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Firstly, I am super excited to be writing this review. As an avid horror lover and big Scream fan, I was impressed with this TV series. I had my doubts and reservations that it would be a bland, boring teen TV show with no depth, that would insult the franchise. When actually, it honours and modernizes it. This series is based on the movies obviously, but it has a new backstory and cast of quirky characters. I was hooked from episode one! So now that we have determined that this series is shockingly brilliant, let's move on to why exactly that is...
Every episode is jam-packed with clever revelations
and an abundance of twists. The story starts off simple and then gains momentum, thickening, and darkening with each episode. I adored how the writers put in the script to shout out to the haters in the very first episode, that a TV series based on a movie would suck. Just like they did in Scream 2 by having one of the characters clearly say 'sequels suck'. Scream has always been known to be bold, self-aware, and not afraid to speak out. It has also set trends in the horror world. From the cat and mouse game to the helpless girl alone in the house, to the threatening phone calls.
The show blends old conventions from the original movies and brings them into 2016. Such as the typical taunting phone conversations with the leading lady and the killer, the victim strapped to a chair and discovered by the protagonist, the typical characters: jock, slut, nerd, virgin, outcast, rebel, killer and the main character, as well as other conventions that hardcore Scream fans will notice. These are great moments! When you are watching and realize that scene is based on a scene from one of the movies, it will make you grin mischievously.
The acting from the entire cast is excellent. A bunch of young, gifted actors take on the roles of high schoolers, giving the characters depth. From Willa Fitzgerald, who plays Emma Duval, taking the role of the leading lady who the killer is obsessed with. To a new character type that I found intriguing: Bex Taylor-Klaus (The Killing), who plays the bi-curious rebel and tomboy Audrey Jensen. We even see a relationship with Audrey and her girlfriend. Which is the first time we have had an openly bisexual main character in the entire Scream history. We have her best friend, virgin and gaming nerd Noah Foster, who I personally loved. He brought an element of comedy to the show. Of course, all the actors deserve praise as they create realistic characters that we either hate or love or are constantly changing our opinions of.
The backstory is brilliant. A hidden past that is unveiled and revolves around Emma. Similar to the movies, but with more twists and turns along the way. And the final episode of season 1 is quite obvious in its attempt to modernize the Scream franchise.
Character conflict runs throughout and is awesome. We are not only waiting for the characters to search harder into the mystery of the killer and their infatuation with Emma, we also have high school drama at play. But this high school drama isn't your typical sex, drugs and alcohol, although they do make an appearance. These issues are far more 'real'. From suicides, leaked video tapes of an incredibly personal manner, and so on and so forth. The tough experiences that they are dealing with at such a young age are, what I believe, helps the viewer bond with them.
But come on, how's the gore? Well my horror fiends, the gore is sick. And by sick I mean both cool and disgusting. Even I flinched a couple of times at how far this killer goes in their attempt to slay and shock. From the classic stabbing to more Saw-like death traps. Just the way we like it!
A huge whodunnit element comes to play in the show. Think the Scooby gang with horror. If we didn't care who it was or why they were doing it, the series would suck. Fortunately, we do care. We learn to love, hate, and suspect multiple characters throughout. Personally, I was flipping between three people when it came to guessing the killer. I lingered on the actual killer briefly but was dissuaded by the clever events and the backstory we are presented with. Along with this mystery/crime element, the show does a sensational job of creating tension. With silence, then unnerving background music, and a slow, holding-your-breath-in pace, we are glued to the screen as a character tries to save someone, uncover the identity of the killer, or simply try to search for clues.
The action and captivation doesn't let up from episode one until the final showdown! We are left with a huge cliffhanger that makes it clear they will make a second season. And luckily for you, they did, and you don't have to wait too long...
So, to conclude, those who turn their nose at even giving this series a chance, will live to regret it, or not.......
Season 2 airs May 30th!
Bestselling horror author, marketer, blogger, reviewer, business owner, freelance writer.