As a boy who grew up up in the 90s, the Scream movie franchise has no secrets for me. I saw the first three a bunch of times, and the fourth only once, for nostalgia and for fun. And as a boy who grew up in the 90s IN a little town, I can assure you it was hard to wander alone at night without imagining Ghostface coming out of the dark to kill me. It lasted a few years until I became a grown-ass man. I’m not scared anymore. And I’m totally over slasher movies too. As today’s teenagers are… unless they have never been into it in the first place because the genre doesn’t really exist anymore. Yeah, I sound old. And that scares the shit out of me. Anyway. Even if it seems like it’s the worst time to launch a TV series based on Scream, MTV doesn’t feel the same way. It took time -the development was so hard the first writers were politely thanked before a new one was hired to repair the damage- but now there it is. Scream, the TV series. Believe me or not, it’s not as bad as it might sound.
This is not a sequel, since there is no direct link between what happened in the movies and what’s happening here. It doesn’t even take place in the same town. We can call it a reboot. The story is pretty much the same, but updated with new technologies. Of course, these teenagers do selfies, chat on Facebook, communicate on Twitter and send Snapchats to each other. And it’s pretty convenient ! It gives the serial killer many more ways to toy with them. It doubles up the fun! This way, they can revisit some of the most popular scenes just by changing a few details. That’s what happens with the cult opening scene with Drew Barrymore, spiced up here with a webcam and Snapchat instead of the good ol’ phone. And also a severed head, but it has nothing to do with technology. I’m guessing The Walking Dead is to blame. All of this doesn’t make it scarier but it works somehow. What they also kept is the very special tone of the dialogues, where teenagers constantly refer to pop culture, other horror movies and TV series, to show they won’t let a little copycat killer outsmart them. They think they know all the tricks, they act like they saw it all but of course, they’re wrong. Sadly, it’s not as sharply written as the movies were -Kevin Williamson is not involved, that’s why- and it’s not original anymore.
I’m not a big fan of the characters for now, especially the male parts. They all sound the same, easy on the eye but dumb. And there’s the nerdy one of course (who’s not that ugly). It’s typical MTV characters. The girls are a little more interesting, outside of the usual bitches. Emma, our heroine, is the cool chick you want to hang out with. Audrey, her ex-best friend is different. She’s dark, some would say she’s a tomboy. She clearly doesn’t know who she really is yet, and not only sexually speaking. I really like her. Like in Teen Wolf, the parents play an active role in the story, and of course one of them works at the sheriff department. At some point, a character says “it’s a not whodunnit show” but “a whydunnit”. And he may be right. But is it really what we’re looking for?
“You can’t do a slasher movie into a TV show. Slasher movies burn bright and fast. TV needs to stretch things out.” Here is what the writer says through the voice of the character of Noah. Does he believe in Scream? He’d better be and he’d better prove to everyone that yes, it’s possible. But he knows what he’s talking about at the same time: he was a writer on truly shitty Harpers’s Island… Me, I’m not totally sold for now but it’s not that different from Teen Wolf so I guess it could work and I wanna watch. One last thing: why o why did they decide to trade the iconic mask inspired by Munch for a “mask made of flesh“? Outrageous!