Scream 2 is a 1997 American slasher film directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson. It stars David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Matthew Lillard, Dax Shepard, Courteney Cox, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Laurie Metcalf, Jamie Kennedy, Jerry O'Connell, Jada Pinkett and Liev Schreiber.
The film was released on December 12, 1997 by Dimension Films as the second installment in the Scream film series. Scream 2 takes place one year after Scream and again follows the character of Sidney Prescott (Campbell) and her brother Jerry (Lillard), now students at the fictional Windsor College, who becomes the target of a copycat killer using the guise of Ghostface. Sidney and Jerry are accompanied by film-geek Randy Meeks (Kennedy), Jerry's friend Tom Scott (Shepard) retired deputy sheriff Dewey Riley (Arquette) and news reporter Gale Weathers (Cox). Like its predecessor, Scream 2 combines the violence of the slasher genre with elements of comedy and "whodunit" mystery while satirizing the cliché of film sequels. The film was followed by two sequels, Scream 3 (2000) and Scream 4 (2011).
Williamson provided a five-page outline for a sequel to Scream when auctioning his original script, hoping to entice bidders with the potential of buying a franchise. Following a successful test screening of Scream and the film's financial and critical success, Dimension moved forward with the sequel while Scream was still in theaters, with the principal cast all returning to star, Craven to direct and Beltrami to provide music.
The film suffered controversy following its significant issues with plot information leaking onto the Internet, revealing the identity of the killers. Combined with the film's rushed schedule, the script was rewritten often; pages were sometimes completed on the day of filming. Despite these issues, Scream 2 earned $172 million, received several awards and nominations. The film also received positive reviews, with some critics arguing that the sequel surpassed the original in terms of quality.
Beltrami received positive critical reception for his score for evolving the musical themes of the characters created in Scream although some critics claimed that the most memorable pieces from the film were created by composers Danny Elfman and Hans Zimmer. Elfman's contribution had been specially written for the film, but Zimmer's score for Broken Arrow was controversially used in the film, replacing Beltrami's own work. The soundtrack received negative feedback from reviewers but achieved moderate sales success, reaching #50 on the Billboard 200.
While attending a preview of the film Stab, a film within a film based on the Woodsboro murders, Windsor College seniors Maureen Evans, Hugh Daniels and Phil Stevens (Jada Pinkett Smith, David Spade and Omar Epps) are murdered by Ghostface. Phil is stabbed through the ear in a bathroom stall while trying to eavesdrop on strange whimpering noises. The killer, wearing a Ghostface costume, then returns to the screening and sits beside Maureen before mortally stabbing her. At first the audience believes the act to be a publicity stunt until she falls dead in front of the cinema screen, Hugh tries to call the police, but the killer stabs him in the back, killing him.
The following day, the news media including local journalist Debbie Salt (Laurie Metcalf), descend on Windsor College where Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) and her brother Jerry Prescott (Matthew Lillard) and Jerry's friend Tom Scott (Dax Shepard) now study alongside their best friend Hallie (Elise Neal) and Sidney's new boyfriend Derek (Jerry O'Connell), fellow Woodsboro survivor Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy), and Derek's best friend Mickey (Timothy Olyphant). Sidney receives prank calls but is oblivious to the recent killings until someone instructs her to watch the news. Two other Woodsboro survivors arrive at the campus: officer Dwight "Dewey" Riley (David Arquette) to help Sidney, Jerry and Tom and reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) to cover the case. Gale tries to stage a confrontation between Sidney, Jerry, Tom and Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber), who is attempting to gain fame from his exoneration for the murder of Sidney and Jerry's mother. After Gale forcibly confronts Sidney, Jerry and Tom with Cotton, Sidney angrily hits Gale and Jerry angrily scolds at Sidney for hitting Gale.
Later that evening, Sidney, Jerry and Tom go to a party with Hallie. At a sorority house, Ghostface murders fellow student Cici Cooper (Sarah Michelle Gellar). After all the partygoers leave, the killer then crashes the party and attack Sidney, Jerry and Tom, though Derek intervenes. The killer injures Derek but Dewey and the police arrive, prompting the killer to flee. The next morning, Gale discusses the case with the police. Upon realising that Cici's real name is Casey, she concludes that the killer is a copycat who targets students who share the same names as the Woodsboro murder victims, as Maureen Evans has the same name as Maureen Prescott, Phil Stevens as Steve Orth, Hugh Daniels as Dan Williams and Casey Cooper as Casey Becker.
That afternoon, while Gale is talking to Dewey, Tom and Randy on the campus lawn, she receives a call from Ghostface hinting that he is watching them. They search for him, but Randy, who tries to keep the killer on the phone, is dragged into Gale's broadcast van and is murdered by Ghostface. As night falls, Dewey and Gale review the tape of Ghostface killing Randy hoping to find some clues but the killer attacks them and seemingly kills Dewey. Gale hides and eventually escapes.
In the wake of the escalating murders, two officers drive Sidney, Jerry, Tom and Hallie to a local police station, but the killer murders them. In the ensuing struggle, Ghostface is knocked unconscious. After they climb out of the car, Sidney, Jerry and Tom insist on unmasking him, while Hallie insists they escape. When Sidney, Jerry and Tom walk back to the car, they see that Ghostface has escaped, who then stabs Hallie to death, forcing Sidney, Jerry and Tom flee.
Sidney, Jerry and Tom go back to the campus and find Derek in the auditorium tied to a crucifix, his mouth gagged with duct tape. Once Sidney, Jerry and Tom untie him, they is confronted by Ghostface, who reveals himself as Mickey and tells Sidney, Jerry and Tom that Derek is his partners. Derek desperately tries to persuade Sidney, Jerry and Tom that he is innocent and while Sidney, Jerry and Tom are deciding who is telling the truth, Mickey kills Derek. Mickey details his plan to become famous in the ensuing trial and media spectacle. He then announces his real partner, Debbie Salt, who arrives holding Gale at gunpoint. Sidney, Jerry and Tom recognise that Salt is actually Billy Loomis' mother, seeking revenge for her son's death. Mickey explains that they met online and agreed that Mrs. Loomis pays for Mickey's tuition fee while Mickey does the actual killing. Mrs. Loomis betrays Mickey and shoots him, as she plans to blame the murders on Mickey. Before he collapses, Mickey accidentally shoots Gale, causing her to fall off the stage, Sidney, Jerry and Mrs. Loomis fight, during their fight Mrs. Loomis shoots Tom in the stomach, killing him, until Cotton intervenes and eventually shoots Mrs. Loomis in the throat. As they debate whether or not she is still alive, they find Gale still alive. Mickey suddenly jumps to his feet, trying to attack them, only to be shot death by Sidney, Jerry and Gale. Sidney and Jerry then shoot Mrs. Loomis in the head to confirm her death, amd Jerry runs up to Tom and he gives Jerry some video tapes of he, Jerry, Dan, Sidney, Tatum, Billy, Stu, Randy, Cici, Martha, Jerry's old friends: (Justin Wilson, Douglas Harris, Karen James) and Sidney and Jerry's brother Steve, then Tom slowly dies, and Jerry cries over Tom's body. When the police arrive the next morning, Gale finds Dewey badly injured but still alive and accompanies him and Tom to the hospital. Sidney and Jerry instruct the press to direct questions to Cotton, rewarding him with the fame he has been chasing while removing the attention from herself as she and Jerry leave the university campus. A week later at Tom's funeral, Sidney and Jerry stand near Tom's grave.
- Neve Campbell as Sidney Prescott
- Matthew Lillard as Jerry Prescott (Sidney's brother)
- Dax Shepard as Tom Scott (Jerry's best friend)
- David Arquette as Dwight "Dewey" Riley (Sidney and Jerry's friend)
- Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers
- Jamie Kennedy as Randy Meeks
- Liev Schreiber as Cotton Weary
- Laurie Metcalf as Debbie Salt/Mrs. Loomis
- Jerry O'Connell as Derek
- Elise Neal as Hallie
- Timothy Olyphant as Mickey
- Sarah Michelle Gellar as Casey "Cici" Cooper
- Duane Martin as Joel
- Jada Pinkett Smith as Maureen Evans
- David Spade as Hugh Daniels
- Omar Epps as Phil Stevens
- David Warner as Gus Gold
- Rebecca Gayheart as Lois
- Portia de Rossi as Murphy
- Philip Pavel as Officer Richard Andrews
- Christopher Doyle as Officer Andrew Richards