Film: Scream 2

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Film:

Scream 2

Director: Wes Craven
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Distributor: Dimension

Fully aware of its status as the sequel to the surprise hit thriller of 1996, this lively follow-up trades freshness for familiarity, playing on our affection for returning characters while obeying—and then subverting—the “rules” of sequels. Once again, movie references are cleverly employed to draw us into the story, which takes place two years after the events of Scream, at a small Ohio college, where the Scream survivors reunite when another series of mysterious killings begins. Capitalizing on the guesswork involving a host of potential…

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Fully aware of its status as the sequel to the surprise hit thriller of 1996, this lively follow-up trades freshness for familiarity, playing on our affection for returning characters while obeying—and then subverting—the “rules” of sequels. Once again, movie references are cleverly employed to draw us into the story, which takes place two years after the events of Scream, at a small Ohio college, where the Scream survivors reunite when another series of mysterious killings begins. Capitalizing on the guesswork involving a host of potential suspects, director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson have crafted a thriller that’s more of a Scream clone than a genuinely inventive new story. But the shocks are just as effective, and escalating tension leads to a tautly staged climax that’s simultaneously logical and giddily over the top. Background information for trivia buffs: to preserve the secrecy of plot twists, copies of the screenplay were heavily guarded during production and restricted to only the most crucial personnel. When an early draft was circulated on the Internet, screenwriter Kevin Williamson did rewrites, and subsequent drafts were printed with red ink on brown paper, eliminating the threat of photocopying. None of the cast members knew who the killer was until the final scenes were filmed! —Jeff Shannon

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Film:Scream

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With the smash hit Scream, novice screenwriter Kevin Williamson and veteran horror director Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street) revived the moldering corpse of the teen horror picture, both creatively and commercially, by playfully acknowledging the exhausted clichés and then turning them inside out. Scream is a postmodern slasher movie, a horror film that cleverly deconstructs horror films, then reassembles the dead tissue, and (like Frankenstein’s monster) creates new life. When a serial killer starts hacking up their fellow teens, the…

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