After the critical and financial success that 'Scream' became in 1996, a sequel was immediately put into works, which got released only a year later with the entire central cast returning and an entirely new ghostface to catch. While this could very well become another terrible cash grab that was only made to cash in on the popularity of the first film... is it though?

'Scream 2' is not just a soulless cash grab, in fact it is a fantastic sequel that almost surpasses the first film if it were not for a disappointing third act. This film does not get that much love with the audience but I really think it should as it is just as smart as the first film and many of the character moments are improved. It may not be as good as the first film but that does not mean it should not get a whole lot of props for what it pulls off when you consider what it could have ended up being.

I really love the opening scene because it does not try to do the same thing as the first film (and it definitely should not even try to top it). It plays perfectly on the audiences expectations as what everybody really wanted to see was Ghostface. Ghostface, Ghost face, Ghostface. Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven made the ingenious move to have it all take place in a theatre where they are showing a movie based on the events of the first film called Stab - which of course means everybody dressed up as Ghostface. Not only is this a perfect setting to play with the popularity of the first film but it is also heaven for our new Ghostface killer as he can easily blend in with the crowd... which he does. Brilliant opening scene that sets the tone perfectly and shows that there has clearly been actual thought put into this.

Williamson and Craven continues being very clever by doing the smart thing and barely show Ghostface until the end of the film. They do not just give you a lot of Ghostface because that is who the audience wants to see - they hold back and make his few appearances in the film actually mean something. Sadly this is a problem that 'Scream 3' made but that is for another review. Whenever Ghostface does show up though is great. He is just as threatening here as in the first film, in fact I think the deaths here are improved upon (especially with one of them which caught everybody completely off guard but is a fantastic scene).

One of the best scenes of the film in my opinion is in the classroom where they are discussing movie sequels. There is great self-referential dialogue here, they debate whether or not someone is trying to make a real life sequel to the events of ‘Scream’ and whether or not sequels are any good in general. This plays perfectly on one of Kevin Williamson’s strength as a writer. However there is one line were they are talking about ‘Aliens’ and one character reenacts the line “Get away from her you bitch!” and for some reason Randy responds with “I believe the line is ‘stay away from her you bitch’?” – And no it is not. I have no clue why he says it when he is supposed to be some kind of a film geek. The scene would have worked of course if they flipped the line.

The weakest part of the film is the reveal of who is behind the Ghostface mask this time, the performance by the person is way too over the top and very hard to take seriously. In the first film it was a great performance and an excellent descent into absolute madness. It is very disappointing but does not harm an otherwise great film and yet again one of the best horror movies of the 90's.


- Lucas


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