Let’s get stupid.
Scream 2’s existence shouldn’t surprise anyone. Of course, there was going to be a sequel. You’d think that with all the smart commentary about horror in the first one that maybe Wes Craven could resist milking this would-be franchise for all it was worth, and you’d be wrong.
(Probably going to be spoilers ahead. Particularly for Scream)
The sequel picks up sometime after the first, and now Sidney is in college. We get another kill sequence at the beginning, but instead of flexing horror chops, this one just sucks. As two unlikable people are murdered at a theater (how apropos) we have to ask why everyone is so stupid in the audience. Unfortunately, the stupidity of audiences is probably the most meta this one gets.
After more killings occur, Sidney is placed under protective custody and has to solve the puzzle before more people get hurt. We also have the oddball pairing of pointless side characters from the first one as ex-cop Dewey (David Arquette) and Gale (Courtney Cox) work to find the identity of the killer with painfully forced sexual tension.
We also now have the Stab movie series (based on Gale’s book from the first one) and are forced to rewatch scenes from the first film, now reshot with other characters, and this just seems pointless to me. We don’t learn anything with these scenes.
The film drops the ball with a few other things as well. Cotton Weary (Live Schrieber), who was exonerated in the murder of Sindey’s mother, is now a major character. He corners Sidney in the library, physically restrains her multiple times, and refuses to let her walk away while her police escort is apparently just fucking off. The way he was grabbing her would have probably warranted lethal force from the officers if they had bothered to look.
What starts to occur in these movies is that the only way anything can work in the narrative is to have offensively stupid people being the ones who make decisions. How the fuck Cotton is able to ambush Sidney shows that the police in this city all need to be fired, immediately. This isn’t the only time we see people being complete morons.
By the time we get to the now trademarked unmasking of the killer it is hard to care, at all. Sidney’s new boyfriend (I can’t remember his name and don’t care enough to look it up) is innocent this time, at least of killing. We still have an overbearing douche of a male romance interest, which indicates something quite odd about how romance is seen in this world. I suppose I was surprised he wasn’t the killer? I mean, no one is developed in this film—at all—so he did have equal chance.
Instead of critiquing the dumbest aspects of the genre, Scream 2 becomes a beacon for all of the stupidity present in slasher films. Sequels tend to suck, but I think this is the first time I have seen a series go from one of the better to one of the most boilerplate in one entry. Not only is this film terrible, it actively does a disservice to the creativity of the first, showcases the worst of horror, and does it all for a cheap cash grab.