[From IMDB:] Two years after the first series of murders, a new psychopath dons the Ghostface costume and a new string of killings begins.
The biggest strength and weakness of Scream 2 are both the same thing: it came after Scream. That might seem like a bit of a stupid thing to say since, duh, of course it did, that’s what sequels do, but bear with me for a bit.
As a standalone movie, Scream 2 is pretty great. There’s plenty of jump scares, plenty of death, plenty of witty one-liners, and a conclusion that, while a bit shaky plot-wise, is at least satisfying. These are all things that you want from a popcorn slasher, right?
The problem, of course, is that Scream 2 isn’t just another slasher. It’s the sequel to a movie that did a lot to redefine the genre, and which preemptively took the piss out of a lot of what Scream 2 does. To be fair, Scream 2 also takes the piss out of itself, given that being self-referential is part of the shtick with these movies, but it’s still hard not to see Scream 2 as a bit formulaic given how much it intentionally goes over the same questions as Scream did.
Maybe it’s just because the characters have grown up a bit more since the first movie (particularly Sidney), but they’re more fun to watch this time around. There’s history; we’re invested. Certain deaths are more shocking because we liked the victims, and some survivals – well, how you respond to those probably depends on how you feel about the characters to begin with, but I guess that’s the point!
Scream 2 also presents us with what has to be the most tense scene in the series: what happens after the car crash. It’s great! And it’s scenes like this which, despite some problems I have with the plot (which seems much too reliant on coincidences in some areas), makes Scream 2 my favourite movie of the franchise.