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Scream 2 (1997)

Featuring one of the more creative opening sequences from any Scream film, Scream 2 starts with such a high that there is inevitably only one way to go from there. This opening was something I remember being so blown away by on my first initial watch. Having a film inside a film was something I had never seen done before and I was in genuine awe of the creativity. Not only that, but the set location of the cinema felt so grand and impressive to me. I'm not personally a Jada Pinkett Smith fan, and her death certainly doesn't hold the same impact as Drew Barrymore's Casey Baker from the original, but overall I found this to be a a great start. After the rather creative opening scene, we are introduced to a whirlwind of characters, all in quick succession within the first 20 minutes. We see some very recognisable faces who have gone on to have incredible careers in Hollywood, the most noticeable stand outs being Timothy Olyphant, Sarah Michelle Geller, Joshua Jackson and Rebecca Gayheart. That's not to even mention the cameo appearances from Heather Graham as Casey, and Luke Wilson and Tori Spelling as Billy and Sidney in the scenes from Stab. The main focus (and rightly so) is towards our serving members of the original Woodsboro massacre Sidney, Randy, Dewey and Gale. It was good to see these characters again and how they are dealing with events of the first film, 2 years later, yet I'm not sure the plot does a good enough job of justifying them all being in the same location. Not only that, I think it was a terrible decision to kill Randy. I feel he is one character that should have lived on through this series. Don't get me wrong, I think he has the best kill in the entire film, having it done in broad daylight was so brutal and unexpected. I just don't think he should have died at all in this film. The forth wall breaking from Randy is very self-aware, to the point where in one scene he even addresses the audience. I found it quite jarring and out of place. The way it insisted on hammering home the fact this is a sequel felt forced and to be perfectly honest I found it all a bit too much and lacking intelligence in comparison to the first. Another major gripe I have is with Jerry O'Connell who plays Derrick. Not only is he is an terribly written red herring (that is given this is the films intention with his character), but his public display of affection for Sidney during the lunch scene was so uncomfortable to watch and really overstayed its welcome for me. It is without hesitation a scene I fast-forward every time I watch this film. Given the trauma Sidney has suffered at the hands of Billy and Stu, I'm amazed at the decision she would make to be in a play featuring many people in masks trying to attack her. I don't feel that there is any reason for this subplot to be here. The ending could have still taken place in the same location, and the events leading up to it would have still played out the way it did. I know this sounds like I'm trying to find faults but it is oversights in the writing like this that lead to an overall poor end product. I have opposing opinions regarding the the ending of this film. I really liked the Mickey reveal and him then subsequently trying to use Derrick as a decoy accomplice. But I really don't buy into Billy's mother being the puppet master. The way she is interacting around campus unrecognised just isn’t believable. And even less plausible is despite the key interactions with Gail who wrote a book on Billy and Stu’s murders and would have undoubtedly tried to interviews both sets of parents for comment, she still goes by undetected. Even with the very poorly thought out way they tried to justify her going unnoticed, Sidney recogniseded her instantly. I just found it lazy and unbelievable by this point and would have much preferred a solo killer plot from Mickey. I know I seem to have given this film a rough ride, but if I'm being honest I just don't think it was a good enough sequel to one of the greatest slashers of the nineties. I think it has some interesting ideas but overall the final product feels rushed and makes some terrible decisions regarding deaths of key cast members and overall plot direction. I can't even really say that it makes a good companion piece to the first. As great as it is to see these characters on screen together again, the plot doesn't really justify their reunion. I think this is the perfect example of a sequel being rushed through production due to success of the original.



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