Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Movie and DVD Reviews: The best and not-so-best movies available on DVD, and whatever else catches my eye.

Mimsy Review: Scream 2

Reviewed by Jerry Stratton, April 11, 2000

Okay, okay. Whatever you say. But if she’s not a killer... she’s a target.

Special features

Trailer3

I saw this movie just about an hour or two after seeing Scream on video, and a few hours before seeing Scream 3 at the movies. This second of the Screams takes us to the movie beyond the movie, with the characters in ‘real life’ running from killers at the same time as a movie is shown about their life in Scream. It excels even beyond Scream in talking about horror. Where Scream was about the horror genre, Scream 2 is about the horror sequel in general and about the original Scream. Unfortunately, the actual horror aspects of this movie are not as good as Scream. Still, if you liked the first Scream, you must see Scream 2.

RecommendationRent
DirectorWes Craven
WriterKevin Williamson
Movie Rating6
Transfer Quality6
Overall Rating5
Formats
  • Letterbox

If you have not seen Scream, don’t read this review. It’s hard enough to write a review that doesn’t spoil the movie, nearly impossible to write a review of a sequel that doesn’t spoil the original. I’m not even going to bother to try.

Scream 2 continued the writing/directing duo of Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven. They continue to do a wonderful job together. Scream 2 builds nicely on the humor of the first Scream.

The movies are best when they’re playing with the genre. They are, all of them, at their weakest when actual murders are taking place. In the first movie, they’re living in California, so it’s understandable if they don’t try to defend themselves. But in the second movie they aren’t. They know they’re being stalked by one or more killers, they’re no longer in California, and they do nothing to protect themselves. (The third movie actually lets them carry firearms to defend themselves even in California, but how many times can you drop a firearm? The answer, in true Scream style, is another question: how long does the movie have left before the ending? Which, in the end, is just like any other horror movie.)

Their helplessness in the face of a masked killer is less believable in Scream 2 than it was in Scream (where it also had problems).

The movie excels in its humor, however. It opens with the opening of the movie “Stab”, a movie based on Gale Weathers’ book about the events in Scream. We get to see the in-movie version of Drew Barrymore’s opening act, with Heather Graham playing the part up wonderfully. Luke Wilson makes a nice play at being the actor portraying Sidney Prescott’s psychotic boyfriend in “stab”. There are some other nice touches which I can’t reveal to you without spoiling the surprise. All I can say is, (a) if you liked the first movie, you’ll like the first movie’s portrayal in the second, and (b) to really catch the jokes, you may want to do as I did and see both movies back to back.

The main actors return to Scream 2: David Arquette, Jamie Kennedy, and Neve Campbell do a bang-up job; Courteney Cox does a decent job with Gale Weathers. I don’t know that it’s Courteney’s fault she isn’t as good; the writer doesn’t seem to do reporters very well. Laurie Metcalf as an up-and-coming small town reporter is similarly flat.

Jamie Kennedy’s Randy continues expositing on how to survive the horror genre, this time, sequels. One of the more natural scenes is in his film class, discussing the low quality of sequels in general.

Extra-wise, this disc has nothing to compare with Scream I. Besides not being enhanced, with last memo disabled, the only extra is the trailer.

Even if you’re a fan, you’ll probably want to rent this one. Hopefully when Scream III comes out on DVD the three movies will be released as a package, with a new, more feature-packed version of Scream II. (It would also be nice if all three movies were enhanced transfers.)

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, however, and you liked Scream I, you really owe it to yourself to see Scream II.

Recommendation: Rent

DirectorWes Craven
WriterKevin Williamson
ActorsDavid Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jamie Kennedy
Spoken languageEnglish
SubtitlesNone
Special FeatureTrailer
More links

If you enjoyed Scream 2…

If you enjoy Courteney Cox, you might also be interested in Scream.

If you enjoy David Arquette, you might also be interested in Scream.

If you enjoy Kevin Williamson, you might also be interested in Scream.

If you enjoy Neve Campbell, you might also be interested in Scream.

If you enjoy Scream, you might also be interested in Scream.

If you enjoy Wes Craven, you might also be interested in A Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream.