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Analysis | How ‘Scream 2’ used media, violence and metalanguage in the service of Ghostface

The resounding success of the first film made Scream a sophisticated franchise, with Chapter Two being, in my opinion, the most complex of all, exquisite both aesthetically and in its dramatic demands. After the events of Woodsboro, the survivors are transferred to a university space. This is where the new assassins begin to attack, motivated by a massive horror arc that won’t be properly completed until the third film. Sidney, Dewey, Gale and Randy, echoes of the previous plot, now enter a forked journey of evolving their personal and psychological spheres as characters, portrayed by Kevin Williamson’s excellent script and directed by the orchestration Adequate Horror, conducted by knowledgeable Wes Craven. Here, through a very in-depth analysis, we will analyze some scenes from the film, with a view to giving a revisionist overview of the legacy of Ghostface. Direction of photography, dialogues, visual metaphors, contextual elements and other traits typical of critical analysis will allow you, dear readers, to embark on a journey into the sophisticated universe of Panico 2.

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The opening characters, played by Omar Epps and Jada Pinkett Smith, line up in a movie theater and chat while waiting to watch Facada, a film adaptation of Gale Weathers’ book, a text that chronicles the events of the previous film. While she is interested in the film with Sandra Bullock, shown in a movie theater across the street, her boyfriend reinforces her urge to have fun with the murder. In the brilliant dialogue, the female character exposes her displeasure with the presence of the African American character in horror films and in doing so reinforces the self-critical and parody tone of Scream 2, a tale that also pays homage to the classic Psycho. and his shower scene, presented in the film within the film, in a very iconic passage.

Inside the movie theater, the characters are decimated, with something already familiar in the opening of a slasher movie: the setting up of a murder, the catalyst for everything to happen later in the movie. the story. By putting the character to death in a very dramatic fashion, Wes Craven raises questions about violence, audience appreciation, and the relationship of content the media exposes on a daily basis to the audience itself. On a stage inside the showroom, Ghostface fulfills its criminal role and leaves us in front of what will be Scream 2, one of the great aesthetic and dramatic moments of the franchise.

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The last girl played by Neve Campbell is stronger than before. Realizing the inevitability of her situation after the film’s release, in this scene, she wakes up with the phone ringing. It’s a prank, someone pretending to be Ghostface. Below, Kevin Williamson, the production’s screenwriter, makes a small cameo appearance as a reporter on a TV show that interviews Cotton Weary, the most developed character at this point in the franchise.

As he sets out in search of Randy, Sidney Prescott must meet a legion of journalists concerned about his testimony on the deaths presented in the effective opening of Scream 2, directly linked to his recent past. In class, film students discuss the after-effects: Did the after-effects destroy the horror? Here is the motto of reflections. Going beyond the genre, the debate focuses on sociological questions, aesthetic analysis and thus highlights how the metalanguage finds its best moment in the franchise. It’s a very referential discussion, because when we talk about parts 2, 3 and 4 of certain films, they put Scream 2 itself in debate, a sequence which also manages to be better than its predecessor.

Gale Weathers, played by Courteney Cox, returns even more acidic in the film, focusing on the success of her book, Material about the Woodsboro Murders in the previous context. Redhead and with a chromatically tighter suit than his 1996 collection, the character acts more harshly and although he eventually became an ally of Sidney, still behaves compromisingly as an ethical human being. Also, below, she takes advantage of a situation to bring up the issue of the forged encounter between Sidney and Cotton, namely the aggrieved prisoner and the girl who lost her mother to cold killers, confused in testifying and in taking her mother’s lover to jail. Notice the first image: the villain, one of the assassins, constantly crosses the field of view of the camera, orchestrated by a director of photography who knows how to make the most of the depth.

David Arquette’s Dewey reunites with Gale after the media incident with Sidney and Cotton. He watches her, criticizes and the others argue, but there is something in the atmosphere of the conversation that makes us believe in conciliation, something that will in fact happen, with the two fighting close to it. outcome, less favorable for Dewey, who was again seriously injured. Below, Sidney chats with the girls of the fraternity, in one of the film’s many passages in steadicam, a resource that allows for more sophisticated circulation of the camera, giving more organicity and aesthetic value to the film. use of the sequence shot.

The use of steadicam opens the scene of the murder of the character of Sarah Michelle Gellar, an actress who had a brief role in the development of the plot. She watches Nosferatu on TV, one of horror’s greatest classics, as Ghostface initiates the connections that will culminate in her death. The entire passage refers to the first clash between Sidney and Ghostface, in the first half of Scream. The suspicion of the “monster” behind the door, the stairs, the battle and finally, the death of the character. Here we get another clue from the movie about the number of murderers. Are two? Only one? To find out, suffice it to note that while one terrifies the girl on call, the other is ready to attack inside the house that the production team of Wes Craven has rented for the passage. , a large space suitable for the use of depth of field and ideal for hysteria. between the victim and his executioner.

Here, all the suspects wear blue. Sidney’s boyfriend, her colleague Mickey, one of the girls in the fraternity, among other characters passing by. This is the moment before Sidney and Ghostface first make contact in Scream 2, a film whose script was leaked at the time and was set to change its ending. As he answers a call to the party scene, emptied by people who moved to the previous crime scene, Sidney realizes the killer is getting closer and closer. Below, again, the film’s cinematographer invests a lot of depth of field, to create multiple narrative possibilities without having to overlap shots in the development of the story.

Gale and her journalistic flair: here, she presents to the police officer in charge of the investigation, the relationship of the names of the victims with important characters from the previous film. Those behind the killings are fully aware of the killing plan that intends to reach Sydney. Notice once again that the villain over there stalks the reporter and Dewey in a tense conversation.

One of the essential elements of the Panic franchise: metalanguage. Here we have the film within the film commented in a certain passage, before the presentation of the second stage of the narrative, the theater where Sidney rehearses a play about Cassandra, an important figure in Greek mythology. In a circular fashion, the film opens and ends with a scene. It’s a reference Wes Craven made to tragic classics, dramatic content that helps us better understand the fate of Neve Campbell’s female finale. For the director, “horror” has been with us since the dawn of civilizations, which is why theater was an important part of the conception of the story in Scream 2.

Wes Craven once said that he watched an Italian film by Fellini and saw the use of cellophane as a stage element in a theatrical environment. For him, it was a matter of time to use the resource, from his point of view, aesthetically interesting. The material is used in the essay in which Sidney tries to focus, but ends up having visions on Ghostface and loses all of her focus, given the tragic state of affairs that revolve around her daily life in Scream 2. La Paranoia at the uncertainties about who will be next finds a good time in the subsequent scene, with Dewey and Gale surrounded by people on the phone, possible suspects. At this point, Ghostface makes contact and anyone can be the killer. Depth of field, again, helps establish paranoia.

Sound design and soundtrack are important elements in any movie. In the Scream franchise, it wouldn’t be any different. Here, Gale Weathers finds herself stranded in a sound department at film school. There, the Airtight Studios let no one hear her cries of terror as Ghostface pursues her. Additionally, in the subsequent scene, Dewey is attacked and we are unsure of his survival. She becomes even more desperate. Marco Beltrami’s percussive texture then fulfills the role of conveying his desperation to viewers, as seen in the character’s demonstration from the other side of a sound deadening film. It is an interesting use of the sonic possibilities of a film. These are passages that also flirt with the sound of the knife hitting the air. Of course, physically it is impossible, but in the aesthetic dynamics of a fictitious product it works very well to increase the feeling of fear and danger.

In one of the best moments of Scream 2, Sidney and her best friend, played by Elise Neal, try to survive the onslaught of Ghostface after an accident takes the lives of the last girl’s security guards. Sidney’s strengths are contrasted by her friend’s terrified gaze as they both attempt to escape the killer. At one point, when Sidney nearly rips off the mask and reveals the identity of the antagonist, she hits the steering wheel of the car and honks the horn. Note that the sound design amplifies the feeling of fear and tension. The sound of the horn is that of a truck, coupled with a basic chevrolet, reinforcing the atmosphere of terror offered by the passage filmed inside a parking lot, riddled with close-ups to capture the tension between characters and a dangerous situation.

In the end, the antagonists are revealed. The scene inside the theater had previously been scheduled to take place in one of the fraternity’s backyards, with figures hanging from trees, etc. As it turned out, the ending was in the theater, a much more exciting and complex choice. The killers, Mickey and Billy Loomis’ mother, lay out their motives, one being motivated by revenge and the other supposedly influenced by the media and the cinema in the composition of his psychopathic behavior . In the confrontation between Sidney and her former mother-in-law, things take on their full dimension, with references to the process of nature’s fury, when the young girl decides to use certain elements of the scenography of her play to fight against his vengeful mother, a theme already present in the slasher since Friday -Fair 13. Interesting to note that throughout the film, there are no scenes with the two characters in the same space.

Ready for the next adventure with the Scream franchise? Let’s understand the third chapter of the Ghostface saga better in the next text, okay?

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