Scream 2

1997, Movie, R, 120 mins

Review

SCREAM 2
starstarstarstar
This disappointing sequel to last year's horror sleeper gets trapped in the clichés it's trying to send up. Poor Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell)! Having survived the bloody events of SCREAM, she's now a college student trying to get on with her life. But the release of Stab -- the movie based on pushy newsbabe Gale Weathers' (Courteney Cox) best-selling book about the killings -- sets off a new wave of terror. Sidney and her college friends become the targets of a copycat serial killer, and as Randy (Jamie Kennedy) -- a movie nerd and connoisseur of horror sequels -- predicts, the body count is higher, the killings are more elaborate and the gore quotient is even more intense than in the first film. Unfortunately, this picture doesn't top SCREAM in its cleverness and imaginative use of genre cliches. Things get off to a great start with a special promotional screening of Stab, at which we see a cheesy re-creation of SCREAM's opening sequence (it now includes the obligatory shower scene!), but the film goes rapidly downhill. The unmasking-the-killer scene involves a character so marginal that it might as well have been the butler who did it, and the Big Secret is worthy of one of the many cheap slasher pictures this one presumes to mock. On the plus side: A slew of fresh young potential victims, including Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jada Pinkett and Jerry O'Connell; a guest appearance by Tori Spelling -- yes, she does play Sidney in the movie-within-the-movie; and David Warner as Sidney's drama teacher. Hard-core horror fans will have fun, but the crossover audiences who made SCREAM a smash won't bite twice. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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