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Scream 2 (1997)

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

Directed by:

Wes Craven

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 120 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: United States

The opening sequence of Scream memorably brought us the sight of a frantic Drew Barrymore desperately trying to escape a slash-happy mentallist in a ghostly facemask. As viewers we could feel her panic, share her all-out fear and, most importantly, take her side. After all, she might have made a few crappy films in her time, but none of us want to see the wee girl out of ‘E.T.’ sliced into donner kebab meat, do we?

For the beginning of this, the sequel, the interrupted peace and tranquillity of Drew’s place is exchanged for quite possibly the most annoying movie theatre on the planet. It’s packed with shrieking cretins, jumping up and down in front of the picture, whooping with obnoxious delight at every on-screen moment, and chucking popcorn around like tiny butter-encrusted grenades. In short, the sort of people you’d be quite happy to see repeatedly stabbed beyond all chance of survival.

There lies one of the key problems with ‘Scream 2’. Everybody in it – and I mean everybody – is just bloody annoying. From the returning Neve Campbell (whose attempt at trying to move on from the events of the first film includes taking a part in a play which involves people in masks lunging at her with knives) to the whingeing reporter played by Courtney Cox, to the self-referential know-it-all that is Jamie Kennedy. Please, Mr Killer, put us all out of our misery now.

Of course I’m being a little harsh, as ‘Scream 2’ does have two undeniable plus points: there’s no major role for the grimacing Matthew Lillard, and it’s not ‘Scream 3’. It’s also directed with the expected level of competence by horror’s number 1 old hand Wes Craven – he knows what he’s doing here, and he does inject a fair number of shocks. If jump-behind-your-cushion moments are your bag, it’s fair to assume you probably won’t be disappointed upon a first-time viewing.

But this truly is a pointless follow-up. Scream had a clever concept behind it and was deservedly a box office success, but it achieved its goals and made its point. This hackneyed add-on is way too far up its own botty to be worthy of the same levels of praise.

It's Got: A downright awful climax, completely devoid of all credibility.

It Needs: For everyone in that cinema at the start to sit down and shut up. Then they might actually notice that someone in the same room as them has been brutally knifed.

DVD Extras Out-takes, deleted scenes, a trailer and a couple of generic soft-rock music vids. DVD Extras Rating: 5/10

Summary

A hatchet job in more ways than one.

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