There is no doubt that MTV's series Scream had a lot to live up to. The Original Scream (1996) went on to reinvent horror, specifically slasher films, and create a thriving world of characters we watched pitted against a masked murder in a survival game with a true whodunnit ambiance. When the television series was announced, fans of the films wondered how it could potentially fare as a weekly story, and now as we're heading into the series final 2 episodes - here's why I believe the television adaptation is proving it lives up to the name of the iconic franchise.
5 - The New Killer
A huge contributing factor to being recognized as Scream, is our masked serial killer donning a dark cloak and ghostly mask, poised as if it's screaming while stalking his/her prey. MTV made a bold decision by ditching the original ghostface costume, and crafted a new look that takes a respectful approach to the first concept, yet creates a backstory to the costume that the Scream films never did. Building a world around the costume gives so much more meaning to the killer, and I fully appreciate the transition to our modern killer. Now let's just anxiously await the reveal, and hope for a climactic face-off that we can feel building.
4 - Intelligently Written
The writers on the series are simply incredible in every way possible. Writers/Executive Producers Jaime Paglia and Jill Blotevogel deserve recognition for bringing the series to life, and their stellar scripts (with other amazing writers/creators such as Jay Beattie and Dan Dworkin.) Some of the series best moments center on conversations between the killer and Emma with a cat-and-mouse routine that creates tension whenever you hear her phone ring. Most recently, the discussion between Will and Emma before his mishap (RIP Will) was an emotional scene that gives you better insight on their deep connection. There is plenty of foreshadowing moments, as well as other subtleties that you know will be mentioned in the future. Kieran's untold jail story, Piper's father, Emma's sibling, the series gives us just enough moments written in to leave us wanting more than an episode a week. I love the writers of Scream if you haven't realized it yet.
3 - Pop Culture
Something everyone has come to appreciate from the Scream franchise is the pop culture and meta dialogue used in the midst of horror. While the films used it exceptionally well - the series takes it into overdrive. Pop Culture is even more accessible today than ever before, and the Scream series uses that to its advantage by embracing social media, television, film, and other outlets to show how pop culture savvy Scream is. In the beginning Noah (John Karna) was the way in for our passionately geeky self awareness, but as the series progresses everyone has had in on the fun; For example, Audrey's witty remarks aren't lost on me, "If you suggest the pool scene from Wild Things, I will end you." humorously discussing a movie starring Neve Campbell. Even our killer has found the perks of it by using GIF's of his/her murders and messaging through social media. Consider him a trendy fictional killer!
2 - The Characters
Where to begin... After re-watching all of the current episodes I can honestly say that I enjoy every character in the young cast, but i'll save my compete thoughts for the season 1 review. Emma (Willa Fitzgerald) is a good-hearted being with a desire to handle things on her own account, and protect her friends. She goes through hell in ways that alter her from Sidney, but pays homage to a heroine who is struggling to get through these revelations emotionally unscathed. Brooke (The very talented Carlson Young) is another standout who is the mean girl with a soft side, and also oozes "Final Girl" material. Similarly, bad-boy Jake (Played by the charming Tom Maden) is another favorite who is more than meets the eye. Kieran (Amadeus Serafini) Noah (John Karna) and Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus) are all equally interesting characters who have similarities to the original Scream teens. They've created a cast of characters that makes me want each of them to live, which isn't an easy task given the concept of the horror genre in general. Here's hoping a majority of the cast can move forward into the bloodbath of season 2!
1 - Mystery
The Scream series has many admirable qualities, but the ongoing mysteries of Scream are immensely impressive. From the first episode we find a backstory with Brandon James that jumps into the first intricate puzzle, with a present day killer and plot playing out as well. I find myself constantly questioning what will happen next, who's hiding what, and just who the killer could be! There is enough mysteries planted around each character to give everyone equal moments of suspicious behavior, and I've probably assumed every character is behind the Lakewood murders. When you are nearing the end of the series and everyone is still trying to determine the killer, you know Scream has succeeded. If that isn't enough, we have each characters individual secrets and a mystery child from Brandon James and Daisy who has yet to be revealed. Bring on the mysteries Scream Team, I'm ready to tackle everything you've got!
If you aren't watching MTV's Scream, I highly recommend you binge watch as soon as possible because you're missing out on a prime example of a game-changing horror series.
Scream will air its final two episodes on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on MTV, and keep up for more coverage on MTV's Scream series!