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Wes Craven
Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Liev Schreiber, Roger Jackson
Writing Credits:
Kevin Williamson

Someone has taken their love of sequels one step too far.

Two years after the first series of murders, a new psychopath dons the Ghostface costume and a new string of killings begins.

Box Office:
$24 million.
Opening Weekend
$32,926,342 on 2,663 screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 120 min.
Price: $19.99
Release Date: 3/29/2011

• Audio Commentary with Director Wes Craven, Producer Marianne Maddalena and Editor Patrick Lussier
• Deleted Scenes
• Outtakes
• Featurette
• Music Videos
• Trailer and TV Spots
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Scream 2 [Blu-Ray] (1997)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 22, 2015)

After the enormous, surprise success of 1996’s Scream, a sequel became inevitable. One materialized less than a year later – and almost precisely duplicated the first movie’s box office gross. I seem to recall that I wasn’t wild about 1997’s Scream 2, but since I’d not seen it in nearly years, I figured I’d give it another shot.

Set two years after the first movie’s events, a prologue shows the brutal slayings of a couple (Omar Epps and Jada Pinkett) during a screening of Stab, a horror flick based on the events we saw in the original film. From there, we re-encounter Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell), the heroine who survived Scream. She now attends college and triesto move on with her life, though this isn’t easy – especially when she sees newly-free Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber).

Cotton’s the guy Sydney first claimed murdered her mother, but he was exonerated when the first movie’s killers admitted they did it. Even though this got Cotton out of prison, Sydney remains suspicious of him – and the Stab killings raise her hackles.

Of course, these murders reignite Sydney’s status as a press icon, and they bring Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) - the journalist whose book inspired Stab - back into the spotlight as well. Though the cops feel the movie theater killings were isolated, this proves to be untrue, as more slayings follow – and Sydney, Gale, and pal/fellow survivor Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy) must again deal with a deadly menace.

More so than most sequels, Scream 2 found itself in an awkward position. Given the way the original film toyed with genre conventions, it became more difficult to pull off a sequel and say something new. Scream scored because it was so fresh and creative; how do you continue the same spirit and not seem redundant?

Answer: you don’t, but that doesn’t mean Scream 2 lacks fun. Indeed, it provides a generally enjoyable experience, as it’s good to catch up with the characters and see their evolution. The film also has a good time with the stereotypical elements of the sequel; that gives it just enough fertile ground to allow for continued originality.

Alas, it’s not enough to make Scream 2 live up to its predecessor. It’s just next to impossible for the sequel to compete with the original’s inventiveness, so it tends to play more as a straight horror movie/mystery than Scream.

The self-referential aspects of that flick play a smaller role in Scream 2; like I mentioned, we get some discussion of the “rules of the sequel”, but it lacks the delightful “meta” quality of the prior effort. The references to Stab take us into that territory somewhat, but they’re not enough to provide the kick that made the first movie so strong.

Because of this, Scream 2 flows less well and feels more self-conscious. It’s hard to pull off the same magic trick twice, and it occasionally feels like a semi-remake of the original. Scream 2 throws out enough twists to avoid too much self-plagiarism, but it flirts with that status.

Still, even with these flaws, Scream 2 offers a fairly enjoyable sequel. It’s probably a bit too long and it gets too convoluted along the way, but it throws out enough twists and turns to keep us with it. Just don’t expect the delightful inventiveness of the original.

Nerdy footnote: when a character offers the quote “get away from her, you bitch” from Aliens, Randy smugly corrects him to claim the line if “stay away from her”. Randy’s wrong, which begs the question: was this an intentional choice to make Randy seem less knowledgeable than he wants us to believe, or did the filmmakers just goof? (Randy also mistakenly avers that Empire Strikes Back was “totally planned” as part of a trilogy, but that’s a less concrete mistake. George Lucas has forwarded the “I had it all figured out in advance” myth so long that most people accept it.)

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B+/ Bonus B-

Scream 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. This wasn’t a bad image but it seemed less than stellar.

Overall definition was fine. The movie showed a little softness in a few shots, but it usually demonstrated good clarity and accuracy. I noticed no jaggies or shimmering, but edge haloes could be noticeable, and the film showed a somewhat “processed”, digital look that may’ve come from too much digital noise reduction. Print flaws weren’t an issue.

Colors seemed pretty good. The palette remained natural and the tones showed nice vivacity much of the time. They could be a little dense but that wasn’t a significant issue. Blacks came across as pretty deep, and shadows were fairly visible; a few shots seemed a bit dark, but those weren’t a frequent distraction. Really, the “digital” look was the weakest link here, but the overall impression of the film was positive.

More consistent pleasures came from the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio, as the track delivered a nice impression. The soundfield used all the speakers well, as it broadened the action around the room. This became most important in the violent scenes; those delivered solid impact and put the killer in appropriate spots. Music spread to the channels nicely and the whole thing combined in a satisfying manner.

Sound quality was strong. Music seemed bold and vibrant, while effects followed suit; those elements came across as accurate and dynamic. Speech appeared natural and distinctive as well; the lines were clear and without edginess or other concerns. This ended up as a solid soundtrack.

As we shift to the disc’s extras, we open with an audio commentary from director Wes Craven, producer Marianne Maddalena and editor Patrick Lussier. All three sit together for this running, screen-specific look at story, characters and themes, cast and performances, editing, sets and locations, camerawork and music, reshoots, alternate scenes and a few other areas.

While we learn a fair amount about the movie, the track tends to drag more often than I’d like. The commentary for the first film cranked at a good pace, but this one meanders on occasion. Still, it includes enough useful material to make it worth a listen.

Two Deleted Scenes go for a total of four minutes, nine seconds. One shows an alternate version of the classroom discussion of sequels, while another shows a different edition of Sydney and her friends in the aftermath of Derek’s attack. Both let us view scenes that were later reshot, so neither of them shows much truly “deleted” material.

We can watch these with or without commentary from Craven, Maddalena and Lussier. They tell us a little about the scenes and let us know why they needed to be reshot. We get a few decent details from the participants.

Under Outtakes, we find an eight-minute, 54-second reel. I hoped this would show little snippets of deleted material, but instead, it’s a long blooper collection. That’s a whole lot of goofs and giggles, and it does little for me.

A Featurette lasts seven minutes, five seconds and includes Craven, writer Kevin Williamson, and actors Neve Campbell, Jamie Kennedy, Sarah Michelle Gellar, David Arquette, Omar Epps, Liev Schreiber, Jada Pinkett, Courteney Cox, and Elise Neal. They give us some general notes about the script, the sequel and other movie elements. It’s a general overview with a promotional emphasis.

Next we get Music Videos for “Scream” by Master P and “Suburban Life” by Kottonmouth Kings. I always thought P and his incessant “uhhhs” was about the most annoying rapper out there, and this ugly, irritating video/song don’t change my mind. Amazingly, the Kings are even more obnoxious – I guess Master P wasn’t the worst of the era! Was rap circa 1997 really this awful?

The disc opens with ads for Scream 4 and the Saw series. These show up under Also from Lionsgate as well. In addition, the Blu-ray provides the trailer for Scream 2 and 11 TV spots.

As a sequel to a semi-spoof, Scream 2 encountered unusual challenges. It didn’t surmount all of these, but it worked well enough to provide a mostly entertaining flick. The Blu-ray delivers good audio along with inconsistent visuals and a decent set of supplements. Scream 2 may not be as good as its predecessor, but it’s fun.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 5
2 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

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