Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


SCREAM 2 (1997). Director: Wes Craven.

This sequel to the hit Scream finds us back in Woodsboro where Sidney (Neve Campbell) finds herself embroiled in a new series of murders. The book that Gail Weathers (Courteney Cox) wrote about the murders in the first film has been made into a movie called Stab, and the first victims are a young African-American couple who are attacked in the theater where it's playing (Jada Pinkett makes an impression as the female victim). [In Scream when her friends talked about the Woodsboro Murders being turned into a movie, Sidney ruefully noted that she would probably be played by Tori Spelling -- Spelling plays Sidney's character in Stab!] Sidney's new boyfriend, who becomes a suspect, is played by Jerry O'Connell, and Liev Shrieber plays Cotton Weary, whom Sidney originally thought murdered her mother and who is now out of jail. Timothy Olyphant and an excellent Laurie Metcalf are the new characters of student Mick and reporter Debbie Salt. While the film certainly has its lighter moments -- a sequence when the characters discuss how sequels are generally worse than the originals -- it is basically a strong thriller that has some scenes [such as a tense bit in a TV studio where the killer stalks Gail and Deputy Dewey (David Arquette)] that are worthy of Dario Argento at his best. Much better than the original actually.

Verdict: Quite entertaining and fast-paced. ***.

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