So if you don’t know much about me, 1 thing you should know is the 2 movie genre’s to my heart are comedy & horror. I’m a sucker for both done well. So it goes without saying I LOVE the Scream film series. Started by Wes Craven & Kevin Williamson in 1996 about a serial Killer/stalker obsessed with Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Dewey Riley (David Arquette), & Gayle Weathers (Courtney Cox) and spent 4 movies picking off just about everyone who got close to them. The first film is branded as being the horror movie to revitalize the genre, before Scream in the 70’s & 80’s Horror had massive success & records and put out a ton of blockbuster franchise movies like Halloween(1978), Friday The 13th (1980), A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984), and Child’s Play (1988). But between 1990-1995 those franchises popularity started to run out & dry, and worse they started bordering on the cheesy & predictable. Scream however was a smart man’s horror movie, it was also a satire, playing on elements (rules) learned from other popular horror movies, boldly enough to even name drop several.
Cut to today, 2015. Scream has had 4 movies, all 4 good, 2 were great, but a lot of fans want more. So the announcement years ago that MTV had picked up a Scream Series, fans like myself were both excited but apprehensive. Not about it being a new story with new characters, I in fact am VERY happy about that, I love Sidney, Dewey & Gayle, but how many movies can they live through this shit? But what made me apprehensive was it being basic cable, I’m not a huge fan of censorship in horror, and my fear was everything would be watered down and corny for TV. I would’ve been VERY happy about it being HBO instead. Luckily thanks to American Horror Story which seems to be just as creative with it’s horror & gore as any rated R movie, it gave me hope for this series. Also though I’ve never watched, I’ve heard A LOT of good things about MTV’s Teen Wolf revival series, that It’s really dark and like a good horror movie.
Then I watched the show. I’m disappointed, I don’t like it, I don’t hate it, I tolerate it. In some ways it’s a little better than I expected and in some ways it’s a little worst. Starting with the new design of the killer, I’ll grant the new mask that it’s scary, but personally I don’t find it scarier, maybe it’s a personal bias and relationship with the original, but the new design isn’t giving me anything. My number 1 problem that I can’t get over no matter how hard I try is the tone. The tone feels like Gossip Girl, it’s about these whiny teens concerned about sex tapes and dating and mello-drama, nobody seems to be legitimately concerned or scared that there’s a killer picking off kids. Everyone seems so pre-occupied with their drama and it comes off as “Oh yea my best friend just got killed last night, but I think my boyfriend is cheating on me”. And that’s a tone none of the Scream movies ever had (thank God). I think a huge mistake is the target audience (like with Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill) is teenage girls, where’s the movies target audience is horror fans of all ages and sexes.
The show doesn’t give me chills, the movies did, all 4. The characters are too bland and “cutesy” and predictable, I don’t care about the bulk of them because they don’t seem to need me to. I was concerned for the characters in the Scream movies, the legitimately seemed scared (for the most part I mean they had fun moments in between, but for the most part they were very aware that their friends were being killed and they could be next) that’s a HUGE problem. Randy (Jaime Kennedy) was the movies comedic relief mostly, but there was a sense of urgent fear about the way he played the role like he was interested in staying alive and getting through this, I don’t feel that here, and I want to. Even down to the music scoring, the music of the movies was dark, twisted and intense. The music of the series seems light & “cute”…..Not a fan.
But maybe this is all what the show’s vision is, to not be a horror show, but a damatic show with pockets of horror moments. 1 thing I think largely holds it back is it’s title, if it weren’t affiliated with the Scream movie franchise at all (and it doesn’t have to be, NO characters or storylines connect). I think I could let MOST of my complaints slide if that were the case, but no, if you’re going to carry the name of a world famous movie brand, you have the duty to keep the fans of the original interested & happy, and I don’t think they are. Lastly I’ll say that the acting is pretty stiff and not that believable for the most part. 2 actors & characters that are honestly the only reason why m keeping up with the show HOPING it gets better are Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus) & Noah (John Karna). Luckily this isn’t the 1st major horror film series to have a D.O.A. TV series, it happened with both Friday The 13th & A Nightmare On Elm Street, so at least it’s in good company. Well all I can do is hope things change for the series for the better.