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Film / Scream 2

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Scream 2 (1997) is the second film in the Scream franchise.

Two years after the original killing spree in Woodsboro, a slasher movie named Stab has been released to cash in on the event's notoriety. Sidney, now a college student at Windsor College, is again targeted by a new Ghostface copycatting the original.

This film provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: As soon as the police figure out that the killer is killing people with the same name as the Scream victims, it gets forgotten.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adapted Out: In-Universe. Instead of Casey's boyfriend dying shortly before her in Stab, she says she doesn't have one at the moment.
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  • Advertised Extra: Jada Pinkett appears as one of the main five on the poster and is killed in the opening scene.
  • All Part of the Show: The death of Jada Pinkett's character is mistaken for this by the crowd in the theater, who thinks it's a publicity stunt.
  • Analogy Backfire: After Mickey compares himself to the killer from the first film, Billy Loomis;
    Sidney: Yeah, well you're forgetting one thing about Billy Loomis?
    Mickey: What's that?
  • Anyone Can Die: Randy bites it after living through the original Woodsboro massacre.
  • Ascended Extra: Cotton Weary, who was an off-screen character for most of the first film, and only appears briefly on a news report. Here he's a supporting character and potential suspect.
  • Avenging the Villain: Mrs. Loomis, for her son Billy.
  • Ax-Crazy: Mickey and Mrs. Loomis.
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  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: A subverted in-universe example. In the film class discussion early on, Joshua Jackson's character quotes Ellen Ripley's iconic "Get away from her, you bitch!" line from Aliens word for word, but then Randy attempts to correct him by saying that the line was actually "Stay away from her, you bitch!". Randy, ironically, is incorrect but this isn't called out on.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    Ghostface: *on phone* I want you, It's showtime!
    Sidney: Then why don't you show your face, you fucking coward?
    Ghostface: My pleasure... *lunges from hiding place and chases Sidney*
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Played with in this film. Due to the events of the previous film, Dewey tells Sidney there is a possibility that there may be multiple killers involved in the latest murder spree. Dewey continues to follow this mindset throughout the film, so much that when Ghostface gives Derek an injury, Dewey is still suspicious since the injury wasn't anything major and it doesn't rule out the possibility that Derek had a partner give him said injury. The film also doesn't bother hiding the fact that there are two killers; for example, when Cici talks with Ghostface on the phone, the other Ghostface appears behind her while sneaking into the sorority house. Likewise, Ghostface later attacks Sidney in the car while another Ghostface chases Gale and Dewey on the college campus. In this film, Mickey and Mrs. Loomis are the killers. Seeing as how Mrs. Loomis actually had a reason behind all the killings, and she mentions leading Mickey on and giving him pointers, Mickey could be considered The Dragon to her Big Bad.
  • Big Damn Hero: Cotton.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Done, and lampshaded. Two, in fact before the opening credits. The second is a woman. On the other hand, Hallie is one of the last victims, while Joel outright defies this by pulling a Screw This, I'm Outta Here!
  • Boom, Headshot!: Mrs. Loomis, just in case.
  • Call-Back:
    • Sidney punches Gale again after an ambush interview.
    • Cici is attacked by the killer and has to run upstairs instead of out the front door, like Sidney in the first movie.note 
    • Dewey and Gale are about to get intimate but something involving the killer interrupts them.
    • Dewey has another Disney Death and is loaded into the back of an ambulance.
  • California University: Though Windsor College sounds like a fictional California college, the college in the film is in Ohio, both established in script and on the film.
  • The Cameo:
    • Joshua Jackson, star of Dawson's Creek (written by Kevin Williamson) as one of the students in Randy's film class.
    • Matthew Lillard is in the background of the sorority party, and can be seen hugging Mickey. Fitting, as they both play The Dragon in their respective Scream films.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Inverted. On a night where there are loads of wild parties going on, Cici is a sober sister who's staying at the sorority house in case a drunk sister needs a ride home. She's the third victim.
  • Casting Gag:
    • Obviously casting Sarah Michelle Gellar - who was currently known as Buffy the Vampire Slayer - as a helpless Ghostface victim. Likewise when Cici is flicking through the TV, one of the films on is Nosferatu - about a vampire.
    • And in the first film, Sidney makes a quip about Tori Spelling playing her if they made a movie about her. In this film when the Stab movie has been made, Sidney is played by...Tori Spelling. Apparently Spelling herself found the gag Actually Pretty Funny.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Derek's Greek letters.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Mrs. Loomis.
  • Creator Cameo: Kevin Williamson plays the interviewer talking to Cotton Weary on TV. Wes Craven also cameos in the background at the hospital.
  • Daylight Horror: Randy is killed outside in the middle of the day.
  • Dead Star Walking:
    • Jada Pinkett-Smith gets the same "established actor gets offed in the intro" treatment Drew Barrymore did, along with Omar Epps. Jada is even in the movie's poster.
    • Trust Wes Craven to have the Slayer, about the final word in the genre at the time, killed off mid way through.
  • Death by Sex: Though not confirmed until the third film. Randy says he lost his virginity which is why he was killed.
  • Double Tap: Sidney shoots Mrs Loomis in the head after commenting that they always come back;
    Sidney: Just in case
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Arguably, Randy.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Cotton for most of the movie.
  • Dumb Blonde: Averted. In her first scene Cici has an intelligent discussion about the media's attitude towards violence in movies.
  • Ear Ache: Mickey stabs Phil Stevens through the ear, making him the first of the Windsor College victims.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In Randy's conversation with Dewey, Randy correctly guesses that Derek is the Red Herring and that Mickey is a good fit for the killer although he drops the latter guess because he and Mickey are Not So Different.
    • While he is wrong about Hallie as a suspect, he correctly guesses that one of the Ghostfaces is female as "Mrs. Voorhees was a terrific serial killer"; on that note, he unintentionally guesses that the new killer is the mother of one of the previous killers.
      • There's also a further reference to Friday the 13th (1980) that foreshadows the twist when the drunk sister talking to Cici says "killkillkilldiediedie" on the phone, mimicking Jason's leitmotif from the franchise. And the killer is the grieving mother, like Pamela Voorhees in the first Friday the 13th (1980).
    • Debbie Salt remarks that if the killer is repeating Woodsboro, the killer could be from Woodsboro.
    • Another one: After Debbie Salt introduces herself as the "one in the front row, asking all the questions" at Gale's seminar, Gale snidely remarks that she thought Salt looked familiar. Later on when Salt is revealed to be Billy's mother, Gale says that she's seen photos of Mrs. Loomis, but didn't recognize her.
    • In the film class scene, Mickey argues that violence in film inspires violence in real life; furthermore, he contends that movie sequels can be superior to the original when Randy scoffs at the idea of someone making a real life sequel to the Stab movie. Later, when revealed as the killer, Mickey tells Sidney that when he goes on trial, his defense would be to blame the movies.
    • A minor example would be the Woodsboro survivors' argument over the motive of the recent murders. Initially, Gale and Dewey believe the the murders to be a copycat crime due to the similarities in the names of the first three victims from the original murder spree in Scream and from the recent murder spree. However, the attack on Sidney prompts Dewey to point out the inconsistency and Randy to note that the killer is "trying to finish what was started". This is due to the two killers' different motives for the murders.
    • In the sneak preview for Stab, "Billy" reiterates to "Sidney" about his mother leaving his family, as a subtle As You Know clue for viewers who have not seen the first movie or might have forgotten about Billy's mother.
    • Mickey carries a camcorder around early on, and at one point, Derek informs Sid that Mickey "had to edit". This becomes important later on when it is revealed that the killer recorded the victims.
  • Give Geeks a Chance: Discussed by Randy. "I'd let the geek get the girl." Poor guy never will.
  • Gut Punch: Randy's death. It marks the time when the remaining survivors start to fall apart.
  • Hate Sink: Billy Loomis' mother turns out to be this, revealed to be the killer in this film. She tries to play for sympathy in avenging her sons death with a new killing spree, but quickly looses it when with her myopic view of things; she seems to be under the impression she and Billy are the real victims, with no sympathy or remorse over the people he killed, and refuses to own up to her own failures as a mother, or even to how Billy turned out to be. She was also the one who kills Randy.
  • Hero Killer: Woodsboro survivor Randy is dispatched by Mrs. Loomis after he insults her son over the phone.
  • Hollywood Darkness: The interior of the movie theatre. They have a special gimmick of making the Ghostface masks glow in the dark - but the place is only just slightly darker than average.
  • Hollywood Healing: Averted. Dewey has a limp from his stab wound in the first film - which is two years ago.
  • Hotter and Sexier: In-universe. The Stab movie changes the scene of Casey getting killed to the killer calling her while in the shower. She spends the whole scene in a dressing gown.
  • If It Bleeds, It Leads: The killer (at least, one of them) planned on invoking this in order to get himself media publicity and a sensational trial.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Officer Richards ends up with a pipe through his head at the end of the wild car ride.
  • Instant Death Bullet: Derek is killed by one shot of Mickey's gun.
  • Irony: Maureen is yelling instructions at Casey in the movie to avoid the killer, with no idea that another killer is right next to her.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Dewey gets annoyed at how Gale wrote him in her book. Despite being the only policeman on duty during a homicide situation, he ended up incapacitated - leaving it to a teenager to stop the killers. He didn't actually do anything to help the case at all.
    • Cotton is portrayed as a jerk for his outburst to Sidney in the library. However she had named him as her mother's killer - without definite evidence - and had him put in prison for a year. He's asking her to issue a formal statement so that the general public will stop treating him like he's a rapist and murderer - which they only think primarily because of Sidney's testimony.
      • That might not have been the wisest way of going about it, though: trying to get to Sidney when she is alone while there is an unidentified serial killer copying the murders of her mother and her friends. Sidney's cautious regard for him was reasonable, given these circumstances.
  • Kill the Cutie: Randy.
  • Make Sure He's Dead: At the end, when Mrs. Loomis is seemingly killed by a gunshot to the chest, before leaving, Sidney approaches them and shoots them right in the forehead "just in case."
  • Meaningful Background Event: Ghostface sneaks into the sorority house while Cici is on the phone with the other killer.
  • Murder Simulators: A discussion in a film class early on has several characters debating whether or not violent slasher flicks turn people violent. Later, the killer plans on blaming his killing spree on said slasher movies (such as the newly-released Stab), invoking this trope in order to create a sensational trial and get the Moral Guardians on his side.
  • Never the Obvious Suspect: Played straight in this film. Mickey disappears halfway through the film, and Debbie Salt shows up occasionally to act as a Foil and an annoyance to Gale while the film focuses mainly on the obvious suspects: Derek and Cotton.
  • Next Stall Shenanigans: Omar Epps' character goes into a stall since the urinals are occupied, but hears strange noises coming from the next stall. He puts his ear against the partition to try to hear better, only to have Ghostface fatally stab him through the partition.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Cici is thrown through a glass door, stabbed twice in the back and thrown off the roof.
  • Obvious Villain, Secret Villain: Subverted. The movie provides the page quote, but it comes from a dummy or early script (depending on who you listen to) where Hallie and Derek (and Cotton) were the killers. In the movie itself, Mickey wants Sidney to believe that Derek is the obvious killer working with a secret accomplice, but he isn't.
  • Oh, Crap!: Sidney's expression when Ghostface turns off the voice changer and speaks with Mickey's voice.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. The first three victims (Phil Stevens, Maureen Evans, and Casey "Cici" Cooper) are chosen because they share the same names as victims in Woodsboro.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Cici's full name is Casey.
  • Plot Twist: Even if one figures out that Debbie Salt is Ghostface, the real twist is that she is actually Mrs. Loomis, Billy's mother.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Sidney - "You're forgetting one thing about Billy Loomis: I fucking killed him!"
  • Progressively Prettier: Randy in the first film was presented as a skinny geek. In this film he's filled out a bit more, dresses in more flattering clothes and has a more stylish hairstyle.
  • Red Herring:
    • Cotton's meeting with Sidney has Cotton losing his temper after Sidney rejects his offer for fame and money. The film then does a close-up on his shoes, which match the killer's, and later he shows up with bloody hands. It also doesn't help that Cotton has a grudge against Sidney for mistakenly identifying him as her mother's killer.
    • As Sidney's boyfriend, Derek becomes this when it is revealed that the new Ghostface is a copycat killer possibly following in the footsteps of Billy Loomis, Sidney's previous boyfriend, and that Derek while wounded by Ghostface did not suffer any major injuries. Mickey also invokes this when he questions why Derek would go back into the sorority house with Ghostface and later when he lies to Sidney that Derek was his partner for the murders.
    • Joel is one due to how he disappears right before Ghostface attacks Randy in his van and how he decides to leave right after Randy's death. Furthermore, when Dewey and Gale figure out Ghostface records the victims before killing them, the implication is that Ghostface has to be someone with access to a camera, which includes Joel. Mickey, the actual killer, does carry a camcorder, but the film dedicates a lot more focus to Joel as Gale's new cameraman.
    • Invoked by Mrs. Loomis when she suggests to Gale that Sidney's father, who is out of country, and Dewey, who seemingly showed up to Windsor college for no particular reason, are potential suspects.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Randy at one point states in film class within earshot of Mickey, "I'd let the geek get the girl." Later in the film, Ghostface taunts Randy by stating that Randy will never get the girl.
    • It's hard to hear what the Ghostface that kills Phil in the opening scene says. On rewatch, it's easier to make out that he's saying "Billy, don't tell Mommy what you did." This is a reference to the killer being Billy's grieving mother.
    • Debbie Salt's line about how the killer could be from Woodsboro. She's right, even if the killer doesn't live there any more.
    • Gale jokes "I thought you looked familiar" to Debbie Salt aka Mrs Loomis. On the first watch it seems like a lie on Gale's part. After The Reveal Gale says "I've seen pictures" - so she did recognize her.
    • Debbie Salt keeps away from the confrontation between Gale and Sidney at the start. She doesn't want to risk Sidney recognizing her.
    • Mickey's line "Why would anyone go back in that house anyway?" He's deliberately trying to make Sidney think Derek is the killer.
    • After Cici Cooper is murdered, Debbie Salt tells Gale that she has to go as she "has a deadline". She's actually leaving to attack Sidney.
    • After the opening murders, Mickey's knuckles are bruised, which are best seen when Mickey takes out his camcorder to record Randy.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Mickey's plan to get Jonnie Cochran or Alan Dershowitz to defend him at his trial reeks of parallels with the OJ Simpson trial (where the former defended OJ and the latter was an advisor to the defense).
  • Sacrificial Lion: Randy.
  • The Scourge of God: Averted. One of the victims, Cici, is noted to be a sober sister, staying home.
  • Sequel Escalation: Provides the page quote, too!
    Randy: "There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel. Number one: the body count is always bigger. Number two: the death scenes are always much more elaborate — more blood, more gore. Carnage candy."
  • Sequel Hook: The film was originally supposed to include a shot of the masked killer in the bell tower as the camera pulls back in the final shot, but this was never done.
  • Sequelitis: Discussed in-universe in a scene in a film class, with Randy claiming that "sequels suck" and destroyed the horror genre. To prove his point, he and Cici ask their fellow classmates to name sequels that are better than the originals. Yes, this discussion is being had in a horror sequel.
  • Slashers Prefer Blondes: In this case, only one blonde victim, but Cici still counts.
  • Stylistic Suck: What we see of Stab notably lacks any sense of tension, and is riddled with poor acting. The fact that the Woodsboro killings are common knowledge in-universe at least justifies how the film telegraphs the fact that Billy Loomis is evil.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Randy.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Additions to the main cast, namely Derek, Hallie, Mickey and Joel, pretty much fill the roles of characters from the first film, Billy, Tatum, Stu and Kenny respectively.
    • Deconstructed and subverted in the case of Derek. After the events of the first movie, Sidney suspects her current boyfriend, Derek, of being a killer just like her previous boyfriend, Billy. This leads to relationship problems between Derek and her, and Sidney suspects Derek for most of the movie up until Mickey, one of the actual killers, murders Derek. It turns out that Derek was Good All Along.
    • Defied by Joel. At first, he is enthusiastic about his role as Gale's new cameraman, but after learning how his predecessor died by Ghostface's hands, he decides to quit his job until the killers are apprehended.
    • Subverted by Debbie Salt. At a first glance, her job as a news reporter makes her a substitute for Gale Weathers; however, her killer reveal states that the news reporter bit was merely a cover story. In practice, Debbie is more similar to her son, Billy, due to their murderous motives.
  • Those Two Guys:
    • The two film class guys (one of whom is played by Joshua Jackson).
    • The two Valley Girl sorority sisters, Murphy and Lois.
    • The two police officers hired to guard Sidney. Both are killed by Ghostface/Mickey.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Sidney is the Tomboy to Hallie's Girly Girl.
  • Too Dumb to Live: All of the characters on Randy's death take the cake. First, they receive a call from the killer in an open park crowded with people. Then, two of them have the brilliant idea of splitting up with one of them and check every single cellphone user on the park. Finally, we have the victim walking up right out of the open park into one of the places the killer could easily hide.
  • Typecasting: In-universe example. David Schwimmer is mentioned as playing Dewey in Stab. In the 90s, the bumbling police detective would be perfectly in type for him.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Sid ends up in a car accident with the killer, who is rendered unconscious. She tries to sneak over him to get out through the window. Why, why, why wouldn't she just beat him to death while she had the chance to do so?
  • You Bastard!: The whole point of the intro.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Mickey is "killed" by Mrs. Loomis for this purpose. He gets up for the final scare and is gunned down by Sid and Gale.


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