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SCREAM 2

SYNOPSIS:
Continuing where the original Scream left off, the survivors of a serial killer’s spree are now in a small college town. Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy) hope their previous problems are behind them, but then another killing spree begins. Deputy Dewey Riley (David Arquette) arrives in town to protect Sidney. Likewise, TV reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), who wrote a book on the original murders that’s been turned into a movie itself, also shows up to cover the breaking story. Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber), the man Sidney initially accused of killing her mother, arrives too, and wants Sidney to do a TV interview with him. While some people, including roommate Hallie (Elise Neal) and boyfriend Derek (Jerry O’Connell), try to comfort Sidney, others, such as Randy the film buff, and local reporter Debbie Salt (Laurie Metcalf) try to figure out who the killer is and whether they’re creating a sequel to the original murders. Soon everyone becomes a suspect, but as the body count rises Sidney and Gale do what they can to prevent themselves from becoming the killer’s next victims.

"Repeating the highly successful formula of Scream, and doing what he does best, Wes Craven has delivered a highly polished film with top performances and lots of heart-stopping moments. With clever scripting by Kevin Williamson, there is much to entertain and amuse; the references to pop culture, the debate on the merits of film sequels - and characters with colour and individuality. Craven is quoted as saying ‘We wanted to acknowledge that we were making a sequel and have part of the theme be the idea of sequelness.’ Good word. The word Craven-ness could also perhaps be added to the dictionary of useful descriptive film terms. It’s a scream of a roller-coster ride, aimed at those who thrive on this genre. The notion that terror comes out of the ordinary is pursued, while the personification of evil is effectively draped in a black gown and an impossibly distorted and unsettling mask. Behind the one-liners, Peter Deming’s cinematography is stylish, while Marco Beltrami’s music score adds effective undercurrents of anticipation and expectation. My main criticism is the overload of slashings: it is not necessary to showcase quantity of brutal killings, displaying the splattered blood and gore each time for the desired effect."
Louise Keller

"Sequels are always a problem, though occasionally they measure up to the original. There was always going to be a sequel to the jokey Scream, and Wes Craven has done an acceptable job in outdoing his original. But between the murders and mayhem of Scream 2, there’s a lack of substance, a feeling of filling up space until the slashings ensue. While Craven and his writer Kevin Williamson have provided some amusing moments, they’re few and far between. But what is there is hilarious, such as the recreating of the original Scream movie with Tori Spelling in the Neve Campbell role. Some of the murder sequences are handled with a degree of deft originality, from the opening pre-credits sequence, well orchestrated, to a wonderfully eerie moment in a sorority house. Film references are still prevalent, and the film pokes fun at its own function: that of the sequel itself. But between the winking [and the wanking] and the delightful performances by Courtney Cox (who says the film’s funniest line) and David Arquette, one has a feeling that it’s all a bit tiresome. And the film’s conclusion – where the killer is revealed - is ludicrous. Neve Campbell is a talented actress, but here she is so dour and humourless that you wonder what else was going through her mind at the time. With more money at his disposal, Craven has equally more room to move; if only he moved in a more interesting direction. Still, horror fans may get a scream or two out of this."
Paul Fischer

"I go along with Paul – it is a bit tiresome, for all its cleverness and shock value. I think the problem for me is the manipulative devices of the genre: a tense moment is milked for shock by editing and music, as an innocent character suddenly appears behind the heroine. The sound FX and editing create a phoney-scare, and this makes me feel manipulated. The two tennage girls sitting behind me at the preview said they preferred Scream, the original. Maybe even sequels that know they are sequels and tell us they are sequelling can’t quite repeat the freshness of the original?"
Andrew L. Urban

"There are certain tacit rules that need to be followed in the making of a sequel, notes a character in Scream 2. He cites only a couple of the more banal truisms, but there’s no question that the filmmakers here - all veterans of the phenomenally successful original - have not only thought long and hard about stepping aback into familiar territory but have been ultra-diligent about keeping the second outing on course. Visceral, witty and appropriately redundant, the sequel has a winning commercial recipe that’s certain to cook up excellent returns in all areas… In scripter Kevin Williamson, director Craven has found his writing muse, someone who can structure his fascination with the burred lines between reality and the movies… Scream 2 is even more insidious, beginning with the fictionalised movie based on a real incident that in fact exists only on celluloid… But generally the house-of-mirrors structure has a more chilling underlying message about the consequences of confusing artifice with the real thing…. At once both a new chapter of a chiller franchise and a commentary on itself and the genre, Scream 2 skilfully keeps viewers guessing… Handsomely shot by Peter Deming, with an eerily unsettling score from Marco Beltrami, the film is a smooth piece of goods. Cast is top-notch…"
Leonard Klady, Variety

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SCREAM 2 (MA)
(US)

CAST: David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jamie Kennedy, Laurie Metcalf, Elise Neal, Jerry O’Connell, Timothy Olyphant, Jada Pinkett, Live Schreiber, Lewis Arquette, Duane Martin, Omar Epps, David Warner

DIRECTOR: Wes Craven

PRODUCER: Cathy Konrad, Marianne Maddalena

SCRIPT: Kevin Williamson (based on characters created by Williamson)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Peter Deming

EDITOR: Patrick Lussier

MUSIC: Marco Beltrami

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Bob Ziembicki

RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: January 15, 1998

VIDEO RELEASE: January 20, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Home Entertainment

RRP: $14.95

NOTE: Scream (the original film) is out on sell-thru video on February 18, 1998







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