Twenty years ago, on December 12th, was the release of Wes Craven’s revolutionary film that made sequels cool again: Scream 2. Written by Kevin Williamson, the film follows the survivors from the film Scream as they head to college. Much like the first film, the opening 10 minutes are a brilliant mini slasher film within a film, where two college students get stabbed to death while in a theater to see a movie based on the Woodsboro murders: Stab.
Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy) find themselves once again caught up in the plot of a scary movie — but this time someone is planning a sequel. Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) reappears to cover the new murders, followed by the ever faithful Dewey Riley (David Arquette), and the slightly bitter Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber). The body count starts to rise as a masked killer haunts the campus.
It is up to the characters to follow the rules of surviving a horror sequel set forth by the ever-wise Randy. 1. The body count is always bigger. 2. The kills are always more gruesome. Scream 2 does not disappoint in either of these respects. It manages to balance the gore the horror fan has come to expect with its own clever spin on the genre.
Williamson’s screenplay is incredible in particular. He has a way with snarky zingers that he spreads throughout the film. When Gale is asked about her nude photos on the Internet, she replies, “It was just my head. It was Jennifer Aniston’s body.”
What makes the film so amazing is it knows that sequels are by far inferior films attempting to cash in on the first film. It even goes as far as to make a reference to this fact. But Scream 2 bucks the trend, managing to be witty, self-aware, ironic, and (yes) equal to the first film.