In one early scene, Randy claims that sequels are inherently inferior. The characters then list several examples of sequels that have matched and possibly surpassed the original. And Scream 2 ranks among them.
Scream 1 was great. I gave it a wonderful review. But somehow, Scream 2 managed to do it all better. The suspense is greater, the kills gorier, the laughs funnier, and cast better.
With Scream 1 having been made into a movie within the movie, Sydney and the other survivors are all trying to move on with her and Randy in college finding new friends and loves. They're reunited when the killings begin again as someone sets out to make a sequel. A new setting means new rules with some twists and turns along the way.
Just as before, we have no idea who the killer(s) is until the final act. We get the same kind of false leads and misdirect, such as people being gone at Ghostface's appearances and wearing the same boots as the killer. Once the identity(ies) is revealed, it's great to go back and see how the person(s) manipulated events without the mask. SPOILER Mickey's motivation works well within the movie. Ms. Loomis' also works well, but I don't like that they never really built her up. She comes out of nowhere with little basis before the finale. END SPOILER
The cast are all wonderful. Neve Campbell shows a great progression in her character, and of the four movies this is the one I think she's sexiest in. Cox, Arquette, and Kennedy all return as wonderful as before. O'Connell, Gellar, Schreiber, and Neal are great in new, or at least expanded, roles. None of them are merely copies from the first movie. Though it's Kennedy and Olyphant steal every scene they're in, much like Randy and Stu did in the first. Their dialog together is great, especially as they keep referring to various sequels. At least none of them look quite as "evil" as Billy did.
Of course, being a horror movie it's the scares that are really matters. The suspense is built up much better than the first. The scene where Sydney must escape the cop car is probably the most suspenseful in the entire series, maybe in the genre. The movie also plays on the fact that audiences know the standards set by the original.
Scream 2 is definitely on par with the original, and in my opinion the best of the series. This is definitely a must-see for fans of the original and of horror. There's really nothing to disappoint here. It may share the same general story as the original, but like Terminator 2 it adds enough to be its own experience.
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