Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 1997. Dimension Films, Konrad Pictures, Craven-Maddalena Films, Miramax. Screenplay by Kevin Williamson, based on his characters. Cinematography by Peter Deming. Produced by Cathy Konrad, Marianne Maddalena. Music by Marco Beltrami. Production Design by Bob Ziembicki. Costume Design by Kathleen Detoro. Film Editing by Patrick Lussier.
The smash hit 1996 film that delighted audiences with its meta take on horror films, populated by a group of characters who are aware of the genre’s conventions while also, to their disadvantage, experiencing them, couldn’t possibly have room for a second chapter, but what else can you do when a movie makes that much money? The good news is that the follow-up to Wes Craven’s smash hit is tons of fun, with Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson delivering another self-aware reflection on film conventions, this time poking fun at the nature of sequels: following the release of a film based on reporter Courteney Cox’s trashy tell-all about the murders in the first film (which includes a delightful reenactment of Drew Barrymore’s iconic scene performed by Heather Graham), a series of murders begin that resemble the earlier killings despite the fact that the culprits for those were identified and dealt with. Neve Campbell has gone to college in Ohio and is just settling in with new friends, hoping to put the trauma she barely survived behind her when this madness finds its way into her life again. Is there a copycat killer out there, and is this psycho providing a murder spree Part II? The ultimate revelation of the killers isn’t as memorable as the process but that’s okay, watching the bodies pile up and seeing Craven enjoying some opportunities to get some juicy visual flourish out of the proceedings (like having Campbell perform The Oresteia in a wonderful sequence) is worth your time. The self-reference is plentiful but never tiresome, and parts of the movie are actually genuinely scary.