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Scream 2

Slightly milder sequel to the post-modern slasher.
Popular with kids
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 1997
  • Running Time: 120 minutes

What parents need to know

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.


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


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


Abundant profanity.


Primarily references to other horror movies.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alcohol is very popular on this campus, who knew?

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:December 12, 1997
DVD/Streaming release date:August 12, 2001
Cast:David Arquette, Jamie Kennedy, Neve Campbell
Director:Wes Craven
Run time:120 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:violence, mature themes, profanity

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Kid, 12 years old April 14, 2011


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 blood!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old March 29, 2009

A worthy follow up to the original masterpiece.

Scream 2 is a great follow up to the original masterpiece in every way. Now two years after the series of brutal crimes is back again, but this time it's happening in a different location and the kills might have a link to the previous kills committed in the first film. I have to say the sequel was really great. We had our favorite stars from the original such as Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, and Jamie Kennedy. Also, the same directors and writers are back again with Scream. It's bloodier, it's gorier, it's scarier. What more could you ask? I also appreciated that they cut down on the suggestive dialogue from the original and went straight to the point with the murders. Fans of the original Scream will not be disappointed. For sexual content, a couple is about to have an affair. You see a female taking off her coat. But they are interrupted. Some sexual references and innuendoes. For violence/gore there are numerous amounts of killings and stabbings, mostly committed by the killer. In the opening scene a man is in a bathroom stall and he gets impaled in his right cheek with a knife, from the next bathroom stall. A woman is stabbed around seven times in a theatre and you hear screaming and see gashes of blood. In another scene, a woman is shot in the head numerous times. A woman is stabbed several times in the abdomen and thrown off a balcony. A man is stabbed several times in the arm, but he survives. A man is seen slammed against a wall and you see blood coming out. A woman shoots a man and you see gashes of blood. Many other violent scenes should be noted. For profanity, there are around 20 f words and it's derivatives, there are some s words, a words, uses of blasphemy, name-calling, b words, reference to "bang", mild profanes such as damn and hell. For consumerism, a woman watches the horror movie "Nosferatu". Characters constantly make references to old horror films. Characters get the "Ghostface" costume during a premiere of a film called "Stab". For drug content, characters drink and smoke, especially at a party being held. I would recommend this film to people that can stomach some bloody violence and that can take multiple swear words. There really is no sexual content, just some innuendoes. For violence, there are multiple scenes of the killer stabbing people to death. There are really no "positive" role models and it sends a bad message. Despite that, Scream 2 is a blast.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 9 years old October 9, 2014


What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking