The reviews from the test screenings of SCREAM 4 are all over the internet! Now you have to be careful about the forums you attend.
So, to be unspoiled, let’s get down on memory lane and read a few reviews posted back then by Ain’t Cool News from test screenings of SCREAM 2 that happened in New York in November 21st, 1997. The legend says Jada Pinkett and Wes Craven attended those incognito.
“I just got back from the screening of SCREAM 2. Of course the ticket to get in told us we were seeing Phantoms, but the guy comes up and tells us that they’re going to show us SCREAM 2. The only thing he asked us is not to give away the ending, so for you spoiler-fans, tough nuts.
In many aspects, SCREAM 2 is as good as the original, however it’s a different movie from the original. The first one was a spoof of the traditional horror movie (namely, Halloween) with lots of real scares as well. This one sort of cuts back and forth between the comic aspects and the scary parts. Not to say that this is bad, because the funny parts were funnier and the scary parts were scarier.
Just like every trailer to every sequel, SCREAM 2 has “Twice the gore, twice the thrills, and the surprise ending is twice as surprising.” The humor obviously revolves around the Stab movie, which worked well. Heather Graham (Rollergirl from Boogie Nights) plays Drew Barrymore‘s role, Tori Spelling plays Neve Campbell, and it seemed like Skeet Ulrich‘s character was actually Dewey (David Arquette) without the mustache. The opening with Jada Pinkett was hilarious, but it was also nice and creepy. Pinkett is cynical and complains about seeing all these scary White teenagers running around, but SCREAM 2 has quite a few more African Americans than its predecessor. Perhaps Wes Craven ran into trouble with the NAACP. Randy, the film freak, has plenty of good lines about sequels and how they’re never better than the original (Empire Strikes Back doesn’t count, of course, because it was part of a planned out trilogy: similar to the SCREAM trilogy???)
Onto the scare factor. YOU WILL JUMP. I promise you. There is a lot of original scenes in here mixed in with twists on the cliched ones (girl alone in house getting called, etc.). Notably, there is a scene where Sidney (Neve Campbell) is in a Greek tragedy and her college, where every actor is wearing a greek theatre mask. She runs around between them hallucinating that among the greek masks is someone with the Scream mask. Very well done. Also, the music for the Greek Play is written by Danny Elfman (Lord of Creepiness). The music in general is fantabulous. It has a lot of dark chorusey music. Really freaks ya out!
This movie definitely needs to be seen with a house full of teens and Gen X’ers. Even if you don’t get scared, you’ll laugh at the sheer goriness of certain situations. I promised I won’t give away the ending, but it is a real u-turn. Lots of good stuff in the ending. Seeing that this is part of a trilogy, you wonder if the killer is really who they thought it was. I can see how a great third one could be made which would let you watch the first two again looking for all sorts of clues.”
“I was walking by a movie theater in NYC and I guy approached me asking if I wanted to go to a screening of a new movie. I was a little hesitant, as this same guy approached me the day before as I waited on line at a screening of Alien: Resurrection, offering tickets to For Richer Or Poorer– ha! That wasn’t gonna happen. Anyway, the dude offers me tickets for a film called Phantoms. He leaned in real menacing-like and says, “Actually, it’s not Phantoms, it’s SCREAM 2.” Hell yeah, I’ll see SCREAM 2!
I go downstairs and, as I’m walking in, one of the ticket takers asks a group of teenagers in front of me if they know what their seeing. They say, “Phantoms.” “Nope it’s SCREAM 2,” she replies. They go nuts! One of the kids says, “I never saw SCREAM.” Sorry, sucker! Get on the ball.
So I get in, and it’s packed– all except the entire middle section– damn those insiders!! I find my seat. Someone comes out and tells the audience that we are indeed seeing SCREAM 2 and that it’s very important not to reveal the ending. The entire theater is buzzing. I’m eyeing the back of the theater just to see who’s filling the reserved section. In walks Wes Craven. Moments later, I spot Jamie Kennedy the kid who plays Randy.
Then the theater goes crazy as Jada Pinket walks in, trying to camouflage herself. The audience is on their feet looking at the back of the theater. It was surreal. The lights dim and everyone cheers.
The film begins, as everyone knows, at a movie theater where an excited audience is watching a preview of STAB, the movie-within-the-movie. Very ironic, cause here we all are, very excited, watching a preview of SCREAM 2. As soon as Jada Pinkett walked on screen, the audience started cheering. She was great. Terrific dialogue. Very funny.
I’m not gonna ruin the rest of the movie, but lemme just tell you this. It’ll have you guessing ’til the end, it’ll keep you more than thoroughly entertained, and all film geeks will giggle with delight. Also keep your ears open for a few Friends and Party of Five in-jokes. Very funny. Needless to say, I liked this more than Scream. It took Scream and improved upon it. Maybe it was just the excitement of seeing it before anyone else, but I dunno. I thought it was great. Great performances, great deaths, great fun!! Enjoy!“