Scream 2 (Steelbook | Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray)

Two years after the first series of murders, as Sidney acclimates to college life, someone donning the Ghostface costume begins a new string of killings.

October 3, 2022 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

With the success of 1996’s Scream, there was never a doubt that we’d see a sequel. It’s a given. And given the “rules” of movie making, we knew that it was all about the trilogy (though, as years have passed we’d see another sequel and then a reboot). Some things never change. Scream was a hit because it poked fun at the genre that director Wes Craven helped create. By doing this, it opened up the door to do things that other films couldn’t. By these rules, sequels are supposed to be bigger, have a higher body count (assuming it’s a horror movie) and, in short, have everything be bigger and badder. And that’s what Scream 2 did. I’ll go on the assumption that the original has been seen, but on the off chance it hasn’t – I won’t ruin anything in this introductory paragraph.

Two years have passed since the killings in Woodsboro. We now find the surviving cast members at Windsor College. Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber) has been released from prison and is making the rounds, trying to cash in on his newfound stardom. Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) has written a best-selling novel, The Woodsboro Murders, which is being adapted into a film – Stab. But as the premiere date approaches, a new wave of murders start to occur on the college campus. Dewey (David Arquette) deduces that it’s a copycat killer, but there might be something a bit more sinister at work. Reuniting with Sidney (Neve Campbell) and Randy (Jamie Kennedy), they try to piece things together and catch the killer.

The filmmakers certainly struck while the iron was hot. I was a fan of the original, but even with some of the negative reviews of this one – it’s a close second for me. Some part of me really enjoys movies about college (maybe since I spent most of the 90’s there). If it’s more of the same you’re after, then this one does deliver. Written by Kevin Williamson and once again directed by Wes Craven, there was more of everything and more to like. A larger cast (including such names as Omar Epps, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Sarah Michelle-Gellar, Jerry O’Connell, Timothy Olyphant and Heather Graham) just to name a few, more murders and everything that made the original so much fun.

Video: How does it look?

There’s one reason to pick up this 4K offering – improved picture quality. I say that a lot in my reviews, but with this one it really is a night and day difference. The original Blu-ray is packaged with this new 4K disc and if you’ve ever wanted to see how much improvement can be made by a new restoration – here it is. I’ve become somewhat complacent when “channel surfing” and watching older films, but this is one that I’d demand to view on disc. The new 2.35:1 HEVC 4K image is, simply put, gorgeous. Grain has been eliminated, colors are brighter and have more “pop”, the Dolby Vision allows for more room in the black levels. I mean, you name it and it’s been improved. The movie also has a much more natural look and feel to it. It doesn’t have that “home video” quality that I’d associate with the Blu-ray. In short, it’s not perfect, but it’s a major improvement. If picture quality is important to you, and it should be, this one is a no-brainer.

Audio: How does it sound?

I’m sure that if this had a new Dolby Atmos mix, we’d notice a few nuances here and there, but unfortunately that’s not the cast. The same DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack present on the original Blu-ray is featured here as well. Dialogue is sharp and crisp, the soundtrack is little more robust than the first movie and the surrounds are a little more active. There are a few instances in which the track becomes very engaged, but by and large the focus is on the front stage (which handles most of the action). It serves its purpose and certainly gets the job done.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Unfortunately no new supplements have been added for this release. Everything is on the Blu-ray.

  • Audio Commentary – Director Wes Craven is joined by Producer Marianne Maddalena and Editor Patrick Lussier as the trio comment on the film, the story, the cast and everything in between. It’s a fairly technical track, but one that fans will (and most likely already have) enjoy.
  • Deleted Scenes – Just under 5 minutes of deleted scenes are shown with optional commentary by the above trio. I’m figuratively shrugging my shoulders as these didn’t offer much to the final product.
  • Outtakes – Ever been stabbed by a rubber knife? I’d chuckle too.
  • Featurette – A short, seven minute featurette is shown with interviews “talking heads” that talk about the sequel, the film as a whole and so on. Meh.
  • Music Videos – “Scream” by Master P and “Suburban Life” by Kottonmouth Kings.
  • Theatrical Trailer

The Bottom Line

Like a lot of other “new” catalog titles on 4K, some are hits and others misses. Scream 2 benefits greatly from a much-improved 4K image that makes the older Blu-ray look antiquated. But…that’s about it. There are no new supplements to speak of, the same (but effective) DTS HD Master Audio track is still in place and we’ve got, of course, new cover art. It might not be as good as the original, but (to me) it’s close. A recommended upgrade.

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