What’s your favorite scary movie?
If your answer is Scream, you either loved or hated the announcement of the new MTV series based on director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson’s blockbuster horror franchise.
It has been almost 20 years since the original film terrified moviegoers and now it’s ready to scare an entirely new social media-obsessed generation. Series creators Jill E. Blotevogel, Jay Beattie and Dan Dworkin can never compare to Craven and Williamson, but they know what they are doing with this hit series. From the likable characters to the terrifying situations, fans of the Scream franchise will find something to love with MTV’s reimagining.
Here are five reasons why you should give Scream: The TV Series a chance.
1. Pop Culture References & Meta Humor
The films have never shied away from referencing popular culture and the series is no exception. We hear references to horror-themed TV shows such as American Horror Story, Bates Motel, Hannibal and The Walking Dead in between references to The Fault In Our Stars, Fifty Shades of Grey, Game of Thrones, How To Get Away With Murder, The Terminator and Wild Things. In addition, the dialogue even references itself at times with one character saying, “You can’t do a slasher movie as a TV series.” This sense of humor is sure to appeal to Scream fans and pop culture buffs alike.
2. Characters Who Stay True to the Original
It becomes apparent in the pilot that the writers tried to create a sense of familiarity for movie fans. We have our “Casey Becker” (Bella Thorne’s Nina Patterson —who is also killed in the opening scenes much like Drew Barrymore’s character in the film),”Sidney Prescott” (Willa Fitzgerald’s Emma Duvall), “Randy Meeks” (John Karna’s Noah Foster) and the duo of “Billy Loomis” and “Stu Macher” (Connor Weil’s Will Belmont and Tom Maden’s Jake Fitzgerald, respectively).
However, the writers take these archetypes and change things up a bit. The “Billy” and “Stu” of the series are immediately painted as suspects in the pilot. However, this is likely a red herring to play with fan expectations. Also, in a contrast to Jamie Kennedy’s fan-favorite character, the show’s “Randy” gets a love interest and his relationship gets a big shake up in the third episode that will surprise and sadden even the most hardcore Scream fans.
Meanwhile, we also get a version of the “Maureen Prescott” (Tracy Middendorf’s Maggie Duvall) mythology involving family secrets, obsession and murder. This particular story is proving to be more mysterious and richer than even the films preceding it.
3. Teen Drama
It seems funny to think the original Scream writer was the same mastermind behind Dawson’s Creek. While the films are horror stories at their center, there is still a large helping of angst to keep you emotionally invested. Neve Campbell’s iconic “final girl” may have been stalked by a psycho killer but we also cared about whether she lost her virginity to her boyfriend (who, as the movie fans know, turned out to be the psycho killer, himself!). We were also treated to the romance between Dewey and Gale (played by David Arquette and Courteney Cox, respectively) which spanned all four Scream movies.
However, these soap opera elements were only briefly touched on in the films while the TV series gets to spend more time with them. We get a love triangle between Emma, Will and the new kid at school, Kieran (Amadeus Serafini), and, on a more scandalous note, a student (Carlson Young) sleeps with her teacher (Bobby Campo). Meanwhile, the series also delves into deeper issues such as cyberbullying, questioning one’s sexual orientation and depression while exploring the relationship between Audrey Jensen (Bex Taylor-Klaus) and Rachel Murray (Sosie Bacon).
On top of these issues, the significant others of several characters get killed in horrible ways which instantly multiplies the angst. We even get to see them grieve these deaths in realistic ways, something that is not common in the horror genre.
4. Horror, Blood & Gore!
As Noah says in the first episode, “By the time the first body is found, it’s only a matter of time before the bloodbath commences.” The first few episodes delivered just that and it’s sure to only be a prelude of even more graphic kills to come. Blood and gore aside though, the series has its share of edge-of-your-seat moments. From Emma’s intense phone calls from the killer to the “game” where he forces her to choose which of her friends survives, you will be biting your nails waiting for the next big scare.
Also, die-hard fans of the original Ghostface mask can rest easy. The way the series makes use of this new mask is much, much creepier.
5. What Happens Next?
When watching the Scream movies, you try to guess the killer’s identity as soon as the film begins. However, that guessing only occurs through the span of less than two hours. Meanwhile, with the format of a TV series, we are forced to come up with theories of our own for several weeks. Fans have already been leaving comments on numerous articles about their theories and it’s only a matter of time until people start creating entire Tumblr accounts where they investigate and back up their arguments. Since MTV already picked up Scream for a second season, it looks like we could be guessing the killer’s identity for a long, long time.
Scream airs on Tuesdays at 10/9c on MTV.