Scream 2 (Blu-ray Review)

Before the movie starts, we are treated to a preview for Scream 4, coming to theaters on April 15, 2011.  Although I DVR almost every TV show I watch (and never watch the commercials), I am amazed this is the first I’ve heard of Scream 4.  As the trailer plays I am waiting for it to turn into a spoof of the Scream Trilogy but in fact, it appears as though they have made an honest to goodness movie and I’m a little ashamed that I want to go see it in the theater.  I wonder…am I too old for this?

I saw Scream in the movie theater while in high school.  When I attend Scream 4, will I be surrounded by 15 year olds that irritate me when they jump at every predictable scare moment or will I be surrounded by other 30-something moms who really liked Scream back in high school?  Either way, I’ll be there.


The guy in the white mask and black robe (aka Ghostface) is back, terrorizing poor Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell).  After being at the center of numerous grizzly murders back in her hometown of Woodsboro, Sidney has gone off to college and is trying to move on.  Randy (Jamie Kennedy), the other survivor from the Woodsboro massacre, is attending the same college and is now a film student.

Just as in the first film, Randy lays out the rules.  The rules for a sequel are 1) The body count is always bigger and 2) The death scenes are always much more elaborate.  That’s a solid and achievable goal.  Basically everyone who survived Scream is back for Scream 2.  Sidney and Randy have both made new friends at college and Sidney has a new love (Jerry O’Connell).  Sidney would like to put the events of Woodsboro behind her, but the movie based on those events (titled Stab) has just been released.

Sidney hopes that the crank calls she’s been receiving are the worst of her problems, but unfortunately for her (and the soon to be dead couple), a double murder takes place during the screening of Stab and the gang from Woodsboro start showing up one by one.  Dewey (David Arquette) comes to protect Sidney, Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) is there for the exclusive story, and Cotton (Liev Schrieber) wants to take advantage of his fifteen minutes of fame.  Cotton was wrongfully accused of the murder of Sidney’s mother in Scream and is a very good suspect when the murderer strikes again.

Sidney spends most of the movie wondering who she can trust.  When Dewey points out that the killer is probably already in her life,  Sidney wonders which of her friends can be trusted.  Unfortunately, the only way that they can be absolutely trusted is when it’s too late when they have already been killed by the man in the mask.  Until that time, everyone is a plausible suspect and a likely killer.

Scream 2 has an fairly well known cast.  I’m surprised how many people I recognize, some before their “big breaks.”  Sarah Michelle Gellar and Timothy Olyphant have big parts but smaller roles went to Jada Pinkett, Omar Epps, Rebecca Gayheart, Portia De Rossi and Heather Graham.   Tori Spelling is cast in Stab, as was predicted in Scream.

I truly love Scream, and watch it often.  This is probably only the second or third time I’ve seen Scream 2 and I enjoyed it much more than I expected.  I often thought it’s almost as good as the original and that’s a pretty big compliment to a sequel.  Randy’s film class argues whether or not a sequel can surpass the original and the few titles they come up with emphasize how how hard it is to match the quality of the first one.

In this case, like most other sequels, Scream 2 is good, but Scream is better.  One thing that this sequel has going for it is that both Scream films have the same writer, director, producer and many of the same stars.  Scream 2 is a lot like Scream – it is a continuation of the original story and I’m happy with that.  I’m not sure that there needed to be a Scream 3, but that’s a completely separate and upcoming review.  At some point, the idea that the killer wasn’t actually killed has to get old and repetitive.


Scream 2 is presented in 1080p High Definition with a 2.35:1 transfer.  Much like the first movie, the black levels and contrast are excellent, and there’s some nice detail present.  While I haven’t seen how Scream looks, I can say that this transfer looks a lot better than my DVD but there are still some issues.  Skin tones aren’t as natural as they should be (they tend to look reddish) and color overall seems to be muted.  There is grain present but it looks like it may have been scrubbed with DNR a little bit.  Don’t worry, it doesn’t look overdone, but just enough to improve it without removing all of the grain.  My major gripe is with the video quality for the special features, which are in standard definition and probably represent the worst picture quality I have ever seen on a blu-ray disc.


Scream 2 has a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that was really effective.  The screams are blood curdling and the mix keeps you jumping with it’s cross channel panning and deliberate misdirected cues.  This mix is far better than the previous DVD version’s and it provides a good reason to upgrade to Blu-ray.  I know that Brian really liked the sound quality in the first movie and this one is no different. My only specific complaint is that the dialogue is out of sync with actors lips on at least one occasion.

Special Features 

I really like the fact that you hear the “knife slashing noise” when switching between special features. There are a decent number of features which would have normally earned this section a four star rating, but the terrible audio and video quality of these extras dropped it down to a three.

  • Audio Commentary – With Director Wes Craven, Producer Marianne Maddalena and Editor Patrick Lussier.  It’s always interesting to hear why the filmmakers made the choices they made.  A lot of random, but interesting information is added.
  • Deleted Scenes – With optional commentary by Director Wes Craven, Producer Marianne Maddalena and Editor Patrick Lussier
  • Outtakes – I am always happy to see outtakes in the special features, but these weren’t very funny.
  • Featurette – A behind the scenes look at making Scream 2.
  • Music Videos – Videos of Master P’s – “Scream” and Kottonmouth Kings’ “Suburban Life”.  I would have rather seen a video for “I Think I Love You” performed by Less Than Jake, or Red Right Hand which, in my mind is the Scream Theme Song.
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Also from Lionsgate
  • Bookmarks

Final Thoughts  

The actors in Scream 2 often comment that “sequels suck” and are by definition inferior films.  Scream 2, definitely does not suck.  Those who appreciated Scream will enjoy this as well.  I thoroughly enjoyed the way this film poked fun at the original.  The award for Best Cameo goes to Luke Wilson and his greasy portrayal of Billy Loomis.  There is a lot of discussion about art imitating life, life imitating art, and so on.  That’s a little more thinking than is necessary for a movie like this. In some movies, it’s fun to try to figure out who the killer is but with Scream 2, I recommend just enjoying the film and waiting for it to all unfold.  Almost everyone is a plausible suspect – so just sit back and simply watch it. If you’d like to read Brian’s review of Scream for a comparision, it’s right here.

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10 Responses to “Scream 2 (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Gerard Iribe

    Here’s another one that brings bad memories. I had seen the first Scream film and LOVED it then this one hit and sucked. I walked back home from the theater all upset. Man, it was really bad. The Scream franchise ends with part 1 for me.

  2. Aaron Neuwirth

    Always enjoyed Scream 2 quite a bit. Seen it many times. Really dislike 3, but the deaths in 2, along with some really funny lines have me enjoying it.

  3. Brian White

    I remember liking Scream 2 too.

  4. Brian White

    Shoot! I just realized the Noxema girl and Timothy Olyphant are in this. I must pick this one up now!

  5. Gerard Iribe

    They filmed the opening at the Rialto theater which is (was) about 4-5 miles South of where I am right now. They also shot The Player there, too. Jada Pinkett was horrible in this as well.

  6. Jami Ferguson

    I was happy to see Jada Pinkett die in this one. And luckily for the film, she dies in the opening scene.

    I LOVE Scream, and Like Scream 2. I think its all about expectations. If you expect it to be as good as Scream, you are disapointed. IF you know its not as good – you might just enjoy it. I think I hated it when it came out.

  7. Aaron Neuwirth

    If Wes Craven hadn’t just done New Nightmare, which covers some similar themes, I would have liked Scream more, but I still find it to be a fun film. With that said, I was just happy to see another entry that had all the same talent involved…and David Arquette getting brutally stabbed again.

  8. Gerard Iribe

    Well, Jada dying in the opening also illustrated that black peopl are the first to die in horror films. Her acting was horrible in it, though.

  9. Aaron Neuwirth

    Given that the Scream films are satire, that’s the exact reason why she was in the movie; however, can you name a couple movies off the top of your head where the black people die first, because its a weird thing that has become a popular joke in horror movies, but I (as a black person) can’t seem to easily think of one.

  10. Gerard Iribe

    @Aaron, not off the top of my head, but usually in horror films, it’s the “truism.” Remember, it wasn’t Jada that died first, it was Omar…Jada was second. Same difference. I just think she did a horrible job of dying in that film. Bad acting.