From the moment I saw the first trailer of the 10-hour horror series Scream, I was intrigued! So it shouldn’t be a surprise that when I found out the first season was on Netflix, I started watching almost immediately. So what did I do last weekend? Right, I watched the first season of the horror series Scream: The TV Series, based on the popular film from 1996.
It’s 2015 and various forms of Social Media have become an essential part of the lives of highschool students. So also for the teenagers in the American town Lakewood. What was supposed to be an innocent YouTube video, appears to be the beginning of a new series of attacks and opens up old wounds. 20 Years ago a boy named Brandon James killed several teenagers and now the town wonders if Brandon is back for round two. Or is there a new killer active in Lakewood?
Scream: The TV Series may have the same name as the famous film from 1996 and uses a renewed version of the so-called GhostFace mask, the story is totally different. Compared to the film, the series is more mysterious and less bloody. Overall it follows the same principle, but the events are separate from the film. Although there are references to the first film, whereof one is shown in the first episode. The characters can bring out nostalgic feelings as well, because some can be linked to characters from that first film. However, most have other traits and follow a different storyline as the series progresses.
The series has a number of key players, but the main character is Emma, played by Willa Fitzgerald. Emma is actually a new version of Sydney from the first film and her character is the basis of the story. She is the one that is challenged by the killer and who can put an end to all misery. Emma’s friendgroup consists of her boyfriend / ex-boyfriend and sportsman Will (Connor Weil), his rich and arrogant friend Jake (Tom Maden) and the three girls Nina (Bella Thorne), Brooke (Carlson Young) and Riley (Brianne Tju). We also have Noah (John Karna), the geeky horror fanatic who has a keen interest in the murderer Brandon James, his good friend Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus) – who I know from the superhero series Arrow – and the new kid in town Kieran (Amadeus Sarafini).
Besides these teenagers, obviously there are also older residents in Lakewood. Emma’s mother Maggie (Tracy Middendorf), who has a big secret, the mysterious teacher of the school Seth Branson (Bobby Campo) and the mayor of the city who is also the father of Brooke. Sheriff Clark (Jason Wiles) and the news reporter Piper (Rose Amelia Blair) are characters who might look similar to characters from the film. The actors are relatively unknown, but that doesn’t mean their performance is weak. The characters are not the most profound ones, but they are credible. During these ten episodes the town of Lakewood is subject to a number of murders, kidnapping and extortion. Is a series that is to some extent based on a nearly two-hour film, a harbinger of success? The series is of course longer and that is immediately where the biggest difference lies. The build-up of the tension goes more gradually, but it’s so well constructed that the show keeps you fascinated. Nevertheless, the series did need a warm up. The first two episodes were fairly predictable. Both the actions of the perpetrator as the victims were somewhat obvious. As the series progresses, there are still some moments which were more funny than scary.
Relatively speaking there are few killings, but the mystery aspect of the series succeeds very well! However, if you want to watch this series just for a nice part of blood, you’ll be disappointed. There are certainly some gory moments, but Scream: The TV Series is more of a mysterious search for the killer with occasionally some heart-stopping moments. Some viewers may find this a pity and boring, the people who happens to love a good mysterious horror, will certainly have a good time. There certainly are a few moments of fright and well assembled massacres, but you won’t hear the biggest horror fans scream.
Emma is anything but a ‘wait-and-see’ person. She takes her chance to go on personal investigations, which provides a lot of interesting and exciting moments. She also gets a lot of help from her two geeky friends Audrey and Noah. I happen to love Noah for his genius comments. Little by little the secret of the past becomes clear and connections are made. What is the exact story behind Brandon James, the boy who killed a number of students 20 years earlier. And what is his connection to Emma, the teenager who is partly responsible for a YouTube video that went viral. The presumption is that the killer sees this film as the start to terrorize the teens in Lakewood. The use of Social Media and technology is an amazing addition: movies that go viral and are seen by everyone, and teenagers who can hack anything. The reference to other popular films – mostly done by Noah – can be funny as well.The series is anything but childish or a poor imitation of the successful film of 1996, which was directed by the recently deceased Wes Craven. From the first episode, the tension is there and grows towards the end. Despite the fact that not in every episode a murder occurs, there’s enough happening that keeps you captivated. Another good thing is that the impression is given that several people may be the killer. Characters who suddenly appear or just mysteriously disappear. In fact I had a lot of people on my suspect list. The only person who was never a suspect is Emma. The only true loss is a spectacular chase between the masked killer and the main character Emma. Speaking of the mask, it is not the same as in the film. Whether this is positive or not is for you guys to find out! It does have its good points, but I prefer the old one.
Scream: The TV Series is definitely a successful horror hit. Although the series has relatively speaking few killings and is perhaps less bloody as anticipated, it is anything but boring. The tension is well staged and everyone is a suspect. Besides the leading actress Emma, who at all costs wants to know truth and goes on some personal investigations. There are certainly some fright moments, but that may not scare the biggest horror fan. The best part of the series is the mysterious search for the murderer and the mystery behind Brandon James. There will be a second season since the end has enough perspective and the viewers are left with exciting questions. Scream: The TV Series is now on Netflix, so what are you waiting for!?