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Crime . Horror . Mystery

A killer known as Ghostface begins killing off teenagers, and as the body count begins rising, one girl and her friends find themselves contemplating the 'rules' of horror films as they find themselves living in a real-life one.

Actors: David Arquette , Neve Campbell , Courteney Cox , Matthew Lillard , Rose McGowan , Skeet Ulrich , Drew Barrymore , Jamie Kennedy , W. Earl Brown , Joseph Whipp , Roger Jackson , Kevin Patrick Walls , David Booth
Directors: Wes Craven
Country: USA
Release: 1996-12-20
More Info:
  • Owen Gleiberman

    A deft, funny, shrewdly unsettling tribute to such slasher-exploitation thrillers as "Terror Train," "New Year's Evil," and Craven's own "A Nightmare on Elm Street."

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Paul Malcolm

    A meta-horror film that hilariously parodies the genre's clichés with smarts to spare. It's also the scariest fucking movie Craven has made since the first "A Nightmare on Elm Street."

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    Finely crafted, tense, scary thriller from start to finish.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Andy Klein

    Craven's other accomplishment here, besides resuscitating the genre, is the way he keeps things scary even when they're at their funniest. The grand finale, while thoroughly bloody and tense, has some genuinely hilarious shtick.

    Dallas Observer Full Review
  • Kevin Thomas

    It's sensational in both senses of the word: a bravura, provocative sendup of horror pictures that's also scary and gruesome yet too swift-moving to lapse into morbidity.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Richard Harrington

    Deftly mixes irony, self-reference and wry social commentary with chills and blood spills.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    Craven is obviously having a ball here, and it's impossible not to sit back and go grinning into this dark, gory ride.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    What did I think about this movie? As a film critic, I liked it. I liked the in-jokes and the self-aware characters. At the same time, I was aware of the incredible level of gore in this film. It is really violent.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Dave Kehr

    Builds to a splattering finale that should leave genre fans highly satisfied.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Scream is a rarity: a horror movie spoof that succeeds almost as well at provoking scares as laughs.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Frank Lovece

    Compared with most of what passes for scary movies these days, this is golden: It's not stupid, it's not wussy and it pulls off a couple of pretty nasty jolts.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Susan Wloszczyna

    While Scream has its frights, it feels more like one of those solve-the-mystery jigsaw puzzles than a real movie.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    May not be the most scary or the grossest horror film you've ever seen, but it has one distinct feature: it actually talks up to the audience. By the conclusion, you won't be shaking in your seat, but you may enjoy the status of someone who has earned a Master's in Slashology.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Peter Stack

    Wicked fun with flickers of intelligence.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Michael Atkinson

    Just another basketcase with a blade.

    Mr. Showbiz Full Review
  • Elvis Mitchell

    Wes Craven (of the 'Nightmare on Elm Street' films) is in the mood for parody.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Leonard Klady

    Though the material is more intelligent than the norm and has an unusual third-act twist, it also employs some very clunky stereotypes.

    Variety Full Review
  • Lisa Alspector

    Tiresome, blood-filled comedy.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    An idiot-savant movie, knowing but not smart.

    Time Full Review
  • Bob Stephens

    An artificial and hypocritical effort to escape the artistic limitations of teenage slasher flicks.

    San Francisco Examiner Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Indeed, Scream is better than the average slasher film, as its advertisers insist. And, indeed, it is probably Wes Craven's best film, as they also insist. But that is a little like saying the pimple on the left side of your nose is "better" than the pimple on the right side.

    Baltimore Sun Full Review
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum

    This funny, gory stab-athon is as sophisticated about the mechanics of Part 2s as the original was savvy about horror flicks.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    Inevitably a little patchier and less startlingly original than its predecessor -- S2 is an ingenious, often hilarious, movie that does nothing to diminish the well-deserved cult reputation of its director. Full Review
  • David Rooney

    Visceral, witty and appropriately redundant, the sequel has a winning commercial recipe that's certain to cook up excellent returns in all areas.

    Variety Full Review
  • Roger Ebert

    Only a few sequels have been as good as the originals; the characters especially like "Aliens'' and "The Godfather, Part II.'' As for Scream 2, it's ... well, it's about as good as the original.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Paradoxically, there's a lot less gore. There is blood, of course, but nothing excessive by slasher-movie standards, and there are no depictions of spilled entrails. Craven has remembered that scares are more important that graphic displays of human insides and bodily fluids.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Though Craven satirizes horror cliches, he also knows how to cut through them and do new things. Throughout, the action comes unexpectedly and quickly.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Elvis Mitchell

    Even if you haven't spent as much obsessive time at the video store as these guys have, you might enjoy helping 'Scream 2' laugh all the way to the bank.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Richard Harrington

    Early on, Randy suggests of sequels that "by definition they are inferior." That may be, but Scream 2 is more disappointing than it is inferior. Like its predecessor, it's both frightening and funny, just not as singularly classy.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Stephen Hunter

    [Craven's] stroke of genius is to offer the horror movie in an ironic mode. He's winking at viewers and inviting them to share a clever conspiracy that we on the cholesterol-clogged side of 30 cannot begin to understand.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    It's one of the better sequels to come out in years, and although it doesn't pack the emotional wallop of the first film, it's still head and shoulders (and punctured eyeballs) above most of what's out there.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Jay Carr

    I'm not sure that I really want to see "Scream 3,'" but Craven, Williamson, and the screamers certainly bring this one off by not only slapping all their cards on the table, but insisting we admire the way they play them.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Walter Addiego

    It's not as good as the original - which was fresher, funnier and scarier - but if it were, then by the criteria of the film's resident movie scholar, it wouldn't be a genuine sequel.

    San Francisco Examiner Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    Ultimately, the viewing experience is like watching a snake swallow its own tail -- that once-menacing serpent is now a clown act, all yuks and no venom.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Lisa Alspector

    The precredits sequence is exciting--it's the only part of the movie that even begins to use the idea of the vulnerability of a horror-movie audience reflexively. The rest of the story is a straightforward narrative that's threatening only to the ingenues in the cast.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Andy Klein

    Handily in a league with its good a follow-up as one can imagine, given the built-in difficulties of sequels.

    Dallas Observer Full Review
  • Sarah Wade Hutman

    For all its parodic elements, this clever 'whodunit' leaves us squirming and wincing at each slash of the killer. Prepare for a surprise and beware the person enjoying the film right next to you.

    Newsweek Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    When the suspense setpieces do come, many of them are staged with considerably less imagination—with cheap jolts underscored by an intrusive score—than would be expected from director Wes Craven.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Tom Meek

    Isn't nearly as fresh, suspenseful or witty as it's inaugural bloodfest, but it does offer enough blood and breasts to keep Craven and Williamson in business for a few more arterial sprays.

    Film Threat Full Review
  • Kevin Thomas

    Contrivance and a horrendous body count combine to yield a morbid effect for discriminating filmgoers, despite a comic tone. Still, there's enough ingenuity and scariness to please plenty of fans of the first film.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • David Sterritt

    There are multiple murders and two gory scenes, but if you love getting scared, then you'll enjoy this thrill ride.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    The less ticklish bad joke of Scream 2 is that self-referentiality has its limits.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Maitland McDonagh

    This disappointing sequel to last year's horror sleeper gets trapped in the clichés it's trying to send up.

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
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