Screamers 2: The Hunting (2009)

Screamers 2: The Hunting (2009)

The Perfect Weapon Is Now The Ultimate Killing Machine

A distress signal is received from Sirius 6B, previously thought to have become a lost colony after the screamers wiped out the human population, and a team is sent to investigate and retrieve any survivors. The team only has a small window in which to conduct any rescue as a meteor storm is heading to destroy the planet. When they arrive, they find that the screamers have evolved into something much more sinister and much more deadly.


The current trend for random sequels to long-forgotten films continues with Screamers 2: The Hunting. The original Screamers is something of a minor cult classic featuring Peter Weller and a host of spherical killer machines. It didn’t do that well when it got released and has long been consigned to the vaults. I didn’t think it was that good in all honesty – there was a good film waiting to come out but it was too talky and dragged too much to be consistently entertaining. It had a decent enough plot to carry the film and was helped by a strong performance by Peter Weller. This is exactly the opposite – it’s a lot faster paced, has more action, more gore and is generally more exciting but features less talented actors, a half-assed story and as many clichés as you can shake a stick at.

Screamers 2: The Hunting sticks rigidly to the classic Aliens formula about a group of soldiers being sent to a remote planet where they’re all killed off. If you’ve seen one ‘group of people getting picked off by something deadly’ feature then you’ve seen them all unfortunately. You’ll know who is going to live and die – the token expendable black guy makes an appearance here! Two crew members decide to have sex for no other reason than to provide the film with its token love scene. There are characters that do silly things to further the plot. There are other characters that hide secrets from everyone else which is a tad annoying given that the secrets always make things worse at the wrong moment.

I’ll at least give the film credit for trying to stick as close to the original as possible in terms of continuation. This feels more like a proper follow-up which builds on the original as opposed to a shameless sequel that literally remakes the original with a lower budget. It has the same vibe as the original and uses similar settings and sets. Clearly we get the sense that this is still the same planet. The screamers, in their original form, look as unique and deadly as always. They whiz through the ground in packs to attack and then fly through the air, slicing and dicing their victims until they’ve been shredded to pieces.

Needless to say this leads to plenty of gore and dismemberment – I’m actually quite pleased by the amount of blood on display here. The first part of the film continues along the same lines as the original with the soldiers and screamers doing battle numerous times, resulting in lots of fire fights and explosions. It’s all too routine for my liking. The new version of the screamers taking human form seems to be that good old chestnut of writers taking an easy (and cheaper) route by having their screen menace played by humans instead of costly special effects. The change between small spherical objects into tall humans seems a little far fetched and the film doesn’t do a good job of explaining the miraculous change in physics. The human screamers tend to stay in this form a lot of the time but when they do reveal themselves, at least the make-up effects are convincing enough. I believe there was little CGI, if any, used in these close-ups of the mandibles and mechanical jaws opening. The film shifts from action to more horror-orientated when the human screamers are revealed too which makes a nice change of pace.

Lance Henriksen is given a token cameo role here as the man who designed the screamers and is locked away in his little laboratory on the planet. He really needed a bigger role here and he really needed to appear a lot earlier in the film (it’s about an hour in when he makes his first appearance). He adds his usual screen presence but the words ‘phone-in’ comes to mind when I think of his performance. The character is simply there to explain the plot to the audience and provide the back story and answers to a lot of questions. Peter Weller made the first film but at least he was in the main role. Henriksen could have made this film if he’d have been given a more meaty part. Gina Holden acts with her looks (which are very good by the way) but fails to really get to grips with supposedly portraying a soldier

Greg Bryk plays the token slime ball character that makes things a lot worse for the soldiers by reactivating the screamers. It’s not worth really mentioning anyone else because you could edit footage of any secondary character from this type of movie with another film and still not be any the wiser. To be fair, no one gets a good chance to display any sort of talent as their characters are so poorly written and the dialogue is pretty banal. But at least give it a shot, guys! We like to see someone trying.


Screamers 2: The Hunting takes liberties with the likes of Aliens and The Terminator to conjure up a ‘best of’ feature, containing as much as the writers could get away with stealing and re-imagining. It’s not a bad sequel in all honesty and was entertaining enough for me not to keep clock watching. But we’ve been there and done it so many times that I feel like I’m repeating myself in these reviews.





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