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Review Scream 2 (1997) and Scream 3 (2000)

genre: thriller, horror, slasher

Review Scream 2

Scream 2 is your typical sequel where you get more of the same and where there are more kills and more meta references. 

But it's quite good. I think if you haven't seen it before, you will experience more tension. There are a lot more red herrings and surprises on established lore. But for me who already knows the outcome, or at least a part of the outcome, you will have to rely on other aspects. Like the relationships between returning characters and how these characters deal with the events. You would think they would be more prepared. Some of them are. Like Dewey. Or at least, he comes across as more prepared. You know, this actually points out a little issue I have regarding the killer. Here, more than in the first, the killer is very clumsy. He trips but despite manages to slash and kill anyway. There are many moments where Ghostface is too powerful. Since we are dealing with humans, that kind of breaks the immersion a little. Especially at the moments where it seems Ghostface himself is down. 

Then there is the motivation for the killer. On the one hand, it makes perfect sense. On the other, it's a little convenient. I think after the first, you would expect the sequel to go into another direction. But I guess that is too much to ask from a franchise like this that had a bigger audience to please. In that regard it succeeds. Add to that the act that is performed on the character played by Jada Pinkett. Let's just say you will get some payback for the drama she and her husband, Will Smith, caused. That being said, you do feel for her a little, thanks to the superb direction by Wes Craven. And her sincere performance. There was a time she did put in the work.

In any case, even for multiple viewings, Scream 2 offers a lot of fun.

Review Scream 3

Scream 3 is an example of what happens when you go too far being meta. And yes, that is one of the elements that made the Scream films so much fun, only never at the cost of the tension and thrills. 

In the first two films, you really wanted to know who the killer was. Now it barely matters. At this point, you know it's going to be real far-fetched and incredulous. However, it doesn't stop Craven from playing around with convention somewhat. He introduces what seems a possible supernatural element, which did evoke some genuine terror for a bit. Or he's showing us that Sidney is slowly losing her mind. I loved this approach, since you would think twice whether what she sees is true or not. Unfortunately, they very quickly let go of this in favour of the parody on Scream and what happens when Hollywood gets involved. This will provide a lot of laughs. Craven even finds time to expose certain truths about Hollywood which are pretty daunting. 

I dug all of the above. Yet, I had hoped to get more out of the murders and the finale. Apart from the opening sequence and the skills of the killer like being able to mimic voices, I didn't find the kills or deaths that memorable. The reveal was disappointing and a bit too convenient. It doesn't feel they actually tried to put in decent red herrings. Although it has to be said that if you have never seen this film you will keep guessing. If only they opted for a better and more surprising twist! Or have more real scary WTF moments.

Scream 3 is fun, but a little weak compared to the first two thrill wise.

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