDY? WHY RANDY????? 5 stars
8/26/05 FRankie GREAT!!!!! 4 stars
8/26/05 Michael No Value 1 stars
8/22/05 Eden Some great scenes in entertaining but confused sequel 4 stars
5/26/05 tony Almost as good as the first. But the plot makes no sense and ties in know way with sydney 4 stars
4/28/05 E-FUNK SHIT. Ths movie failed on so many levels, too many to explain here. FUCK!!!!!!! 1 stars
4/18/05 Indrid Cold Just as good as the first, but funny how the self-aware irony thing wear thin quick, huh? 4 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams never should have been made. First one was great. 1 stars
12/09/04 Littlepurch Id say equaly as gd as the first.Concentrates mor on scares and does comedy the separately. 4 stars
11/19/04 screb best of the trilogy 4 stars
11/02/04 Naka Not at all fucking scary!!!!!!! 1 stars
5/25/04 American Slasher Goddess Too bland and not anything great 2 stars
5/16/04 Daveman Find me three better horror sequals, you're going to have trouble... underrated 3 stars
5/09/04 Ray Not good!!! 2 stars
4/18/04 Zach Fun........ 5 stars
2/18/04 john not as good as #1 but still entertaining 4 stars
2/04/04 Chad Foster Sarah Michelle Gellar Grrrrrrrr 5 stars
1/27/04 Chloe Brody The original shits on this - but it was still fun! Good to see Sarah Michelle too! 4 stars
1/17/04 Josh Standlee You gotta have the sequal! 5 stars
11/25/03 Thiago AMAZING sequel. 4 stars
11/25/03 homer J. Simpson not as good as the first but dewey saved it for me 4 stars
11/11/03 Jor.Armstrong Pointless. Didn't need to be made. It's hard to be clever once, impossible twice 1 stars
11/04/03 American Slasher Goddess It can't come close to the first one, but not horrible. 3 stars
10/23/03 Josh Randy, come back! Still scary, and extremely clever. 4 stars
10/21/03 Buck Possibly even more fun than the first. 4 stars
10/10/03 Erik Van Sant Rosanne Barr's sister is the killer. I hate you for this, Wes Craven. Fuck! 1 stars
7/23/03 Double G Not as good as the first, why did buffy have to die. SHE IS SO HOTT!!! 3 stars
7/13/03 3man It was okay. I hate Arquette though. 3 stars
5/31/03 mee NOT BAD BUT NOT TO GOOD 3 stars
4/25/03 hello this movie sucks if my mom was a pyschotic killer, i'd be very careful when bringing home girls 2 stars
10/24/02 Charles Tatum Starting to get a little old 4 stars
9/23/02 Kyle After seeing the first, I figured there couldn't be a worse sequel. I was wrong. 1 stars
9/08/02 movie guy pretty bad 2 stars
8/27/02 Gray Has no new ideas. Some good performances, but little else. 1 stars
8/17/02 Scott Left me puzzled...Not as good as the first still worth a look though. 3 stars
7/22/02 Gyro The best in the trilogy. Great fun. 5 stars
5/26/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi Yes Vanessa i think buffy is gonna die in every moovie she does 3 stars
5/15/02 Blake This movie was good but Elise Neal died. 4 stars
4/15/02 Film Guy just ok 3 stars
2/28/02 Chowie this movie was a bit of a letdown after the sucsess of the original, rent the 1st and 3rd.. 2 stars
1/12/02 rb good but only because srah michelle gellar was in it but its stupid 1 stars
12/13/01 ben wasden What is wrong with you people? This movie kicked ass! 5 stars
10/29/01 Gary Smart-arsed and frightless with dull new characters, but it looks great and is acted well. 2 stars
10/07/01 jawsboy no way is this total crap!! It's a solid thriller with good cast & action, but ok ending. 4 stars
10/04/01 Phoenix Almost as good as the first. It's only the climax that somewhat dissapoints. 4 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat (formerly Joe Zappa) I don't know why I think it sucks donkey balls, but I think it sucks donkey balls. 2 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk This sequel sucks ass, mkay? 1 stars
7/28/01 Steve I'm with Ryan A. Go see the first. Why people liked second so much, I dunno. 2 stars
7/10/01 JT I agree with teen movie critic II 5 stars
7/06/01 SeStA See the first and 3rd instead!!!!! 2 stars
6/20/01 King Jackass The worst of the series, but not bad 3 stars
6/16/01 JON THE SMELLY JEW shitty cast... 1 stars
5/26/01 Connoisseur wow, even worse than 1st one (didn't think it was possible) 1 stars
5/22/01 I love movies it's better than SCREAM 3, almost as good as #1 4 stars
5/04/01 roby lafon wes craven you know it will be good 5 stars
4/23/01 Rampage what the hell was that?!!! Christ, this movie stunk, and whoever likes it is a dickhead!!!! 1 stars
4/14/01 LiL It's okay, just okay. Instead of renting this, rent the first one instead 3 stars
3/08/01 Sanja even kids hate it 1 stars
2/15/01 Jake I agree with Bender. Plus, the original didn't have Buffy looking all sexy. 4 stars
1/31/01 Big Isil hey TIM, has aol gotten to you and MIKE? Now i know why Mike hates Neve 1 stars
11/29/00 Cristopher Revilla i tell you guys, most sequels suck ass!!!! 1 stars
11/05/00 Gray Well directed and very stylish, but devoid of shocks and a patchy script. 2 stars
10/29/00 Mitja Podgajski This shity sequel, destroyed reputation of Scream 1 2 stars
10/24/00 Ground Zero what fancy rotten slag, even the ending killed the movie 2 stars
7/21/00 Bender I don't know why, but it entertains me more than the original. 4 stars
6/26/00 Stu Loomis Jamie Kennedy - wow. Not enough superlatives to describe him. Arquette, too 5 stars
6/03/00 dahmer!!!!!!!!!!AHHH! What lovely shite 1 stars
5/30/00 danilo total crap - i was all over the floor when the killers were revealed 1 stars
5/19/00 Steve Layne Entertaining from beginning to end and better paced than the original. 5 stars
5/05/00 Hi there What a great movie! What a TERRIBLE ending! 5 stars
4/29/00 Pansy Who the hell casted Buffy in this armpit? 2 stars
4/26/00 XXX Great! But the ending sucks! 5 stars
4/24/00 Ryan TERRIBLE>>>> WORST THEN THE 1st... NOT EVEN A CUTE GUY!!! 1 stars
4/21/00 Buffalo Bill Absolute SHITE! 1 stars
4/17/00 BB-15 Scarier than the first, but not as funny. A very worthy sequel. 5 stars
3/15/00 Chloe Sesta Jacobs Scary, good jokes, not as good as the first one. Tim Olyphant was good 4 stars
2/06/00 Kyle Broflovski Oh, my God!! They killed Randy!!! YOU BASTARDS!!! 2 stars
1/29/00 Sabe GREAT MOVIE! Not really scary, but it was a blast! 5 stars
1/18/00 Adem Of Woodsboro VERY VERY good, not as good as the firs but still fine. U will see when comes out what We 5 stars
1/18/00 Jedi15 As good as the first. The only bad thing about it was the ending (think Friday the 13th). 5 stars
12/03/99 perpetual loser they made two of them? i wish i could give it a lower rating... 1 stars
11/21/99 Gary Durso Ending was plain bad...the rest was plain scary 4 stars
11/04/99 Mickey "Father Death" MacJohnstmyster It is about as good as your gonna get from a horror sequel , it's still pretty cool . 4 stars
10/14/99 Lame-Oh Scream 2?!!! DAMN DAMN DAMN! And a sorry ass cast. Lame-o! 2 stars
9/20/99 Admiral Crunch Who the hell cast Buffy? Whatta waste of a really bad movie. 1 stars
7/30/99 Matthew Bartley Crap killers but a good laugh 4 stars
6/17/99 P.S.O.K Why they let Randy die? Why is Dewey still alive? 1 stars
4/16/99 Mr. Kramitall Advice for Go Swans: shut up. This was way crappy than the first movie. 2 stars
4/02/99 The Incredible Sulk God help me, let's there be no Scream 3... 2 stars
3/10/99 Go Swans What are you people on. This was waaayyy funnier than Scream. Not as scary though. 4 stars
3/06/99 Mike Rotch Hey, there's a typo on the poster. Isn't it Screamz? 2 stars
2/27/99 Viral Messiah Woohoo! Buffy's dead! 2 stars
2/02/99 Jacques Strap GO TO HELL! 2 stars
1/31/99 El Dorko More Neve, yes, but enough with that Williamson crap! Buffy can bite my collective butt! 2 stars
1/10/99 Hugh Jass Shudder. Buffy did a bad job. The sequel was shit. Pure shit! 2 stars
11/17/98 Jeff C. It was great. funnier than the first 5 stars
11/10/98 Hugh Jass Watch this shit and you deserve a kick in the nuts. Really, I mean it. 2 stars
11/02/98 Darkhero1 Just as much fun as the first but the killers sucked. Should've stayed with the 1st version 4 stars
10/27/98 cyanide rush worse then the first. like this movie and u deserve a bitch slap 1 stars
10/17/98 eric sin-chan all of the Scream movies stink, what now Scream 3? 1 stars
9/26/98 Pat Flanagan It's all worth seeing O'Connell make an ass of himself trying to sing. 4 stars
9/06/98 Young Einstein The mental image of Arquette and Courtney Cox humping is just too much for my sensibilities 1 stars
9/02/98 J-Guy too dependant on the first. 2 stars
8/23/98 Superfly The original screenplay's ending was way better, but this one kind of sucked. 3 stars
8/21/98 Mike F I liked. not as good at the first. but still fuckign awesome. 5 stars
8/20/98 The Man With The Helmet Scream 3 is a bad idea. It's over, Miramax. Leave it be. This stank. 1 stars
8/16/98 Johny And I liked the first one 2 stars
8/15/98 Schmeekins Should have left the first one alone. Why is nobody else in the school 2 stars
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  24-Apr-1998 (R)
  DVD: 07-Sep-2004


  15-Jan-1998 (MA)

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