Scream Wiki
Scream Wiki

Scream 2 is a 1997 horror thriller film directed by Wes Craven with a screenplay by Kevin Williamson. It is the second installment of the Scream film series. As with the other films, it combines straight-forward scares with dialogue that satirizes conventions of slasher films, especially (in this case) slasher film sequels.

The film is led again by Neve Campbell, David Arquette and Courteney Cox, each reprising from their roles in the first film Scream (1996); it also stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jamie Kennedy, Laurie Metcalf, Jerry O'Connell, Elise Neal, Jada Pinkett and Liev Schreiber.



Sidney is in college and once again finds herself the target of a psychotic killer. However, this time, the killer's murder count is higher and the killings more outrageous.


Maureen lets out one final scream

Sidney Prescott and Randy Meeks are now attending Windsor College, less than a year after the murders back in their hometown Woodsboro. They see news reports, that a couple was murdered in a movie theatre at the preview of the Stab movie, which was based on a book by Gale Weathers about the Woodsboro Murders (in other words, the events of the movie Scream). During those events in the movie theatre, Phil Stevens is stabbed in the head through the wall of a bathroom cubicle. The killer then enters the cinema and sits next to Maureen Evans and she assumes the killer is simply her boyfriend wearing a mask. During the Casey Becker kill scene in the film Stab, the crowd goes wild. Taking advantage of this, the killer stabs Maureen multiple times. Since many of the movie-goers are wearing the killer's costume (as publicity material provided by the movie studio) and are all carrying fake knives, nobody takes Maureen's attack seriously. Seriously wounded and dying, she climbs up the stairs in front of the movie screen and lets out one final cry. As the crowd realizes she isn't faking, she falls down dead. Soon, Sidney and Randy realize that the nightmare is starting all over again. Gale arrives to seek fame again, which she already has in abundance because of the events in Woodsboro and because she is also worried about the second killing spree. Dewey Riley also arrives on the campus to try and help protect Sidney. Once again, in the "rules" scene, Randy and Dewey discuss the fact that anyone could be the killer

Randy explains the rules

(also known as Ghostface) — including themselves. During the course of the discussion, Randy continues his job of explaining the rules of a horror movie, this time the "rules of a sequel".

Cici and fellow sorority sister don't suspect that the killer is behind them

The killer attempts to stab Sidney while setting up a copycat ploy. Cici Cooper, a sorority girl, is the next victim. While alone at her sorority house, Cici is threatened by the killer over the phone before the killer attacks her inside the house. Cici runs upstairs where she throws a potted plant and a bike at the killer. Cici is chased to the top floor where the killer throws her through balcony doors and then stabs her in the back twice before throwing her over a third story balcony to her death. After the police discover the body, the students at the nearby martini mixer go over to investigate, leaving Sidney and her boyfriend Derek Feldman at the Delta Lambda Zeta house. The killer attacks Sidney, but Derek appears and helps Sidney escape before he charges into the house himself. He is slashed on the arm, but the wound is not serious. In the confusion, the killer escapes.

At the police headquarters, Gale and Dewey notice that the names of the new victims loosely match the first three victims from Woodsboro — Maureen Evans matches Maureen Prescott, Casey "Cici" Cooper matches Casey Becker and Phil Stevens matches Steven Orth. The police chief, Lewis Hartley, assigns two detectives, Andrews and Richards, to protect Sidney from any further attempts on her life. Later, when Sidney is in the college theatre rehearsing for the Agamemnon play, the killer attacks through the mass chaos in one of the scenes, although it is not clear if this is simply a figment of Sidney's imagination or not.

Randy dead in the news van

Randy is the next victim. Him, Gale, Dewey, and Gale's new cameraman, Joel are outside on the campus lawn amongst a dozen of college students, enjoying the fine weather. After Joel excuses himself from them after getting uncomfortable from overhearing Gale mention Kenny Brown when she recaps the rest of the victims in Woodsboro, the killer calls and taunts them, claiming that he can see them from where he is. Gale and Dewey search the dozen or so students in the area with cell phones, trying to quickly reveal if any of them is the killer. Randy is also looking around whilst talking to the killer on the phone; he is trying to stall the killer in order to help Gale and Dewey find him. While he is outside Joel's van, Randy is unexpectedly pulled into it and stabbed to death, where his body is soon discovered by Gale, Dewey, and Joel.

Gale hides from Ghostface

Officer Andrews and Officer Richards, the detectives who were assigned to protect Sidney, are later attacked at night that same day while their vehicle is stopped at some traffic lights. One of the detectives tries to shoot the killer while on the hood of the car, and the killer deliberately crashes the car, killing the detective and knocking the killer unconscious. Gale and Dewey also become involved with the killer at a the college's projection room, resulting in Dewey being stabbed and seriously wounded. Sidney and Hallie McDaniel, Sidney's roommate, narrowly escape the wreckage of the crashed car by squeezing past the unconscious killer in the front seat. Once out of the car, Sidney debates with Hallie whether to remove the killer's mask or not, and she ultimately decides to remove it, but when returning to the car, Sidney finds that the killer is gone. She then turns around, only to see Hallie being grabbed and stabbed by the killer.

Dewey is brutally attacked

Sidney runs to the school theatre, where she is confronted by the killer once more. The killer reveals himself to be Mickey Altieri, one of her new college friends. Sidney finds her boyfriend Derek tied to a stage prop, and Mickey then shoots Derek in the chest. Mickey is also revealed to have had a partner. Sidney turns around to see Gale coming out of the stage door leading her to believe that Gale is the other killer. Gale and Mickey shake their heads "no" and Debbie Salt comes out holding one of the officers' gun. Sidney recognizes her as Mrs. Loomis, the mother of Sidney's previous high school boyfriend, Billy Loomis. Mickey reveals that it was his plan all along to be caught for the murders and to become infamous and immortalized by the media. He wanted to blame the violent killings on horror movies; the "effects of cinema violence in society." He met Mrs. Loomis on a "psycho website", and she agreed to fund his college tuition in return for his part in the killings. She also helped Mickey place calls to the victims. Mrs. Loomis' motive for killing Sidney and her friends was revenge for Sidney having killed her son. However, Sidney points out later to her that if she had not abandoned Billy prior to this, then Billy and Stu Macher would not have started their killing spree (the events of the first movie). Mrs. Loomis shoots Mickey, removing him as a potential threat, and stating that his intended legal defense was absurd anyway and that no one would have believed it.

Cotton decides whether to shoot Sidney or Nancy Loomis

As Mickey is shot, he reflexively shoots Gale, causing her to fall off the stage. Sidney is cornered by Mrs. Loomis and tricks her momentarily into believing Mickey is still alive, and when Mrs. Loomis is distracted, Sidney hits her in the head with a prop jar. Sidney fights back and barricades herself backstage, where she switches or uses an axe to break various stage controls, ultimately causing the front of the stage to collapse on Mrs. Loomis. Mrs. Loomis survives and gets Sidney in an armlock, however, Cotton Weary — the man Sidney initially blamed for killing her mother — arrives and takes Mickey's gun.

Gale and Sidney after they shot Mickey

Mrs. Loomis tries to convince Cotton to kill Sidney, but Cotton chooses to shoot Mrs. Loomis instead, revealing he never intended to hurt Sidney. Sidney and Cotton discover that Gale is wounded, but alive, and they help her. Mickey suddenly jumps up dramatically, and Gale and Sidney shoot him multiple times. Then, Sidney turns around and decides to shoot Mrs. Loomis in the head — "just in case". It is then revealed that despite his ordeal, Dewey survived his stabbing. He is wheeled out on a gurney and taken away in an ambulance. Gale decides to ride with him in the ambulance to the hospital. It turns out that Dewey's scar tissue from previously being stabbed in the back prevented this latest stabbing from being fatal.


Sidney and Cotton walk out from the school and the media jump Sidney, questioning her about the ordeal, wanting a scoop of news. But Sidney turns their attention to Cotton, saying he's the one they should talk to. She then walks across the college campus.

Cast & Characters[]

Main characters[]

  • David Arquette as Dwight "Dewey" Riley: The 26-year-old surrogate big brother figure to Sidney and Randy, following their survival of the Woodsboro Murders. He arrives on campus to assist the police with their investigation and support Sidney amid his concerns of the killings starting again. He crosses paths with Gale who he is on bad terms with after she wrote poorly of him in her book.

Supporting characters[]

  • Liev Schreiber as Cotton Weary: A fame-seeking, exonerated death row inmate. He was falsely accused of murdering Sidney's mother, Maureen Prescott. He is brought to Windsor College by Gale under the guise that he would get an interview with her. He continues to harass Sidney around campus, eventually helping her kill Nancy Loomis and getting the fame he always wanted.
    • Schreiber reprises his role from his brief cameo in the original film.
  • Jamie Kennedy as Randy Meeks: The 18-year-old Windsor College freshman majoring in film. He tries to live in denial over a new killing spree, and shows his detest for sequels. Consequently, Randy dies in the sequel, in an unplanned attack by Nancy Loomis after speaking poorly of her son, Billy Loomis.
  • Laurie Metcalf as Nancy Loomis under the alias Debbie Salt: Billy Loomis' mother who arrives at Windsor College under the guise of Debbie Salt, a local reporter. In reality, she has teamed up with psychopathic student, Mickey Altieri, to start a new spree of killings. She allows Mickey to believe they are recreating the Woodsboro Murders when in reality, she wants revenge for Billy's death.
    • Mentioned in Scream (1996). Forename unveiled in Scream 4 (2011) screenplay.
  • Elise Neal as Hallie McDaniel: Sidney's best friend and roommate at Windsor College. She is a psych major and shows her support for Sidney in a way resembling a therapist. Hallie is ultimately killed by Mickey as Ghostface when Sidney turns back to unmask him.
  • Timothy Olyphant as Mickey Altieri: A student at Windsor College and friend of Randy. He uses Randy to get into Sidney's friendship group, unaware to them that he is actually a psychopath who has teamed up with Mrs. Loomis to start a new spree of murders. Mickey hopes that the murders will make him famous worldwide.
    • Surname unveiled in Scream 4 (2011) screenplay.

Minor characters[]

  • Duane Martin as Joel: Gale's new cameraman who makes the right choice to leave Windsor when the murders start getting worse.
  • Christopher Doyle (credited as Chris Doyle) as Officer Richards: A police detective assigned by Chief Lewis Hartley to be one of Sidney's bodyguards during the murders.
  • Philip Pavel as Officer Andrews: A police detective assigned by Chief Lewis Hartley to be one of Sidney's bodyguards during the murders.

Stab characters / cameos[]

Rules of a Horror Film Sequel[]

A signature device started in Scream and continued in future films, is the typical "rules" for that type of horror movie being stated by the characters. In Scream 2, the rules for a sequel (as described by Randy) are:

  • 1. The body count is always bigger.
  • 2. The death scenes are always much more elaborate, with more blood and gore.
  • 3. Randy starts to describe the third rule: "If you want your films to become a successful franchise, never, ever...' before being interrupted by Dewey. However, the film's original teaser trailer featured an extended version of the rules scene, which reveals, that, originally, the third rule was supposed to be "Never, ever, under any circumstances assume the killer is dead." This referenced Randy's last line in the first Scream which stated that a killer always comes back to life for one last scare.

The lack of a third rule in the film's final cut was a deliberate in-joke by the crew, referencing the fact, that it is impossible to ensure that a horror franchise will be successful.

Satirical/self-referential style[]

As with the original film, Scream 2 utilizes self-aware characters and a self-referential style. In the world of the movie, a movie called Stab has been released, which is based on the real events of the first film and is also a parody of Scream. The logo for Stab reflects the logo for Scream, in both font, and a blade like T on the former and M on the latter. The scenes seen of Stab (actually directed by Robert Rodriguez) directly recreate scenes in the first film, with Heather Graham and Luke Wilson being parodies of Drew Barrymore and Skeet Ulrich's characters, respectively. There are also scenes of Tori Spelling being interviewed by Nancy O'Dell (both making cameos as themselves) to promote the movie.

There is also the second mention of the "rules" of a horror film, this time the rules of a sequel. There is a heavy reference to the downplay of black actors in conventional horror films (including the first Scream, which was criticized for it). This is referenced in the first scene which portrays this downplay in the original film and highlights the increased importance of the roles that black actors play in this movie.

There are also references to David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston, who Courteney Cox co-starred with on Friends. When we first see Cici Cooper (Sarah Michelle Gellar) alone in the sorority house and on the phone with her friend, she is talking about the show Party of Five, on which Neve Campbell starred for six years. Other references include Kevin Costner, James Cameron, and Jane Seymour.


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Scream 2 has a Photo Gallery.


Like the first film, Scream 2 received mostly positive critical reception. It has achieved 80% of certified freshness on Rotten Tomatoes, with many critics agreeing that it was funnier and scarier than the first. Roger Ebert noted the film as being "about as good as the original". Gene Siskel also gave it a 'thumbs up', despite giving a negative review of the first film.

There was, however, criticism over the death of the character Randy Meeks played by Jamie Kennedy. John Muir, author of Wes Craven: The Art of Horror called the character's death the "most devastating moment of the sequel" and a "bad move". It is the most popular scene of the film and was met very negatively from audiences.


  • In Cici Cooper's death scene, at the time Ghostface is about to throw her out, use the frame by frame, you could see a man's head peeping, then sinking down again, probably thinking that the taping was over.
  • (At around 10 mins) We see Maureen Evans being stabbed repeatedly by Ghostface, but when she turns to face the crowd at the theater, the amount of blood in no way matches up with her wounds.


  • 71V2N0ZCPEL
    Scream 2 is the only Scream movie so far in the series where the first murder, attempted murder, or first two murders don't happen in a house. In Scream 2, the first two murders happen in a movie theatre, specifically in a bathroom and an auditorium. Also, alongside Scream 3 and Scream VI, they are the only films to not start with a scene inside a house.
  • The setting of the film is a reference to college slasher films where a group of college students get killed off by a killer.
  • Like Scream 4 and Scream (2022) being a "legacy-sequel" and homage to Scream (1996), albeit moreso the 2022 film, the sixth film in the franchise, Scream VI, is a "requel" to Scream 2, parallel with the setting also being in college (differences is that the second film is set mainly in the college and small town in Ohio, while the sixth film's college is set in, instead of at the college, in New York City). The fraternities and sororities introduced in the second film exist and are referenced in the sixth film as New York chapters.
  • According to a rumor, the identity of Ghostface was changed after the original script was leaked on the internet, it was Derek (Jerry O'Connell) and Hallie (Elise Neal) in the original ending. This was referenced in Scream 3 (2000), where all of the actors and actresses on "Stab 3" were kept in the dark about the script for this reason.
  • The first person the killer calls in this movie is Cici Cooper. He then goes on to kill her. The first person the killer called in Scream was Casey Becker. Cici was Casey's copycat victim with her real name being Casey Cooper.
  • Two actors from the Call of Duty video game franchise had appeared in this film. Sarah Michelle Gellar, who played Cici, appeared as a playable character in the Zombies level Call of the Dead, and Timothy Olyphant, who played one of the main antagonist's Mickey Altieri, voiced the character of Grinch in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
  • After filming, Jada Pinkett sent director Wes Craven a set of steak knives for Christmas.
  • Matthew Lillard has a cameo in this movie, although his character Stu Macher died in Scream (1996).
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar and Jerry O'Connell dated during shooting.
  • Most of the scenes shot at Windsor College, despite set in Ohio, used a college in Atlanta, Georgia as a shooting location during June 1997. The franchise, after taking a hiatus since Scream 3 (2000) and Scream 4 (2011), would return with a television series of the same name in 2015-2016 on MTV, albeit a different killer. It wouldn't be until it became an anthology once the third season was announced as a reboot, and with Ghostface returning that Atlanta was used once again as a shooting location in September-October 2017, nearly 20 years since Scream 2 was shot there, before being introduced as the main setting for the third season, subtitled Scream: Resurrection, released in July 2019 on VH1.
  • The third season shares and homages the second film in that much of its story revolves around an educational institution, leading to the finale (in the film, it was college, while in the third season, it's a high school) .
  • The cast was not informed of the identity of the killer until the last day of principal photography. Also, the cast did not receive the last ten pages of the shooting script until it was time to film the scenes contained therein. Furthermore, the last ten pages of the shooting script were printed on gray paper in order to deter illicit duplication of them. All cast members were required to sign confidentiality clauses as parts of their respective contracts that precluded them from discussing the outcome of the story and the killer's identity.
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar signed up for the movie before reading the script.
  • Actors who auditioned for the part of Derek were asked to perform the scene in the cafeteria in which Derek sings "I Think I Love You" a cappella. The role of Derek eventually went to Jerry O'Connell.
  • Usually, when making a movie, when an actor/actress is heard on-screen, but not seen, such as a voice on a telephone, the actor/actress records his or her part during post-production, which takes place after the completion of principal photography. However, director Wes Craven had Roger L. Jackson (The Voice) on-set and actually speaking to on-screen actors and actresses by practical, not merely prop, telephone in order to create reality and fear for them. When Jackson was on-set, he was kept out of sight of the other actors and actresses so they could not put a friendly face to The Voice. Jackson said that the actors and actresses were intimidated by him, and would not talk to him any more than was absolutely necessary, with the exception of Sarah Michelle Gellar, who would converse amiably with him on the telephone between takes.
  • Amazingly, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert (film critics) loved this movie. Siskel never gave good reviews to horror movies, particularly not slasher movies, and he criticized Scream (1996). Ebert almost never gave slasher movies good reviews. The fact that both of them liked this movie is a small miracle.
  • Neve Campbell would shoot Party of Five (1994-2000) on Mondays and Tuesdays during the day, and spent Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on this movie, most of which were night shoots. On Sundays, she would work all night until 6 a.m., go home for fifteen minutes to shower off all the fake blood and immediately go to the Party of Five set to shoot all day, all without sleeping.
  • One of the extras leaked the script to the internet (one of the first major film leaks ever). As a result, the script was almost entirely re-written, with pages often being completed the day they were to be filmed. Security was tightened, with everyone required to sign non-disclosure agreements, and underwent many re-shoots. The script was reprinted on specialty paper to prevent photocopying and was often destroyed after use. Additionally, Mickey (Timothy Olyphant) was killed by the two Ghostfaces in the original script.
  • The film originally ended with a shot with another Ghostface watching over from the campus' bell tower. There is fan speculation that it is the killer from Scream 3 (2000) under the mask.
  • In the original ending, before the script was re-written, Gale (Courteney Cox) got killed by Cotton (Liev Schreiber), and Sidney (Neve Campbell) and Cotton fight to the death, and it's possible Dewey (David Arquette) died from his injuries in the projection room.
  • Various titles were considered for the sequel at different points in the film's production, including Scream Again, Scream Louder, and Scream: The Sequel.
  • The longest running time for a Scream movie, until it was surpassed by Scream VI (2023) 26 years later.
  • Thirty-four movies are viewed, mentioned, or referenced, throughout the movie.
  • This movie is ten minutes longer than Scream (1996).
  • Before Randy (Jamie Kennedy) is killed, the killer states that he won't "get the girl". Randy stated earlier in the film that if he could change something about the movies, it would be that "the Geek would get the girl," indicating that the killer must be a classmate of his.
  • The only Scream film where the opening victims are not called by Ghostface on the phone.
  • According to Wes Craven, it was Duane Martin's idea to leave after Randy's (Jamie Kennedy's) murder, to make it more realistic.
  • Near the beginning, Dewey said to Sidney that the killer is probably already in her life, because they "get off on that". This is foreshadowing alluding to Mickey, as he was one of Sidney's friends.
  • In a 2018 interview, Jada Pinkett Smith revealed that she was determined to make her on-screen death one for the record books. "I remember saying to the director at the time, 'I want to die the most horrific death that has ever happened in a horror film,'" recalled Jada on an episode of PeopleTV's Couch Surfing. "'I want it to be long and excruciating'", Smith told host Lola Ogunnaike. "And he's like, 'Cool.'" Of course, the director in question was maestro macabre Wes Craven, so perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that Smith's request was honored in epic fashion.
  • Liev Schreiber asked Wes Craven to include his dog in the movie, The dog can be spotted during the news of Cici's murder.
  • During the scene where the killer kills Hallie (Elise Neal), if you look closely, you can see the killer's eyes through the mask eye holes, obviously Mickey (Timothy Olyphant).
  • Mickey gives himself away as a killer. At the hospital, after Derek is cut on his arm, he asks Sidney what made him go back into the house anyway? The only people that were there were Sidney, Derek, and the killer. Sidney even has a strange look on her face after he says that, like, "how did you know he went back in the house?", but doesn't say anything.
  • Dewey got attacked by Ghostface for the second time.
  • Gale got chased by Ghostface for the first time.
  • Sidney got prank called by a Ghostface imitator (leading to her wariness of carrying a phone in the next 2 films) and instant messaged by Ghostface for the first time. Like the prank call, the instant message can be attributed as to why Sidney doesn't carry or use technology in later films.

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