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Scream 2

Old Blood: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Liev Schreiber
New Blood: Jada Pinkett, Jerry O'Connell, Sara Michelle Gellar
Screenplay by Kevin Williamson
Directed by Wes Craven
Website www.dimensionfilms.com/scream2/

IN SHORT: More laughs than screams.

Cranky's gonna be fair about this one. You all know that flicks like Scream 2 hold little appeal for me, so I brought along eDrive's know-all of the genre, Trent Haaga, whom you've met before. Trent goes first....

While the Cranky Critic doesn't refer to the original source when reviewing, I'll go right ahead and do it. Because not only are we talking about a sequel, we're talking about a sequel about sequels.

I confess that I absolutely adored Scream, as sophisticated as you can get with a horror film, a thrilling ride from start to finish. I bought the laser disc the day it came out and have watched it about a zillion times (give or take a few million) since then. After hearing that Scream 2 would have the same cast, crew, director, and writer as the first one, my expectations were high.

Expectations are a sequel's worst enemy. Because while enjoyable and fun, Scream 2 doesn't deliver the same reflexive punch that the first one did.

My primary complaints are three fold.

One: the returning cast members (David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Neve Campbell, and Jamie Kennedy) seem to be suffering from sequel-itis. Their paychecks secure, the returners expend as little energy as possible. The new cast members, a bunch of unknowns and barely-knowns, do a better job at capturing the manic glee that one expects from the franchise.

Two: too much time is spent justifying the existence of the film, thereby taking away from the thrills. The first film was a nearly perfect balance of laughter and genuine scares. The sequel is heavy on in-jokes, short on horror.

Three: Anybody who's seen Friday the 13th Part II knows that one of the rules for sequels is that everyone who survives the first film MUST DIE in the next installment. Needless to say, this is the one sequel rule that Scream 2 does not acknowledge.

I may come off as a nitpicker, but Scream was so smart that I was expecting to be thrown more. Regardless, I would've been damn impressed if I'd never seen the first one.

Since you can't really set your admission price in the real world, I'll say that had I paid for Scream 2, I wouldn't have felt too ripped off. But I don't know yet if I'd invest on the disc.

Trent

OK, now it's Cranky's turn. Since I don't compare to Source Material, not having seen the first flick puts me at a severe disadvantage. To quote Jamie Kennedy's character, Randy:

"Film sequels always suck. Name me one that doesn't"
Empire Strikes Back, another student replies.
"That wasn't a sequel. It was the second part of a trilogy."

As is Scream 2 which, by that reasoning, doesn't suck. It doesn't scare much either.

To argue against Randy's above quoted reasoning, Empire can stand on it's own, though (as a solo outing) it's ending sucks, but Scream 2 doesn't. Stand on its own, that is. Scream 2 is funny, though probably much funnier if you are already clued in to the in-jokes. One killing us unique but, save the surprise appearances of GhostFace, all are fairly pedestrian. It isn't hard to figure out most of what went on in the first flick though, if you haven't been tipped to the "surprise" at the end of the first flick, the ending on Scream 2 is truly gonna piss you off, because it requires that you have (seen number 1).

It isn't scary enough, to get my curiosity up enough to go out and rent the first one.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price for Scream 2, he would have paid . . .

$3.00

Those of you who are gonna see it are gonna see it. Those of you thinking twice should do that, too. Think twice, that is.

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