Scream: Series Premiere Review

"Survival is just don't wander off alone." Easier said than done. Here's our review of MTV's series premiere for Scream.

We are no longer in Woodsboro and these are not the kids of the original Scream franchise. While a majority of MTV’s Scream premiere focused on building anticipation and fear, it didn’t shy away from a graphic opening sequence reminiscent of the iconic opening to the original movie in 1996. There were many things in tonight’s pilot that reminded us of that first movie, but there was more that has adapted into a modern day retelling. Creators Jill Blotevogel and Jaime Paglia bring us back to the classic slasher, horror genre, but set it in a whole new town with all new characters and a different motive for our killer. 


What’s the same?

The terrifying, distance defying object of the phone. No, they are no longer the size of tissue box, but they are still our mystery killer’s weapon of choice.

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What’s different? 

It’s not just phone calls anymore. It’s texting. It’s not just saying what his/her victim is wearing to make it known that someone is watching them; it’s recording it and sending it to their phone. You’re more afraid of the text tone rather than the ring tone.  

We are quickly introduced to this world when Nina (Bella Thorne, Big Love, The Duff), the killer’s second victim of the night (if you include her finding her boyfriend, Tyler’s severed head in the pool his first) is receiving annoyingly consistent messages on her phone. Sure, it says it’s from Tyler, who had just dropped her off and she was soon convinced it was him too. She eventually liked the games he was playing, sending her a video of her changing in her room, texting her about how good she looked. 

The scene even went as far as showing us, the viewers, a text message that Nina didn’t get a chance to see.

“Head’s up.” A splash in the pool. Then her boyfriend’s head floating in front of her. It was only a few moments before her own throat was cut open too.  

Awareness of the horror genre

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What’s the same? 

Not long before Nina’s fellow classmates and “best” friends find out about her murder, their class discussion just happens to be about the horror genre. Our staple nerdy character, Noah (John Karna), is our go-to guy for horror film information from movie titles to theoretical analysis. In fact, that is most of his conversations throughout the episode; with his classmates, at Audrey’s wake (kegger), with one of the popular girls. This guy lives and breathes horror… so what’s his scoop? 

What’s different? 

It doesn’t matter how much they talk about it. Brooke, the staple bitchy character who thinks having a keg and wearing black is good enough for grieving her dead friend, is almost set up to be the next victim. When the motion sensor lights go on in the garage, she goes to seek it out alone. Alone? Really? Your “best” friend was just murdered, her boyfriend is the suspected killer, and you are going to your garage alone? 

Well, maybe she didn’t die tonight. But, she may be next. A bitchy, popular girl hooking up with her teacher may make her an easier target.

The Motive 

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What’s the same?

This one isn’t about an affair, but still having to do with relationships…somewhat.

What’s different?

Unrequited love is the driving force…in the most twisted sense. The story is that 20 years earlier, a girl named Daisy was stalked by a boy named Brandon James. However, his deformed face left him a target to ridicule and bullying which he no longer could take. He soon started killing the students who ever hurt him while still obssessing over this girl, Daisy.

When she agreed to meet Brandon, he didn’t realize it was a set up and was shot and killed by the police. So, now we are in present day in probably the most interesting storyline in the show so far in which only the viewers and colleague, Clark (Jason Wiles), know that Daisy is actually Maggie (Tracy Middendorf), Emma’s (Willa Fitzgerald, Royal Pains) mother. 

Emma, the good girl of the show with the jock boyfriend (who has his own secrets, like where he and his friend truly were the night of Nina’s murder) seems to be one of the new targets. When Emma’s mom receives a gift on the doorstep of an animal heart, it came with a card saying how much Emma looked like her when she was her age. 

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Could Brandon James be alive? 

General Consensus 

Compared to most TV shows on the air right now that would fit the “horror” genre like The Walking Dead or Bates Motel (both of which are too mentioned in the show), this show takes us back to basics. Feeling like someone is watching you, following you, all the time. Being worried when you see a character’s back to a very open area (i.e. when Nina is in her hot tub with her boyfriend’s head) or just that almost dated horror music build up. I like the “throwback” feel to this show, while still making it modern for new age audiences. The texting, the high school dynamic, the pace. 

With a cast of generally unknown, young actors, it makes for an even more captivating show. We aren’t just getting to know new characters but new actors as well. You truly have to base your judgements off character development and not just off, “Well they’re a pretty popular actor, they won’t die.” Not to mention, a lot of popular shows today don’t even take that into account anymore. More and more television shows are breaking the stereotypes…so just how many stereotypes will this show break?

So far, all we know, is that we have a range of possible killers, but only our crazed, horror fanatic, Noah we have seen with blood on his hands. Or should I say, forehead, as blood smeared across it when he pushed back his hair in the final scene. But, what about Kieran (Amadeus Serafini), the new kid? How about Will (Connor Weil), the perfect jock boyfriend who was closer with Nina than originally thought? Or maybe his friend, Jake (Tom Maden) who had video recordings of her. Maybe even the girl with the most motive, Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus, The Flash), who Nina had just posted a video of her making out with another girl, making her a laughing stock at school. 

Knowing this show was going to be on MTV, I thought for sure it would be all sex, drugs, and blood. A lot of blood. But so far, it’s a cast of characters set up to be loved, trusted, and ripped way. A lot of them are steeping in a classic teen stereotype as I have mentioned above, but it’s all a part of throwing us off. So, while some of them may be already driving you crazy, they give you just enough in this pilot to still want to know their story.

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3.5 out of 5