Spooky Season Retro Review: Scream 2

BY JOHN CARTER JR

It’s spooky season with Halloween right around the corner. Slasher Fans celebrated the 25th anniversary of Wes Craven’s Meta Slasher series by gathering at movie theaters across the country for a screening of the original Scream film this month. Fans also got a first look at the Scream 2022 (Scream 5) trailer that dropped earlier this month. With many guaranteed callbacks to previous Scream installments and actors Courteney Cox, David Arquette and Neve Campbell appearing, we take a look back at the franchise’s first sequel.

Like its previous incarnation, Scream 2 starts off with a celebrity kill. A character portrayed by Jada Pinkett Smith and her boyfriend goes to see the newly released stab film based on the Woodsboro Murders from the previous installment. This is the trend of the slasher meta-commentary with the film’s particular focus being on sequels. However, Pinkett Smith isn’t the only celebrity cameo as Daphne Blake and Buffy the Vampire Slayer actress Sarah Gellar also appear in this film. Going in, Scream 2 ups the stakes as we don’t know which survivors will survive again and which new characters were likely suspects as Ghostface.

The film improves upon its surviving characters in it giving more opportunities to show the characters’ strengths and weaknesses. Courtney Cox as Gale Weathers and Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott are always a delight reminding us that this film not only has two last girls but two badasses ones at that. The cast on the periphery includes David Arquette’s Dewey Riley, Jamie Kennedy’s Randy, and others. 

Mrs. Loomis, portrayed by the fabulous Laurie Metcalf, is an imagined Kurt Hummel’s mother lookalike. She was certainly not gleeful as it is revealed at the end of the film that, in a reverse, Friday the 13th twist, the mother of the monster Billy Loomis was the killer all along. Not only did I feel like this character was a great successor to the previous villain, but the film also made her reveal feel very rewarding; this can be attributed to never giving it away. This is due to what the film does best, even better than the first film, that is being allowed to suspect nearly anyone as Ghostface while hardly putting any focus on this character. Certainly, there was her pawn Mickey who was obvious but that made her as the mastermind ever more effective.

Scream 2 is a very effective sequel not only for its improvements in the series’ previous characters but as well as introducing a stellar antagonist. It improves on the tactics of the first film, its Meta Slasher Genre commentary and its ability to mask its secrets or reveals. Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers, and Mrs. Loomis provided a dynamic range for powerful female actresses to express their skills, As well as never shying away from women looking cool in horror movies.

I give Scream 2 9 out of 10 for these reasons.

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