I hadn't gone back to watch the Scream sequels in years, but with Scream 4 looming it seemed like a
good time. Seems like we can't go two days around here without more Scream 4 news and Wes Craven has been relentlessly pushing the film, most recently through his Twitter account with a series of signed poster giveaways based on Scream trivia. Though things seemed to have calmed down a bit since the end of the trivia competition, Scream 4 is still one of the biggest upcoming horror releases, slated for April 2011.
Scream is, in my estimation, a really solid film, so the pressure was on for the filmmakers with Scream 2, doubly so considering the original's reliance on and breakdown of horror movie cliches. While I wouldn't say they knocked it out of the park, not by any means, Scream 2 does remain a halfway decent film in it's own right that doesn't bastardize the original. The kids from Woodsboro are making the tough transition from high school to college and dealing with a movie based on the events from Scream. Yes folks, there's a movie version of the events in the first movie. The original was kinda meta, but that just ups the ante. But it's a cool idea and a fairly logical progression of events. While it's firmly rooted in the 90s, Scream 2 is still pretty enjoyable.
Demons, directed by Lamberto Bava
The fact of the matter is, the Italians just do horror films like no one else, and Demons is certainly no exception. Directed by Lamberto Bava, the son of famed director Mario Bava, with a screenplay from Dario Argento, Demons is a wild ride taking place almost entirely inside a movie theater. Trapped inside the theater, a small group bands together to fight off ravenous demons. Did I mention one of the survivors is a pimp? Seriously. He has some of the best lines in the whole film. A sequence from the film was even used to create one of the Don't Talk segments that the Drafthouse plays before each film. Featuring plenty of awesomely gore-soaked scenes and a supremely over-the-top ending, Demons is a lot of fun to watch.
The Crazies, directed by George Romero
Romero's 1973 film about a town that plays unwitting host to a plague and the military forces that are called in to contain the infection. While it's a great concept, The Crazies meanders around and focuses far too much on the military leaders dealing with the problem and it's effect on their conscience. The recent remake makes the wise choice to focus more on the people and the infection, while Romero's original is a rather bland, talky affair that squanders some truly great scenes. The opening scene where a man burns down his home with his family inside is still pretty creepy, but most of the scenes with the infected after that have a strange tone that's hard to decipher.
One of the biggest problems with the film is the musical choices. Military songs, twangy banjo country and even When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again at one point, the music, like the film itself, is all over the place, contributing to the strange tone and making for a muddled mess. I feel like there's a great movie in there somewhere but it didn't make it on the screen, at least not in '73.