Scream 2 (1997):
And now, my horror fest comes to a final close with Wes Craven’s sequel to his hit genre-defying modern-classic, Scream.
Copy-cat killings of the original Woodsboro murders occur at the university that Sidney Prescott is in, during the release of a horror film based on the same murders, called Stab.
The original Scream was intelligent, observant and importantly: self-aware throughout. My problem with Scream 2 is that its self-awareness is at a peak in the opening thirty minutes and then disappears instantaneously afterwards. In the opening 30 minutes there are jokes about how sequels aren’t always as good, jokes about how the sequels differ from the original, and a continuous gag concerning the fact that the fictional film Stab is based on real events…which we saw in the original Scream – this great gag develops itself by the fact that we’re shown clips of Stab which are identical to moments in the original Scream. The opening of Scream 2 is self-aware about being self-aware.
But then it dispenses with the satire completely and morphs into a conventional unscary slasher. Yes, this is the point, but if it mocked itself and the slasher genre continuously, it would’ve been as great as the original. You could easily be forgiven for thinking that this is a conventional slasher. Sure on one level, it works as such, but it’s not particularly scary, meaning that its satire is all it stands up on…just about.
Really great sequels are better than the original, and to are able to do this because they amp up the idea of the original to the next level, by exploring it further. Scream 2 had so much potential: there could have been more self-referential gags, the jocks and the blonde bimbos could’ve been dumber and more attractive, the music could have been more ridiculously conventional as to mock the genre, there should have been so many more gags about how most sequels are terrible, yet the film you are watching now is a sequel.
If the rule of the sequel is that it is not as good as the original, then rather ironically, Scream 2 succeeds and is up there with Halloween 2.