Scream 2, (1997, David Arquette, Neve Campbell)

Scream 2

The combination of blood, Buffy and bathos was irresistible for teen audiences, who made comedy shocker sequel Scream 2 a $150 million global hit.

Two students are slain at a preview of Stab, a film about the Woodsboro massacre seen in Scream , and the suspect appears to be wearing the same mask as the first murderer. Tabloid reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) is attracted back by the promise of fresh blood, and tries to re-establish contact with Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy), Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and her friends, including Casey Cooper (Sarah Michelle Gellar).

Ex-deputy Dewey Riley (David Arquette) and the falsely-imprisoned Cotton Weary (Liev Schrieber) believe Randy when he surmises that a “sequel” is now underway and their suspicions are confirmed when Casey is murdered, and the police move in. Once again in Woodsboro, everyone is a suspect, and everyone a potential victim…

“At least you get David Schwimmer,” moans Jamie, once again stealing scenes wholesale as he complains about the casting of Stab. “I get played by the guy who drove the stagecoach for one episode of Dr. Quinn .” So unravels the by-now familiar riffs of Kevin Williamson, who replicates Tarantino’s trick of exhuming a genre through the use of self-referential dialogue and situations.

The director – who did much the same thing with Wes Craven’s New Nightmare – takes this as his cue to move away from convention and work on his theory that he has “an ability to see where people’s fears are. Nobody’s fears are that unique”. The main fear of Miramax was a leaked ending, and secrecy was preserved through fake endings, confidentiality contracts and last-minute script revisions, giving the cast little time for preparation and installing an urgency which serves the film’s purpose. This was compounded by a 52-day shoot, only six months after the original film opened, signalling the triumphant return of the horror movie to mainstream cinema.

USA / 1997

Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Kevin Williamson

Cast: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jamie Kennedy, Liev Schrieber,

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