Wes Craven Week Day 3: A Sequel Worthy Of A ‘Scream’


Now three days into our Wes Craven Week, it’s time to look at some of the filmmaking legend’s ’90s work with 1997’s ‘Scream 2’. Welcome back to Wes Craven Week.

In less than a week, a year will have passed since the world of cinema lost one of its truly visionary storytellers. On August 30th, 2015, Wes Craven, who has given us some of the best chills and thrills film have ever seen, lost a sad battle with brain cancer.

This week, we celebrate the life of a master. We celebrate the existence of a movie maestro. We celebrate the life of Wesley Earl Craven.

1997’s Scream 2 (#6)

Wes Craven’s ‘Scream 2’ One-Sheet- Courtesy of Dimension Films

Someone has taken their love of sequels one step too far.

In 1996, filmmaker Wes Craven and Dimension films had a smash hit on their hands with Scream. Written by Kevin Williamson, Scream was more than just a breath of fresh air to the horror genre – it was a bloody leaf blower to the face. The film is so brilliant, and was very successful, a sequel was a given.

Enter Scream 2. Made for $28Mil, a some $9Mil more than it’s predecessor, Scream 2 made $172.3Mil when the film ended its theatrical run. After two films, the Scream series was a pop-culture phenomenon. So what makes the slasher sequel so great?

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Undoubtedly one of the strongest of all horror sequels, Scream 2 builds on the original in a way every sequel should. The characters change, some for the better and others for the worst, and it’s organically carried over into Scream 2.

Set a little after the 1996 original, Sidney Prescott is now in collage. The decision, while Williamson’s and not Craven’s, is the perfect jumping off point for progressing the Scream story. Weighted with character experiences of the original, and while introducing new players, Scream 2 knows how to play each one like a finely tuned Fiddle.

So, while Craven didn’t write the horror sequel, what did he do that made it such a great experience? I’m glad you called and asked. Just next time, unblock that number before.

For my money, not only does Craven keep Scream 2 hip, fun, and frantic in its pacing, he knows character. He uses the lens to not only shoot these Kevin Williamson created characters, but to capture their deeper essence. Craven knows characters create story, and focuses not only on keeping the camera on the principals just long enough, but gives enough room for organic relationships to breath. It’s the mark of a true talent.

Next: Wes Craven Week Day 2: 1989’s Shockingly Good ‘Shocker’

Also, the man had almost nothing to work with on Scream 2. In a well known story, Scream 2′s script was leaked in the middle of production. This lead to a lot of shooting on the fly and the actors getting new pages almost daily. The fact that Craven was able to make such a strong story out of what’s reported to be little and chaotic, is a miracle; It’s what makes Craven a master of his craft.


So, there you have it Craven Cravers, three classic down for Wes Craven Week. Now that we’re in the thick of or memorial of Craven, were about to get into the filmmaker’s elite. So join me tomorrow for another installment, when I report from that house down the street. It’s on the Left.

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Scream 2

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