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Scream 2

Starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox
Director: Wes Craven
Genre: Horror
Year: 1997
Rating: 3 / 5

As is often the case with sequels, there can be some pretty lofty expectations. When Scream 2 hit theatres one year after the release of the original, expectations soared, leading to a $30 million opening weekend. (It should be noted that this occurred mere weeks before Titanic began its gargantuan box office run.) Despite more of the same wit and intelligence that director Wes Craven displayed in the original, Scream 2 was deemed a disappointment. Quite simply, the Scream franchise was a victim of its own success. With Scream, Wes Craven changed the way people saw horror movies, thus raising the bar for all subsequent efforts, including his own.

Two years after the Woodsboro murders, as the deaths portrayed in Scream are called by reporter Gale Weathers (Countney Cox), Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is a college student, happily dating frat boy Derek (Jerry O'Connell). Unfortunately for Sidney, the new movie Stab, based on the book by Gale Weathers, is just arriving in theatres, bringing out a whole new collection of hecklers and pranksters. She is ready this time, armed with Caller ID and a new group of friends. No one can console her, though, when two more murders are reported, and the killer reaches out to her once again.

As the body count begins to rise on campus, evidence once again points towards her boyfriend, who happens to survive a close encounter with the new killer. Sidney finds that she trusts few people, save old friends Randy (Jamie Kennedy) and Dewey (David Arquette). As she is placed under guard by local authorities, Sidney also runs into Cotton Weary (Live Schreiber), now fully exonerated with respect to the death of Sidney's mother. Scrambling to stay alive, Sidney attempts to flee campus, only to find that the killer is one step ahead of her. It seems that one final confrontation is necessary to rid herself of these all-too-real demons.

Wes Craven continues to mock the horror genre in Scream 2, much as he did the year before with his ground-breaking film, Scream. Neve Campbell is much improved as a stronger, more courageous Sidney Prescott, though Courtney Cox is still incredibly infuriating as slimy reporter Gale Weathers. Jamie Kennedy is also back to expound on the elements that consistently pop up in film sequels, bringing the same sort of comic relief that he did in the first film. Craven fails to capture the same climactic bravado of Scream, though, as this conclusion lacks true build-up and appears to be pulled from thin air. Though slightly inferior to the original, Scream 2 is a reminder that horror films can still succeed if done just right.

Cast:
David Arquette..........Dewey Riley
Neve Campbell..........Sydney Prescott
Courtney Cox..........Gale Weathers
Sarah Michelle Gellar..........Casey Cooper
Jamie Kennedy..........Randy Meeks
Jerry O'Connell..........Derek
Liev Schreiber..........Cotton Weary

Certification: Rated R for violence.
Running Time: 116 minutes.

Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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[critics]