Scream 2 (Blu-ray)
As Stu Macher says in SCREAM, “These days, you gotta have a sequel.” Truer words have never been spoken. SCREAM 2 may have set off the inevitable desperation for sequels, necessary or not. While the horror genre is no stranger to this, nowadays it seems like any successful film has to have a sequel, or two, or in the case of now—a reboot. But the real question is, is SCREAM 2 a worthy follow-up?
Two years after the murders in Woodsboro, Sidney (Neve Campbell) has gone off to Windsor College in Cincinnati in the attempt to live a normal life. Everything seems fine until the premiere of STAB, a film that was adapted from Gale Weather’s (Courteney Cox) book on the events of that terrible night. Coincidentally, Cotton Weary (Liv Schreiber), the guy who originally was thought to have killed Sidney’s Mom has been released from jail. The night that STAB is shown at the local movie theatre, two students from Windsor are violently killed. With a similar chain of events unfolding, the press is hungry to get Sidney’s reaction, but all she wants to do is find out why it’s all happening again.
The main focus of SCREAM 2 is all about the sequel due to a copycat killer with additional commentary of life, imitating art, imitating life. Of course, Randy (Jamie Kennedy) is still preaching the unwritten rules of horror films: “Number one: the body count is always bigger. Number two: the death scenes are always much more elaborate – more blood, more gore. Carnage candy. And number three: never, ever, under any circumstances, assume the killer is dead.” He also mentions something well known within the film fan community– sequels usually suck by comparison.
Well, Randy would definitely be wrong about SCREAM 2. With the addition of new cast members such as Timothy Olyphant and Jerry O’Connell, the film is clever in its own right. It takes twists and turns that one would not usually expect and offers a great commentary reflecting a time when film violence was getting a good lashing. SCREAM 2 definitely stands on it’s own, but is often looked over by fans of the original. What I really like about the sequel is that it really evolves. While some of the principal characters are still in place, they aren’t one-note players. Sidney really grows and has become exceedingly more clever, as well as strong.
The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” team of Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson are what make this sequel what it is. Often times, the writer separates himself from anything having to do with a second installment of a film. Again, Williamson’s writing is spot on. Characters new and old are still equipped with smart and sharp dialogue. Craven uses some of the same tricks from the first film and carries them over to this one. The way that Craven sets up a shot paired with scenery has always been one of my favorite things that he brings to the table as a director.
SCREAM 2 is certainly a worthy sequel to its predecessor. Keeping Craven and Williamson together is certainly the key to its success. Not to mention the brilliant way the second film is introduced, by talking about everything that encompasses a sequel. One thing SCREAM 2 does that other sequels don’t is create the demand for a third volume of the franchise. Try that, HOUSE II: THE SECOND STORY.
Video: The same problem with the original on Blu-ray applies here as well. All you get is DVD quality. Yeah, it looks a little better, but at this point it’s just lazy. (2.35:1 Widescreen).
Audio: Overall, the audio delivers. The only problem is that at times the audio tracks tend to be too loud. You want to be frightened, not knocked out of your chair. It’s not a Michael Bay film. (5.1 DTS-HD).
Commentary by Wes Craven, Producer Marianne Maddelena, and Editor Patrick Lussier: While I always enjoy hearing Craven speak, this commentary is not as fun. It’s all well and good that they get deep into the details; it’s also nice to at least be a little more entertaining.
Featurette (7:00): I was happy to see and hear my favorite characters talk about getting back into the swing of things for the sequel. That on top of seriously diving into the nostalgia is always nice. The movie was released in 1997 that feels like a million years ago!
Outtakes (9:00): This is a fun feature. It’s sort of more blooper reel than anything else. It’s entertaining to see the cast playing around and trying not to crack a smile during more serious scenes.
Deleted Scenes with Commentary (4:00): This is actually more exciting than the actual film commentary, especially when Craven gets going about the horror genre.
Trailers and two music videos from Kottonmouth Kings and Master P