Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Month o' Horror: Scream 2

Scream 2 was viewed on Saturday, October 6.

The one problem with sequals is that, inevitably, even when they're good, they're usually not quite as good as the first. And while "Scream 2" certainly makes the effort, it just doesn't quite reach the heights of its predecessor.

In fact, there's a scene early on set in a film studies class, where the discussion turns to sequels, and the fact that they're never quite as good. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if the scene was included as a small, knowing, wink of acceptance to the fact that, okay, yeah, "Scream 2" isn't really as great as the first one.

Part of the problem is the first half hour and inevitable re-introduction of every character. It drags the film down a little bit as the movie is forced to play "Where are they now?" just to get us caught up on everyone's life.

Part of the problem is that the movie-references that made the first film such an interesting take on the horror genre are mostly gone, except for a few references to sequels.

On the bright side, they approached the idea of a "real-life" sequel in the most obvious and least contrived way -- a copycat killer. It fits the theme, and it makes sense. They may not be the most common thing in the world of serial killing, but it does happen from time to time.

Also on the bright side, there's enough of a carry-over of the previous film's characters, and the details of their storylines, that this does feel like a legitimate sequal. Meaning that it feels like we're seeing a continuation of the lives of the people featured in the first "Scream" film, and not just another bunch of random kids being slaughtered in similar ways, as is the case with most horror sequels.

"Scream 2" is a decent enough ride, and while the eventual revelation of the masked psychopath doesn't work quite as well as it did in the previous film, it works well enough for a sequel. Which are often, as in this case, sadly inferior to the original.

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