Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Horror Classics: Scream 2

Well, I did the first Scream, and this one's supposed to be pretty good, too, so I guess it's time: I present 1997's Scream 2.

Rialto Theatre, the premiere of the movie "Stab." Omar Epps and Jada Pinkett Smith are in line for the movie. Look, a tiny backpack! NINETIES. Jada says it's a "Dumb-ass white movie about some dumb-ass white girls getting their white asses cut the fuck up." FACTS. FAXTCSTSXC. I am a bit drunk already and have a half a mixed drink and an energy drink and half a crystal skull full of vodka ready for this. Everybody in the theater gets a "stab suit," the black hoodies with the white murder mask form the first Scream. The movie's based on Gale Weathers' book (Courteney Cox, the reporter from the first movie). Opening scene, Heather Graham plays Drew Barrymore, the first victim. She gets naked, about to shower. Epps is INTO IT. The phone rings and the killer shows up in the window. Jada has no patience for the victim. "Bitch, hang the phone up and star 69 his ass." TRUE FACT. Jada is scared but wants to hate the movie. She gets cash from Omar for snacks. She is tiny and not wearing a bra. Who leaves the theater, like 3 minutes into the movie?

Jada takes the world's largest Pepsi (a medium) into the theater. Omar jumps out and scares her in the mask. BOO. She doesn't like being scared, but he thinks scary movies make good foreplay. She concedes that they can stay at this movie and goes back in by herself while Heather Graham gets chased around the house in her robe onscreen. Omar goes to the bathroom, which is covered in weird Egyptian hieroglyphics. Two dudes in Scream costumes are peeing at the urinal. Omar goes into a stall and doesn't shut the door, which Isaac tells me is standard man bathroom practice, and listens in to what sounds like a couple doing it in the next one. His ear up against the stall divider, he gets stabbed in the side of the head. Yuck. Back in the theater, Jada watches Heather run around more. A dude in the Scream suit and Omar's jacket sits down next to her. She thinks it's him for a minute, but as Heather gets stabbed on screen, she finds blood all over her hands. He stabs her in the belly and she screams while Heather is killed onscreen, so nobody really hears or notices. So much fake murder simulations from the fans with their plastic glow-in-the-dark knives as Jada gets real stabbed in the aisle. She crawls up to the screen and screams, bleeding from the mouth, and collapses in front of the movie and dies. Meta-meta-meta.

SCREAM 2 title screen. '90s music. A college campus. Neve Campbell, who sleeps in some kind of long-ish sports bra apparently, answers the phone and somebody asks what her favorite scary movie is. She has caller ID. She gets rid of him. Her roommate asks if they need to change numbers again, but Neve says it'll die off after the movie's opening weekend. Liev Schrieber is talking about his innocence on TV. Neve's roommate wants her to go to a party with her. On the news: two students from their college were murdered during the movie's sneak preview. Neve/Sidney is understandably scared. The press harasses her outside her dorm. In a film class: OMG, prime-Buffy-era Sarah Michelle Gellar says that movies aren't responsible for people's actions and the idea that they are is "so Moral Majority." COOL TIMELY REFERENCE, BRO. The dude from the first movie who new knew all the horror movie rules is in this class where they argue with a professor wearing a denim shirt. Joshua Jackson is also in this class, because the Scream movies were apparently a WB teen series training ground. No wonder my late-'90s teen mags were full of this shit but I could never see them because I was a Mormon junior high student. The Movie Guy claims "sequels suck." This is a ridiculously raucous class convo.

Movie Geek Dude, Randy, gets pulled out of class by Sidney, and he uses a stupid Australian accent. She's scared about the movie theater murders, he's in denial. Jerry O'Connell shows up and is Sid's boyfriend, I think. I had such a crush on him during Sliders. They make out and Randy is jealous. Courteney Cox has streaky red-dyed hair and is pissed the movie might get pulled from theaters after the murders. She tells a black cameraman dude to keep up. The aunt from Roseanne is the reporter's fan. Remember "violence and the media" '90s paranoia shit with Tipper Gore? The sheriff claims this was an isolated incident. Sorority girls Portia De Rossi and Rebecca Gayheart are bitches. Sid doesn't want to go to their party. Sheriff Dewey shows up and Sid's pumped. He was worried about her and his mustache is still super-terrible. I cannot take him seriously. Ever. Sorry, Arquette. He's clearly into her and will coordinate with local cops to make sure she's safe. He limps because of some first movie injury I'm guessing, but I don't actually remember. O'Connell's khaki pleats are awesome.

Courteney/Gale confronts Sidney ON CAMERA with Liev, who is wearing a terrible double-breasted suit. He claims he forgives her for accusing him of murdering her family. Sid smacks Gale. Liev/Cotton is upset as he thought they'd had a prearranged interview. Gale runs into Dewey. Oh, Dewey's right arm is all messed up, too. That's some Bob Dole shit. Dewey gives her shit about her unflattering characterization of him in the book. Her hair is so bad here. She says sorry, but it's bullshit. He insults her hair "streaks." YES.

SORORITY PARTY. Sid wears a blue suede or crushed velvet coat. Portia (with real thick eyebrows) and Rebecca insincerely welcome them. In another sorority house, Buffy watches TV and switches lines between phone calls. She wears shiny brown boots on the couch and thinks "Ted" is calling, drunk. I guess the house would have a landline. She's tonight's sober sister, she can pick people up from the party if they need it. Nosferatu is on TV, the Count staring out the windows. "Do you want to die tonight?" the creepy caller asks. That escalated quickly. Buffy hears a noise upstairs. CORDLESS PHONES YES THE '90S. She runs out of the house and decides to call campus security. She steps back into the house because the phone is cutting out, she's too far from the phone base. Just run away. DUDE, JUST GO NEXT DOOR. Another girl surprises and scares her. Dark shadow walks by in the background and then a knife slices through a really thin curtain. He's on the phone again (don't ask me why she keeps answering) and she follows his instructions to turn on the alarm. Nosferatu, up the stairs as she looks around. The phone rings again. DON'T ANSWER LANDLINES IS THE HORROR-MOVIE RULE. This phone is stupid. Suddenly a dude in the Stab costume busts in and starts chasing her with a knife. There are a lot of stairs in this house. He throws her out a glass door onto a balcony and stabs her in the back. She screams and he throws her to the ground from the third floor.

AWESOME '90S MUSIC. Isaac thinks it might be Everclear. Back at the party, Randy brings them beverages. Portia and Rebecca are trying to recruit Sid and her roommate. Jerry O'Connell shows up looking cute. OMG, something's happening over at Omega Beta Zeta (Buffy's house). So many police. Cool! Police and media. Dewey tells Gale she'd "love it" if the murders were happening again. Joel, the camera guy, is nervous. Sid goes inside the party house for her jacket and the phone rings. She answers it for some godforsaken reason even though she doesn't live there. "Hello Sidney, remember me." UH-OH, she's being attacked! The guy in the costume stabs through the front door. She meets up with O'Connell outside and he goes into the house to get the stabber, for some reason. IDIOT IDIOT IDIOT. Dewey shows up AND GOES AFTER HIM. O'Connell's arm has been slashed up. Isaac thinks Portia and Rebecca are the killers. At the hospital. I love that all these "college students" look like they're in their late '20s. Real undergrads look like babies.

I don't care how hard you're rocking those pleats, O'Connell. This is the worst.
Perhaps O'Connell is the killer. The cops are skeptical. Fucking Dewey's mustache. David Arquette makes this "I am acting" face, so I can't really buy any character he plays. Apparently the local sheriff station just lets randos in. Gale and Dewey recognize patterns in the names of the previous victims. O'Connell is sad they're being followed by police escorts. Sid doesn't want him (more) hurt. He rejects her breakup, I think. Other press, including the Roseanne aunt, harass Gale. She suspects Dewey, Gale defends him. Roommate's boyfriend suspects Randy. O'Connell starts singing "I Think I Love You" real loud in the cafeteria. Some dude puts cash in his braided belt. THIS IS TERRIBLE AND I HATE IT. Should he really be drawing attention to her right now? An excessive amount of applause occurs. Gross and stupid. The cops are Not Pleased. O'Connell is giving Sid his Greek letters necklace and they make out in front of everyone. GROSS TERRIBLE I HATE EVERYTHING.

Tori Spelling is interviewed on TV. She's playing herself, Tori Spelling, the actress playing Sidney in Stab. Randy complains to Dewey about who is playing them in the movie. Luke Wilson is playing Skeet's character (the boyfriend killer or whatever). Randy explains the rules of a slasher sequel. Bigger, better, more murders, etc. Randy rules out O'Connell, says it's not himself or the other movie dude, Dewey neither, not Hallie the roommate. Randy suggests Gale. She's an opportunist. Randy gives Dewey shit about limping because he was LITRALLY back-stabbed and got a "severed nerve."

Joel is concerned about getting gutted like Gale's last cameraman. "Brothers don't last long in situations like this." FACT. She talks him into staying around, though. I hope he is paid well to hang out on this college campus where a murderer is on the loose and ambush trauma victims on camera. Sid, whispering like usual, wants to quit the play she's in. Her British professor/director gives her shit. She's playing Cassandra, which I think means she won't be believed and will die tragically. She's a theater major, ew.

A dress rehearsal involving masked robed dudes. Fake bricks fall from the set. Sidney in red and with a wind and smoke machines. She does a ridiculous monologue. "Fate's vengeful eye is fixed, on me." The masked figures slash at her and she freaks out, running everywhere. She thinks one of them is wearing a Stab mask. Rebecca and Portia are in this scene. Interesting. O'Connell is concerned. She just wants to be alone, though. She's beautiful, obvs, but with those pre-wrinkles, she is NOT 20 years old or whatever. I think she just broke up with him. I guess she was just 24 when this movie came out, but still, not an undergrad. Gale's red streaks have been filled in some. She and the cameraman and Randy and Dewey sit around talking about how it is. Randy answers Gale's phone and they know He's watching.  Randy says his favorite scary movie is Showgirls. They are trying to figure out if it's somebody on the quad and snatch every visible phone. '90S FLIP PHONES. Courteney Cox can't have ever eaten food to be that tiny.

Randy insults the killer, saying he's copycatting high school losers, one of whom was "homo-repressed." Randy gets pulled into the news van by a dude in costume. Some white dudes walking by with a boombox cover up the noise as he's stabbed to death. Could it be the cameraman? Nope! Cameraman shows up with Dunkin' Donuts. They find Randy in the van all dead and an abandoned mask. '90s library card catalog. SID HAS AN IM, BUT ISN'T LOGGED IN. The computer says, "You're going to die tonight. The police can't save you."

Liev shows up creepily. He says Diane Sawyer will give them a whole hour if they go on TV together. CREEPY CREEP CREEP. He's pissed she dragged his name through the mud and thinks she owes him something. He's very menacing on these stairs and grabs her arm. Finally the cops see and grab him. Liev/Cotton gets arrested. Dewey tries to comfort Sidney. Cotton yells about being "An Innocent Man." They  have to release him and Gale tells him not to do anything stupid. Her streaks are still real bad. He leaves Sidney his card. She's going to go grab some stuff from her dorm during a campus lock-in and will definitely not be attacked then. Roseanne aunt interrogates Gale and Gale does not like it. She calls her "local woman." Joel intelligently quits. Gale admits she actually feels bad. She convinces Dewey to help her look for the killer. They think he's probably in some crowd footage Joel captured.

When we're supposed to be sympathetic to Gale, I think those are the times her streaks are more subtle. Isaac now guesses the killer is Local Woman Reporter. While reviewing footage, Gale and Dewey start to get it on on the desk of a lecture hall, but then the tape does something weird. It's now showing the victims before their deaths. NOW, THEM. The killer was in the AV booth! Dewey limps upstairs, but he's gone. Now the (a?) killer is attacking Gale somehow. Dewey falls downstairs. Gale locks herself into another dark room. A recording studio or something. God, she is so tiny. The killer has followed her in. She thinks she's hiding in the studio. She sneaks behind some soundproof panels. He's close, though. She locks herself in an archive room or something. Dewey comes into the studio to be some kind of goddamn hero. The killer attacks him and she's sad from the other side of some glass. The killer starts trying to break the window as she screams impotently. She cries like a loser.

O'Connell waits for Sid as the cops come outside with her and her luggage. Her roommate insists on coming along. "I'm her therapist," she says. Sid kisses O'C good-bye and he looks sinister. The fraternity bros, in their robes, attack O'C for "giving up his letters" on his necklace. They tie him up at a wild party and pour beer down his junk or something. I'm not sure I trust these cops that are supposed to be protecting Sid. The killer attacks the driver. He kills him. Sid and her roommate can't get out because it's a police car and there's child criminal safety locks on the back doors. The other cop jumps on the hood with a gun, but really gets impaled in an accident before he can successfully kill the killer. Mask-face is stunned from the accident.

How to get out of the backseat of a police car? The pipe that impaled the cop has broken the cage thingy between the front and back seats, so Sid peels it back and crawls through. The passenger door won't open, so she has to climb over their passed-out attacker to get out. She wants to pull off the mask. She accidentally hits the horn. The door won't work, so she has to climb out the window through the front, too. She can't open the back door for some reason. They should smack him or her in the head again. Roommate has to climb over him, too. Sid wants to know who it is. Roommate says, "Stupid people go back." She says if they wait for the police, he'll be gone, and then he is gone. But just gone from the car because he reappears and kills the roommate. Sid runs away.

Gale sneaks out of the studio. Cotton runs into her and his hands are all bloody, claiming it's not what it looks like. She runs. She steals the payphone from Local Woman and says Cotton is the killer. In the theater, the music and lights for Sid's play are up. Where the fuck is she running? Aren't there emergency phones on this campus? Apparently she's going to go into the theater which has clearly been set up for her. Maybe the drama professor is the killer. She gets on stage OF COURSE and a spotlight isolates her. Sets fall from the ceiling to trap her. O'C's shirt has been displayed on the set. His body, still attached to the party thing, falls from the ceiling. He's still alive. Letters have been carved into his body. He's wearing super-modest striped boxers.

The killer is apparently the roommate's boyfriend and he claims his partner was O'C. O'C claims otherwise. Just fucking run away. He wants to be untied. Whatshisname shoots O'C/Derek. Sid is sad. She and whatshisname yell at each other. Oh, his name is Mickey. He makes lots of '90s legal/political references. He says people love a good trial. Sid's got Derek's necklace She says Mickey's forgotten that she killed Billy. She hits him in the face with the necklace and they get into a scuffle He's got a gun and a knife on her. O'C is very Christ-y right now. Local Woman is his accomplice and is holding Gale at gunpoint. Local Woman is dead Billy's mom, apparently. She has lost a lot of weight, that's why Sid didn't recognize her. Mickey says he needed tuition money and they met on a website. THE INTERNET. She shoots Mickey a bunch and accidentally Gale. Local Woman wants revenge because Sid killed her son. She's going to frame Mickey and her. "Billy was perfect, you did a gang-up job." She's also mad that Sid's mom fucked her husband. "You don't know what it is to be a mother." Yeah, okay.

Sid briefly distracts Local Woman and escapes behind the set. She finds a fireman's ax and starts chopping ropes so lights fall down from the ceiling. In her pantsuit, Crazy Mom shoots wildly backstage. I really don't know why neither of them ever jumped offstage into the house and ran away. Crazy Mom ends up under a pile of some fake stone brick thingies RUN SID RUN. C.M.'s got a knife and slashes at her. Fight onstage. Cotton has a gun and tells her not to move. CM has a knife to Sid's throat. Cotton is pissed/confused. CM says he'll be the star/survivor if he lets her kill Sid. CM has crazy eyes and Cotton shoots her. "That was intense," he says. Sid takes the gun from him and makes sure CM is dead. Gale reaches up from the orchestra pit, which is full of mysterious dry ice. She's been shot, but she's okay. She grabs a gun and asks if CM is dead. "I don't know," Sidney says, "they always come back." Mickey stands up!

They shoot the fuck out of Mickey. Sidney gives CM the double-tap. "Just in case." Joel shows up to work with Gale. Dewey's not actually dead! I thought D.Arq was in all the movies! Gale gets in the ambulance with him. The press crowds around Sid. She says Cotton's the real hero. He says the story will make "a hell of a movie." In her fantastically late-'90s outfit, Sid wanders off. Leather coat, un-pocketed high-waisted pants, chunky heels. SCREEEEEEEEAM 2. Not as good as the first. Enjoyable double-meta, though.

Almost forgot to include a picture of the main murder dude.

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