A tired and overly confusing entry in the ‘Scream’ series. All the major cast returns in this second sequel that debuted three years after the original, yet feels stale. During production on a movie titled ‘Stab’ based on the book by news reporter and ‘Scream’ survivor Gale Weather (Cox), cast members are being picked off one by one. It takes awhile for the characters to catch on, but eventually it’s discovered that the order of murders is echoing past events. Hollywood and the horror genre itself are effectively satirized in Ehren Kruger’s mediocre script. Director Wes Craven often uses the same visual gags and tricks he resorted to in the earlier films and it comes off as nothing more than perfunctory here.
Half the fun of these movies is trying to guess the killer and his/her motivations. In this case the villain is such a preposterous turn that it flirts with turning the entire story into a joke. It’s in fact a cheat, something pulled out of left field, with no real tie to the mythology set up in the proceeding stories. The highlight in this film is a tense and grizzly opening sequence involving Liev Schreiber’s character from there on it’s all downhill.
‘Scream’ was a fresh and very humorous look at the horror genre. ‘Scream 2’ wasn’t quite as good but was still superior entertainment. Now comes this step-back for all involved in front of and behind the camera. Followed by a sequel 11 years later.
Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox-Arquette
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