Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Scream 2 (1997)

“By definition alone, sequels are inferior films!”

After the major success of Scream the producers were quick to make a sequel. This time it was different, usually with horror movies if a movie does well, they want a sequel to cash in on the success. That is probably the half truth here. When Kevin Williamson wrote the first movie he had planned on making it a trilogy. So the sequel went through and it came out a year later, usually a mistake in the horror universe but it worked well this time around. Simply because I think Williamson actually cared enough to take some time with the script and not quickly do it for money.

Scream 2 follows Sidney Prescott (Campbell) again, in fact she’s the main character in all three films, which I love. All the survivors are back for this movie, and a new killer is out there. Now being accused of copying the original killer from the first movie. A movie has been made of the events in the first movie, called Stab. At the premiere a man dressed in the classic Ghostface costume kills 2 college students who attend the same college as (surprise! surprise!) Sidney! So, now the always paranoid, yet strong, Sidney is...well, paranoid about what is going on, thinking that this killer is after her. As always her friend Randy (Kennedy) is there to help her out and lay down the rules of sequels.

Not everyone from the first film makes it through the second film, and that is where controversy falls into place. Randy is killed off half way through the film, a bold move by the filmmakers, it’s always nice to see someone be bold like that by killing off one of the main characters. But, Randy was very loved in these movies, so much so that they decided to bring him back in part 3 (through a video he filmed before he died, cheesy? Yes). This movie develops Sidney much more, and even brings her face to face with the man she wrongfully accused of killing her mother. There are so many people you think are the killer in this movie it makes your head spin. But, one of the killers is kind of a twist, simply because you don’t even know the person’s real name. Interesting, no?

This movie lacks something that the first one had though. But I can’t quite put my finger on it. I think it has to do with some of the characters you don’t care about. Like the character Sarah Michelle Gellar plays, another bold move by the filmmakers bringing in another star from TV (in this case Buffy the Vampire Slayer). Her character of Cici is seen once, in the beginning in the film class Randy is taken, and then not seen again until she is killed. So, you don’t really give a shit when she is killed, because you don’t really know her. You know that she loves movies, and took control of the conversation in the film class, but that is it. She also plays the stereotypical dumb girl in distress. (Also, a side note, when she stops flipping through the channels in her sorority, it lands on Nosferatu which I find odd, what channel was playing that? Also, it’s interesting to note that Wes Craven was obviously inspired by that film when he made Wes Craven’s New Nightmare in 1994, probably a little nod of his own added in there).

The ending is good and odd at the same time. The killers are revealed to be Mickey, a film student who is obsessed with killing and getting away with it. His motive? He’s going to blame the movies. In my opinion, I don’t think they really need Mickey. The second killer is Billy Loomis’ mother, who goes throughout the movie as Debbie Salt. This killer makes so much more sense. She is avenging her son’s death from the first film, by trying to kill Sidney. But, this raises an eyebrow, why did she kill all the others? Did Mickey kill everyone else? Anyway, that’s not really important.

Sidney proves to be a strong final girl for a second time around when she survives this film. She has one more time to face the Ghostface killer, but in the next and so far final installment, she has become so paranoid as to lock herself away. Scream 2 is a decent follow up to an amazing film, but part 3 falls into that lets make it and cash in, attitude of the late 1990s.