Scream 2: 9 Things You Didn't Know About The Classic '90s Horror Sequel
Sequels are a big part of Hollywood, and the horror genre, in particular, is defined by franchises and follow-ups. It's not unusual for a horror series to reach 5 or 6 movies--or, in the case of long-running franchises like Halloween or Friday the 13th, double figures. However, horror series rarely get better as they continue--everyone has their franchise favourites, but for the most part, scary sequels tend to be lazy retreads of past glories, churned out quickly to cash in the success of the original before the public moves on.
But, of course, there are occasional exceptions. Wes Craven's Scream was one of the biggest horror movies of the 1990s--it hit theaters in December 1996 and quickly became a critical and commercial smash. The sequel followed the following year, but just as Scream wasn't an ordinary slasher movie, so Scream 2 wasn't an ordinary slasher sequel.
Scream 2 was once more directed by Craven and written by Kevin WIlliamson, and from the very start, it fully embraced its sequel status. As in Scream, characters make regular references to the conventions of horror movies, only this time, the focus is on the way horror sequels attempt to outdo their predecessors. "There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to create a successful sequel," says the character Randy (Jamie Kennedy). "Number one: the body count is always bigger. Number two: the death scenes are always much more elaborate. And number three: never, ever, under any circumstances, assume the killer is dead." Wise words Randy.
Like the first movie, Scream 2 was both clever and scary, commenting on the genre while still working highly effectively as a scary movie. It was another box office smash too, making more than $172 million worldwide. The late '90s saw the release of numerous teen horrors influenced by Scream, such as I Know What you Did Last Summer and Urban Legend, but few of these had the wit, style, and scares of the first two Scream movies. So here's everything you didn't know about Scream 2--and once you've read this, check out GameSpot's guide to the first Scream.
1. Scream 2 was made very quickly
Scream 2 hit theaters in December 1997, less than a year after the release of the first movie. Williamson started work on the script while Scream was still shooting, and production on Scream 2 started in June '97. The script was hastily rewritten during production when a draft leaked online, but despite this, the movie was finished and in theaters by December 12.
2. The movie had several potential titles
A couple of different titles were considered for the movie. Williamson's original title for the first film was Scary Movie, and with work on the sequel's script underway before that change was made, he started writing it as Scary Sequel. During the production of the sequel, several other titles were considered, including Scream: The Sequel and Scream Again, before the wildly imaginative Scream 2 was chosen.
3. Some of the music was from a John Woo movie
It's not unusual for movie scores to be recorded late in the post-production process and for temp scores to be used during editing and for test screenings. In the case of Scream 2, certain cues from Hans Zimmer's score for the 1993 John Woo movie Broken Arrow were used. But although Marco Beltrami wrote a new score for Scream 2, the excerpts of Zimmer's music were considered so effective, they were retained for the final version.
4. Wes Craven tried to trick the censor
Craven had a lot of trouble getting the first movie through the censors, ultimately having to submit it 8 times before the MPAA gave it an R rating. To avoid this a second time, he devised a plan in which he would submit a version of the film that was more violent than he actually wanted, with the hope that they would demand cuts and the "real" version would pass. However, this time the MPAA went the other way, and passed the bloodier version with an R, without demanding any cuts.
5. The leaked script had a different ending
A version of Williamson's Scream 2 script leaked online before the movie had even started shooting. However, fans who read the script may have been surprised to find that the ending of the released movie was different, with the identity of the killers changed. While it was presumed for many years that the changes were made because of the leak, Kevin Williamson recently revealed that he had written several "dummy" versions of the script, all with different endings, that were given to actors in an attempt to limit who knew the real twists. The version that appeared online, in which Derek (Jerry O'Connell) and Hallie (Elise Neal) are the killers, was one of these fake versions. In fact, it was Debbie Salt and Mickey, who were revealed to be Ghostface in the movie, that were always the intended killers.
6. The film-within-a-film Stab contained some great jokes
Scream 2 starts with the characters attending a screening of a movie called Stab, which is the film version of the events of the first movie. In Stab, main character Sidney Prescott is played by Tori Spelling, a reference to the moment in Scream when Sidney (Neve Campbell) says about a potential film about her, "With my luck, they'd cast Tori Spelling." In addition, an uncredited Robert Rodriguez (From Dusk Till Dawn) directed the Stab scenes. In the Scream 2 script, Rodriguez also has a title card as the director of Stab within the movie itself, although this doesn't appear in the finished film.
7. Sarah Michelle Gellar tried to troll Ghostface
As in the first movie, Roger L. Jackson performed the scary voice of Ghostface, without actually meeting any of the actors he was menacing down the phoneline. In a 2015 interview, Jackson revealed that although he never broke character, that didn't stop Sarah Michelle Gellar trying to troll him between takes. He said, "When Sarah Michelle Gellar was on the other end of the phone between takes, she would go, 'So. You're the scary voice man, huh? Why do you do that? Do you like scaring people? You like scaring people? Why? Why? What is it about you that wants to scare other people?' And I'd go, 'I think you better save it, Sarah.'"
8. There are some cool cameos
As with Scream, the sequel features a couple of cameos worth looking out for. Craven appears again, this time playing a doctor. Matthew Lillard who starred (and died) in the first movie can be seen in the background of a party scene, while writer Kevin Williamson appears as a talk show host.
9. There are various jokes about the cast's other shows
As well as the many references to horror movies, there are also some in-jokes about other projects the cast appeared in. In one scene, Gellar's character Cici tells a friend over the phone that "Sarah dumped Bailey." Bailey was one the main characters on Party of Five, the popular show that Neve Campbell was starring in at the time. There are also several references to Courtney Cox's ongoing role on Friends. It's mentioned that Friends star David Schwimmer plays Dewey in Stab, while in another scene, Cox's character Gale Weathers says that someone online pasted her head onto a naked picture of Cox's co-star Jennifer Aniston.