Thursday, July 14, 2011

Scream to Scream, Scene by Scene: SCENE 29 of Scream 2 (1:29:53-1:45:18)

In this project I attempt to review the entire Scream trilogy scene by scene in chronological order. Heavy spoilers and gore throughout!

SCENE 29 of Scream 2
Length: 15min 25secs
Primary Characters: Sidney Prescott, Gale Weathers, Debbie Salt aka Mrs Loomis, Mickey and Cotton Weary
Pop Culture References:
  • Psycho (visual reference)
  • Friday the 13th (plot similarity - mother avenging son's death)
  • Alan Dershowitz, Johnnie Cochrane and Bob Dole (Mickey's planned trial defense team)

And so we come to the big climax where all is revealed. I do love this scene. It lacks the "oh shit! this is really happening?!" electricity of the first, but - much like the sequel's opening scene in comparison to the original's - is actually a bit more loopy fun. Let's take a look.

I like the idea of this on campus theatre being almost possessed, what with the lights turning on and the equipment starting up without anybody around. Of course, we all know that's not true and that the killers were simply placing an awful lot on the hope that Sidney would run back to the college campus after her recent run in with Ghostface in the car rather than run away as far as she possibly could from the scene of so many crimes.

Good work, Sidney. Good work.

I don't have anything to say here, I just like the shot.

I actually really like the setup. It works well in the film given the idea of a sequel needing to be "much more elaborate", but I think the way Craven filmed it was particularly great. So many wonderful shots like this one of Sidney almost slinking off into the darkness, but not being able to get away from the big bright light that constantly shines on her. Plus, I like the way they set up all the effects that the stage show has, reminding us of them, so that when Sidney uses them against the killers it feels organic.

I also think placing the big finale on an empty theatre stage - a nice mirror, by the way, to the opening that takes place in front of a packed cinema - fits in to Mickey's "it's all about the execution" idea and making it as grand as possible. I like to imagine Mrs Loomis hearing Mickey's plan for what to do with the big finale and humouring him with this rather outlandish stage bound idea because her son, Billy, would have appreciated it.

Oh hai Derek. Hallie's Mickey's been running around all over campus because of you!

Talk about a fetish!

"I wouldn't do that if I were you. You really wanna trust your boyfriend?" *click* "Don't you know history repeats itself? Hmmm?"

First of all, love that bit. I think it's the "hmmm?" that sells it. Second of all... the mystery of the crazy voice-changer strikes again. I haven't the foggiest idea how these machines work because when Billy/Stu/Sidney used them in the climax of Scream they sounded nothing like the phone voice, and now here while the voice does sound like the voice on the phone I also don't know how Mickey manages to turn it off from inside his mask. I guess he uses his tongue?

I imagine at this stage many people watching for the first time were all "who?" They would be stupid people, yeah? Okay, no, I sorta get that Mickey was obviously a second wrung - third? he probably is in the film just as much as Sister Lois and Sister Murphy - character that was shoved into the killer position after the Derek/Hallie combo got the shaft due to screenplay leaks, but only a dimwit couldn't remember who he was. People said the same thing about Roman in Scream 3 and, to be honest, made more sense. People said the same thing about Charlie in Scream 4 and that was really dumb. Do people even watch these movies?

And Mickey's fabulous, FABULOUS hair remains in tact despite running around all night with a hood over it. He must be bordering on Ross Gellar levels of gel use!

"Since Derek here disappeared on my ass, I've been on my own all fuckin' night. Thanks a lot, partner"
"Motherfucker! Sid, he's crazy. You know me better than that."
"Come on Sid, I've gotta have a partner. I could've have possibly done this alone."

Mickey is actually quite smart. He's also stupid, but sometimes quite smart. Great way to fuck with Sidney's mind here.

"Hmmm. Boyfriend, killer, boyfriend, killer, boyfriend, killer."

I really love the rhythm that the dialogue in this scene has. While the Scream 2 climax is far less referential and winking as the first, Timothy Olyphant really sells the part. He does crazy well and so despite the character being a weaker killer identity, in the end, it still works because Olyphant plays it precisely perfect.

In retrospect, knowing that Derek isn't one of the killers makes this playful smile of Mickey's so deliciously evil. Like watching a pair of experimental hamsters run around unsure of what's what as he plays wicked mind games with them.

"What do you think, Derek? Is Sidney experiencing some deja vu?"

I can't say enough how much I enjoy the revelry that Mickey has in messing with Sidney's mind here. Again, so much credit must go to Olyphant. He obviously didn't have much else to do throughout the movie so he took his role as the killer in this scene and ran with it.

Aw, bye bye Derek. You were bright (maybe), funny (when?), handsome (except played by a douche so unbelievable as a nice guy), had a decent singing voice (hardly) and the kind of guy a girl would like to take home to "mom"...

"... if you had a mom."

Zing. Ouch.

"Fuck you!"
"Oh! So vulgar!"

I know most of the screencaps so far have been of Mickey, but can you blame me? Much like it's "all about the trial" for Mickey, the first half of this big climax is all about Timothy Olyphant's wonderful vocal delivery and facial expressions.

Here's some more!

I could transcribe Mickey's whole defense out for you, but I won't. I mean, it makes sense in some way and Olyphant delivers it expertly, but it's all rather inconsequential and almost completely beyond the point other than needing to "make a point". I do love this exchange from Sidney though:

"You're forgetting one thing about Billy Loomis."

"What's that?"

"I fucking killed him!"

Well, that is true. This is like this movie Bam, Sid, Super Bitch!

Love this little moment between Mickey and Sidney as they run around the stage. Sidney is clearly kicking his ass - love that bad ass punch to the face - and her kinda awesome move of pulling his arm towards the pillar to knock him out. Have I ever seen that fight move in another movie? I'm not too sure. But without a vase to smash or a television to drop on Mickey's head like she had last time with the second fiddle villain this was her best option.

"You got a Linda Hamilton thing goin' on there."

Mickey really does have a hardon for James Cameron, doesn't he?

"Now who's doing that? Could that be the mystery guest waiting in the wings? Told ya I had a partner, Sid. Surprise cameo just for you."

"Gale!" *ooh aah angry face*

*hesitant shake of the head*

"Mrs Loomis?"


"Billy's! Mother! Nice twist, huh? Never saw it comin', didja?"

"It can't be... I've seen pictures!"

"This is 60 pounds and a whole lotta work later."

"It's called a make-over. You should try it, you look a little tired yourself there, Gale."

Sorry, I had to do this whole entire reveal. It is so deliciously ridiculous and like a soap opera. I love it! It's got everything from secret identities, hidden family secrets, plastic surgery and Gale made to feel like a fool. What's not to love. Oh sure, I may know a couple of people who think Laurie Metcalf's crazy bug eye performance in this scene is over the top, but I love it. I mean, if you're gonna be a serial killer taking revenge on your son's murder then I think you're gonna be a little bit loopy, ya know?

My favourite bits are, of course, the head shake from Gale when Sidney thinks the killer is her and then that ever so slight turn of the head and raise of the brow that Mrs Loomis gives to Sidney when they first see each other. Like "I bet you weren't expecting me, huh?"

And does anyone else say "Didn't see it comin', didja?" Because I still do to this day when the situation arises.

"Mickey here was quite a find," and Mickey lights up with pride like a small child who has gotten the approval of his parents.

"Two birds, one stone."

Oh Jackie! You're so crazy!

You know, just yesterday we were thinking about celebrities watching slasher movies because of their relatives in the cast, but I love to think that Roseanne Barr went along to see her old Roseanne co-star Laurie here in Scream 2. You just know Roseanne would be one of those loudmouth cinemagoers that you always hear about in America.

Also: Oh no, Gale! That really fake looking sets toppled on top of you!

All this talk of crazy serial killing mothers, court cases and white clothing reminds me of Serial Mom.


"[Mickey] was was completely out of his mind!"
"And you're not?"
"No, I am very sane. My motive isn't as '90s as Mickey's, mine is just good old fashioned revenge. You killed my son and now I kill you. I can't think of anything more rational."

Like mother like son, indeed. Billy wanted to kill Sidney because of something her mother did and now Billy's mother wants to kill Sidney because of something she did to her son.

Earlier we took a look at some of Mickey's best facial expressions, well now we'll look at some of Mrs Loomis'. These two really did go all out in the wacky faces department. It's the closest thing to Stu that we got in Scream 2 outside of Matthew Lillard's appearance in the background of a party scene earlier in the film.

Good grief. Can you imagine if Laura Dern got cast in one of these movies?

Also, that last shot there? That's the 500th screencap. Wow. They just flew by, didn't they? *chirping crickets*

"Who gives a flying fuck, anyway? Let them try and track down the second possible killer; Debbie Salt doesn't exist."

The term "who gives a flying fuck" just doesn't get used enough in daily life. Really. I'm not just saying that because Laurie here says it in one of my favourite films. No, I kinda love that phrase anyway. Random.

"You're as crazy as your son was!"
"What did you just say? Was that a negative, disparaging remark about my son, about my Billy?"

"No, Billy was a good boy. Billy was perfect. You did a bang up job, Mrs Loomis."

"It's not wise to patronise me with a gun, Sidney. Randy spoke poorly of Billy and I got a little knife-happy!"

Oh man, such a wonderful dialogue exchange right there. And, again, I still use the phrase "knife happy" when talking about horror movies. I've used it several times, I'm sure, throughout this project alone. Are there any other horror fans who still use Scream 2 dialogue or am I the only one? I hope I'm not.

And I love that Sidney ends the back and forth with her "Isn't Mickey supposed to be dead?" line. It works both as a fake scare and as a sign of Sidney's intelligence. And it also ties back to the first film that feature's Randy's "the killer always comes back for one last scare" line and twisting it to her advantage. Of course, when Mickey eventually does back to life for one last scare... well, guns ablazin'.

In the first Scream it was Stu's house that sorta gave off a Psycho vibe. Now, without the same virtue, they went about doing a shot like this that can't do anything but evoke Psycho. Good work.

Spending all that time behind the stage crying at fake Ghostfaces comes in handy as Sidney goes chop chop throughout the stage effects ropes and pullies, causing a wee bit of damage. What I don't understand is why...

... Sidney felt the need to shake the things that make wind sound effects. That ain't gonna help you get out alive, Sid!

Geez. I know the play is about the fall of Troy, but does that really mean the entire set needs to be able to fall apart? I mean, sure, it's great for Sidney to be able to cut one rope and have an entire light fixture swing down as well as having piles of theatre props tumble from high surfaces, but it hardly seems safe.

Oh Sidney, did you really think a few (or twenty) Styrofoam blocks would make it safe to walk down a narrow, darkened corridor? Not on your life!

I just love how completely over the top psychotic Mrs Loomis is played here. I mean, it's as if they figured they were never going to be able to replicate the visceral terror of the first film's climactic reveal scene and so just went in a completely different direction of making it as bonkers and excessive as they could. I do think it works for Scream 2 since the film itself is so much larger in scope and less gritty in its directing.

Cotton! You awesome son a gun. Seemingly emerging out of the smoke to save the day amidst his knack of being in the wrong place (whether that is being caught with Sidney's mum, caught by Gale with blood on his face, caught at the library...)

If he didn't end up being a talk show host, Cotton Weary appears as if he could have easily slipped into the role of '90s action star in movies with titles like Cold Steel or Maximum Throttle.

"Cotton, meet Billy Loomis' mother. She's the killer."

Such kind pleasantries under such duress. Like Cotton's little "hi" and Mrs Loomis' raised brow in response.

A nice little "teehee" moment.

See, Cotton! So much hassle and confusion could have been avoided if you just wore different shoes. Like sneakers or thongs or those annoying ones with wheels inside them or that beep lights out when you step and apply pressure. I hate those.

"Let me kill her! As long as she's alive you'll never be the leading story. That's what you really want, isn't it Cotton?"

Well that's not true. I'm sure he was the leading story for all that time he was being sentenced to death row. :/

"I bet that Diane Sawyer interview's looking real good right about now."

"Consider it done."

Bam! Bitch went down. Love the way the music crescendos to silence and Sidney's simple "Consider it done." And then BAM! I'll give them one thing... at least they didn't go really referential and have Mrs Loomis here get her head cut off like Jason's mother. And I really do like that for a film that really did follow the blueprint of the original for long stretches and included many references to scenes and moments from the original, they really did go on their own path with the climax. Not just the over-the-top angle, but everything. Well, except the guns. Will we ever get a Scream movie that doesn't end with a shootout?

"Wow. That... was intense."

Cotton Weary, ladies and gentlemen!

Ouch. Poor woman. All she was trying to do was avenge her son's brutal murder by pretending to be someone she wasn't and teaming up with an active serial killer to murder multiple college students who had nothing to do with anything and eventually try and wipe out the group of survivors from her son's original massacre. Geez.

In the original it was Neil Prescott who I-guess-we-assumed-you-died-even-though-you-obviously-didn't-you-just-disappeared-for-a-long-time-and-we-forgot-about-you-OMGTHEREYOUAREALIVE!!! and this time it's Gale. It works though because so much has indeed gone on since she got shot that an audience member would be forgiven for having forgotten she was lying down here. And, I guess, unless you're paying super attention you mightn't have noticed she only got shot in the ribs.

All they need is that music that appears every time one of Bill's assassins shows up and it would be like a DIVA moment from Kill Bill!


Cotton in Keanu mode. And how bad ass does Gale look in that first shot of her shooting at Mickey?

Ya know. As I type this, Timothy Olyphant has just gotten an Emmy nomination for his performance in Justified. Now, I've never seen that show, but I think we can all agree that Mr Olyphant would be much more proud knowing I have spent this much time dedicated to screencapping and discussing the ins and outs of an early slasher movie performance that he gave as an up-and-coming actor. I really do think that and nothing you can say will convince me otherwise.

"Just in case."

Well, Mickey was only shot multiple times earlier by Mrs Loomis so his resurrection can be somewhat plausible. However, I don't think the so-called Debbie Salt will be making a comeback from this wound. She'll never get to finish filing that fictitious report to that fictitious newspaper that Gale so rudely interrupted (who was she calling btw? was she just out there on the phone that eventually Gale would emerge out of hiding?)

Oh. So, that's it. Well, not quite, but that's all the action for Scream 2 over and done with. Wow. That took a while! One more scene to go, plus the end credits and then we're truly finished for this sequel. Oh gawd, WE'RE NOT FINISHED YET!!!

Intro, Scene 1 Scene 2, Scene 3, Scene 4, Scene 5, Scene 6, Scene 7, Scene 8, Scene 9, Scene 10, Scene 11, Scene 12, Scene 13, Scene 14, Scene 15, Scene 16, Scene 17, Scene 18, Scene 19, Scene 20, Scene 21, Scene 22, Scene 23, Scene 24, Scene 25, Scene 26, Scene 27, Scene 28, Scene 29, Scene 30, Scene 31 Scene 32, Scene 33, End Credits

Scream 2
Scene 1, Scene 2, Scene 3, Scene 4, Scene 5, Scene 6, Scene 7, Scene 8, Scene 9, Scene 10, Scene 11, Scene 12, Scene 13, Scene 14. Scene 15, Scene 16, Scene 17, Scene 18, Scene 19, Scene 20, Scene 21, Scene 22, Scene 23, Scene 24, Scene 25, Scene 26, Scene 27, Scene 28


Laika said...

Thanks for the reminder of how much I love this film - even the David Warner/Cassandra scene - it's easily my favourite of the series, even more than the first. A lot of that has to do with Laurie Metcalf, who is the best villain in anything ever (and I love the alias 'Debbie Salt' more than I can explain), and the Gale/Dewey scenes, but I also realised, watching it again last week, just how fantastic Neve Campbell is in it. She really sells the emotional turmoil without overplaying, and she really sells the physical stuff too.

Mierzwiak said...

Scream 2 finale is one of the many reasons why I think sequel is better than original. I like climax in the first movie, but watching it through the years I became more and more annoyed by Billy and Stu, their behavior and characters themselves. Let's just say they're not my favourite movie killers.

But Scream 2 climax? I love the killers' revelation, and every time I'm watching it I have so much fun because of BRILLIANT performances of Laurie Metcalfe and Timothy Olyphant. I also admire the setup and production design of the entire sequence, it's so original and fresh for the genre, even 14 years later.

Glenn, you forgot about one great moment, just after Psycho reference with the eye. When Sidney starts her backstage show, Ms. Loomis tries to break down the door, she's doing it in so psychotic way. I love it.

My top 3 of Scream 2 scenes:
1) Sound studio chase
2) Opening
3) Finale

JA said...

God Laurie Metcalf's expressions are PRICELESS in this scene. I love her scenery-chewing here so much, but while it's a BIG performance she tinges it with just enough real grief. The way she says, "My Billy?" always gets to me a little bit. You do have brief (VERY BRIEF) flickers of sympathy towards her.

Plus all that hot Timothy Olyphant hotness? SCORE.

Weathers said...

This is a terrific scene.

I love Laurie Metcalf's performance. I love how she is over-the-top, but that she knows when to pull back. The way she takes offense to Sidney's negative comments about Billy are really well played. And the line you included about getting a little "knife happy" is so twisted, the character seems very pleased with her work. So I think it's a great performance. I know others have issues, but I think Metcalf really did find a great balance and made the character fun to watch and added a little more depth to a smaller role than expected.

And I also love how she so completely dismisses Mickey's motive.

When I think about it, Mrs. Loomis (does she ever get a first name in the franchise? I can't remember) may be my favorite killer reveal. I think the character and performance really hit the mark. And I kind of like her "good, old-fashioned revenge" motive. It's not complicated, she's just pissed. Not really a motive that justifies multiple homicides, though, Mrs. Loomis.

Weathers said...

Oh, and I also think Neve Campbell deserves more credit than she generally gets for her portrayal of Sidney Prescott. You start seeing her crack in this film (which makes sense).

I think "Scream 3" has many flaws (but I still like it), but I think Campbell may be at her best in that film. The character grew nicely throughout the series. So I'm interested in reading your thoughts on the much-disliked third film.