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SCREAM 2, ($30) like its predecessor is a cool and hip reinvention of the tired and "done to death" psycho-killer horror sub-genre. While not as clever as the first film, SCREAM 2 is a very entertaining horror outing. SCREAM 2 has enough scares to make it a genuine horror film, yet it retains a satirical edge thanks to Kevin Williamson’s screenplay. Where the original SCREAM was a self referential homage to the important and original films of the genre, SCREAM 2, being a sequel takes a "stab" at doing the same for the inevitable horror sequel.

Neve Campbell returns to the role of Sidney Prescott, the teen heroine of the first film. Sydney is now attending college and trying to get on with her life. Sydney finds, however, she can’t escape her past, especially when a new horror movie based upon her earlier experience stirs up a media frenzy. Matters then take a deadly turn when a psychotic copycat murders a couple of college students during a preview of the film. With SCREAM 2, Courteney Cox proves that her first outing as Gale Weathers was no fluke- she really is an actress with a full emotional range who is wasted in sitcom roles. In this sequel, Gale Weathers finds the tables turned on her. Instead of victimizing everyone in typical tabloid journalist fashion, Gale finds herself amongst the intended victims of another killer, who has set his sites on the survivors of the first film.

Also enhancing the cast of SCREAM 2 is David Arquette. Arquette adds just the right amount of charm and humor to the role of Dwight "Dewey" Riley, which makes Dewey just about the most likable character in either SCREAM or SCREAM 2. The cast of SCREAM 2 also features Jamie Kennedy, Liev Schreiber, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Laurie Metcalf, Elise Neal, Jerry O'Connell, Timothy Olyphant, Jada Pinkett, Lewis Arquette, Duane Martin, Rebecca Gayheart, Heather Graham, Tori Spelling and David Warner. Director Wes Craven keeps the tension level high throughout the film, as well as staging the shocks to maximum effect. There is one standout sequence masterfully executed by Craven in which the tension becomes unbearable. Sydney is forced to free herself from the back of a crashed police car by crawling out of the driver’s window- past the killer who may or may not be unconscious. This sequence had the audience going nuts when I saw the film theatrically.

Dimension Home Video has made SCREAM 2 available on DVD in a terrific looking Letterboxed presentation that unfortunately does not include anamorphic enhancement. The transfer presents SCREAM 2 fairly close to its 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio, without compromising the extreme edges of the screen too much. The DVD is crisp and well detailed, while the nicely saturated colors reproduce naturally without a hint of distortion. Digital compression artifacts were reigned in throughout the film.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack has a solid mix that uses the discrete channels for accurate deployment of sound effects. Bass reproduction was also quite good, especially for the musical portion of the track. Other soundtrack options include a matrixed Dolby Surround compatible track. Subtitles are available in English.

The interactive menus offer access to a theatrical trailer, plus the standard scene selection feature.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1998 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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