Scream 2
1997
In the two years since the fateful events in Woodsboro, Gale has written a best-seller, which has been turned into a film. As the movie premiere looms closer, the mysterious deaths begin again. Dewey heads to Sidney's college to protect her.

Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”

There are three things I never want to see again in a horror movie:

- A heroine running headlong into a slasher waiting just off the edge of the camera's view, in a direction the heroine was looking the whole time, but the heroine not noticing the slasher until the slasher comes into frame.

- The slasher magically teleporting around the scene of a kill, so that he can emerge from behind any object or piece of furniture at any time, even if the heroine saw him standing in one place and never stopped looking at that place before he popped out beside her.

- The slasher clairvoyantly knowing the exact spot where his intended victim will later stand, so that he can hide near it in a bathroom stall, projection booth, TV news van, theater control booth, or closet, and spring out when the moment is just right.

I don't mind "Scream 2" bringing up bad horror-movie clichés when it's making fun of them, like with the old the-villain-is-not-really-dead gag at the end. But it commits a heinous number of these clichés with serious intent, and for a film whose premise is knowing the flaws of other horror movies, that's inexcusable.

But what really disappoints me about the "Scream" series and its whole self-awareness is that the victims are still just victims. We're introduced to (bear with me) kind, interesting, funny human beings, only to see them stabbed dead for a quick shock. It's unpleasant business. In typical slasher films, the heroes are witless morons who don't see it coming; in the "Scream" films, the characters have the cosmic misfortune to know they're doomed to die for nothing, and there's jack they can do about it. I get sick watching the death scenes, and not in the way the filmmakers intended.

I still appreciated Jamie Kennedy's sarcastic and Kevin Williamson's clever take on sequels, and the prologue is brilliant. But where the original "Scream" was 70% witty deconstruction of cliché and 30% actual cliché, this sequel seems to have the proportion reversed. It has all the self-awareness of sequels but still doesn't realize it's failing to capture what made the original work so well.

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