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Cut to the quick; Scream 2 Ch4, 10.00pm.

GET ready to be simultaneously entertained and scared yet again, in this worthy sequel to the original post- modern teen slasher.

Everyone who survived Wes Craven's Scream is welcomed back for a second helping of tongue- in-cheek horror which not only pokes fun at the genre it is part of, but also the cliches that make up Hollywood sequels.

Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is now in college, where she is studying drama, and trying to put the Woodsboro murders well and truly behind her.

Unfortunately, a movie based on the killings, appropriately named Stab, is about to open at cinemas despite the fact two unwary teens were butchered at the first preview.

And before you can say "watch your back", a new crop of immaculately dressed young victims are attracting the attention of the knife- wielding psycho in the spooky ghost mask, including Buffy star Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Luckily though, Sidney's mates from the first time around, including sassy newswoman Courtney Cox and simple deputy sheriff David Arquette, rally round to her aid.

And it's a good job Sidney and her pals have the assistance of film nerd Randy Meeks (Jamie Kennedy) to tutor them in the ways of the sequel, and what they can expect from this latest murderous stalker.

According to Randy, the body count in a sequel is always bigger and the deaths always more elaborate - rules that screenwriter Kevin Williamson follows meticulously in this bloody follow- up that leaves few of the unfeasibly good looking cast-members unscathed by the knife.

Pretty soon, you'll realise that, like its smarter predecessor, Scream 2 is rife with cliches and distasteful one- liners to keep the action plodding along.

But the comic irony of the film is this very deadpan introspection and the ability to self- reflect on cultural in-jokes.

The performances from this cast of bright young things are about as good as you'd expect - fair to middling at best, definitely no Oscars.

But it's Neve Campbell who holds the film together with her portrayal of Sidney as the vulnerable but quick- witted centre of attention.

This big-budget slasher may not be quite as scary as the original, and some of the gloss has undoubtedly been wiped away by the recent glut of similar films, but Scream 2 is still a macabre delight. PPP
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 24, 2002
Words:385
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