Scream 2

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
Scream 2 Movie Poster Image
Slightly milder sequel to the post-modern slasher.
  • R
  • 1997
  • 120 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 49 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

Tough, plucky central figure Sidney is, as always, the most normal among a cast of shifty, possible mass-murder suspects. David Arquette's noble but goofy deputy Dewey is a certifiably nice guy.

Violence

Vicious stabbings, close-range shootings, and hand-to-hand fighting.

Sex

Characters refer to sex, though not as often as in the last film. Two police officers are sniggeringly suggested to be homosexuals.

Language

Abundant profanity.

Consumerism

Primarily references to other horror movies.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Alcohol is very popular on this campus, who knew?

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that, while the carnage isn't as extreme as it was in the first SCREAM, bloodshed and stabbings are still abundant. So is foul language, and a portrayal of a college campus environment as a place where nobody ever seems to be caught studying, just partying and pledging fraternities and sororities.

User Reviews

Adult Written byBestPicture1996 May 11, 2015

Self-aware sequel is a little of the same

I'm committed to binging these movies now, one "Scream" a day keeps productivity away. I have two more to go, and I hope I haven't peaked wi... Continue reading
Adult Written byJustinC 1 February 2, 2016

Disturbing violence, not for under 18

I saw this in the theater when I was 17, and there's a disturbing, violent scene at the beginning of the movie that bothered me quite a bit at the time. I... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 14, 2011

teens

There's alot of Gore and Violence, and Language. Good storyline, good ending, No Sexual Content. Ok for mature teens, or younger teens if you can handle bl... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old October 9, 2014

What's the story?

SCREAM 2 starts with the stabbing deaths of a couple (Omar Epps and Jada Pinkett-Smith) in a theater by an assailant wearing the same black robe and mask from the first movie. Meanwhile, Scream survivor Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is in college. This new spate of murders -- and further threatening phone calls from the unknown killer -- bring massive media attention to the university, including a return visit from sensationalist reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox), Woodsboro deputy Dewey (David Arquette), and even the twitchy, `innocent' man (Liev Schreiber) that Sidney mistakenly accused of killing her mother years before. Randy (Jamie Kennedy), now a film student, compares what's going on to the time-worn clichés in the slasher movies that he's watched.

Is it any good?

Scream 2 mainly works on the level of a fiendish, darkly humorous murder mystery. Given that the sequel to the blockbuster shocker Scream was cranked out rapidly (by the same filmmaking team of director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson), premiering in theaters a year after the hugely profitable original, the quality is actually pretty good. Once again, it's a sharp `whodunit' swathed in the clichés of a Hollywood slasher-horror film, with characters who are amusingly aware of how these things normally play out. In this feature the clever banter is broadened to include the alleged racism when black characters are the first to die (you might remember Omar and Jada) and the effects of violence in cinema and TV spilling into real-life mayhem (you might remember Get Rich or Die Tryin'). But those dialogues rarely go deep into the topic or take any definite moral position.

Maybe because the casualties are no longer underaged, or the slashing isn't quite so savage, or maybe even because there's a growing affection between squabbling Gale and Dewey (actors Arquette and Cox became a real-life married couple), the results don't feel quite as grisly. Still, SCREAM 2 is a solid `R' for content, and therefore is not recommended for kids, tweens, and younger teens.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the sneaky way the script talks up the effects of violence in the media upon society (even the killer's secret game plan involves the controversy), but indulges in the same violence. Is SCREAM 2 making a serious point about the negative effects of screen terror, or just pretending to while it becomes a thrill-ride massacre itself?

Movie details

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