4. Scream 2 (1997)
Scraping just ahead of its follow-up is the middle entry in the original Scream Trilogy, Scream 2 (1997).
Taking place in the college years of the survivors of the Woodsboro murders, Scream 2 somehow manages to feel more like a generic high school movie than the first film did.
Although Scream 2 would introduce the Stab series to the Scream universe, whilst also introducing some great new characters to the franchise and crafting some genuinely brilliant scenes – notably an excellent sequence in a recording studio – it ultimately failed to pass, or even reach, the bar that Scream had set. Filled with terrible dialogue and wooden acting, and featuring a lame twist to rival that of Scream 3, Scream 2 didn’t do much to make the series’ third instalment a must-watch – it even ruined Randy!
Released less than a year after its predecessor, Scream 2 can be ever so slightly excused for its lack of class and nuance given the extraordinarily quick turnaround.
3. Scream 4 (2011)
Thought to have been the final entry into the Scream franchise – much like Scream 3 was thought to be eleven years prior – Scream 4 was the big return to the world of Scream at a time where prequels, sequels and reboots were less common but horror remakes were all the rage.
Scream 4 plays as both a sequel and a quasi-reboot (similar to 2018’s Halloween), taking the franchise back to where it all started: Woodsboro.
Although this fourth instalment certainly has its issues – specifically the over/under exposure that plagues the film’s cinematography – Scream 4 is without a doubt one of the better Scream sequels, offering all that Scream 2 and Scream 3 should have offered and then some. Here, Craven was close to being back at his best, introducing new and likable characters, blending comedy and horror effortlessly, and pulling off a twist that is closer to the brilliant surprise of Scream 1 rather than the head scratcher that was the twist at the end of Scream 3.
If you are going to watch any of the Scream sequels, make sure it’s this one. Scream 4 is so good that it makes surviving the middle instalments worth every second.
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