Scream -The TV Series- (Episode 8-10) & Season 2 Speculations.

I meant to have this up earlier but life and writing but in the way. What can I say? When the mood strikes then you've got to hit the iron hot. It helped since I'm literally a chapter away from completing my second arkest Nights book before I go and do some polishing. 

So Scream -The TV Series has finally ended and naturally there will be spoilers in this review. The finale was aired a week ago and now I'm left wondering where the series will go. Will Lakewood be tormented by a new killer? Will a new Sheriff come into town, see what's going on and decide to leave before he becomes mince meat? Well we have to wait until 2016 to get the answers so lets just focus on episodes 8-10 of season 1 before we talk about speculations.

I already said in my review of episodes 1-7 that I loved the show and felt it was just what the series needed. I still stick to that but it's clear that the show needs to be a bit less obvious about who the killer is and with its story overall. I'm not even kidding, I predicted almost everything that happened in the show. I predicted that Brandon wasn't the killer, I predicted that Emma's mother had a child with Brandon and given it up for adoption only to come to Lakewood to cause havoc.

The killer was Piper and it wasn't a surprise in the slightest. It just felt too obvious. I started to suspect Branson and Piper almost at once. I made the same "BranDON/BranSON" connection as Noah and thought it was something the killer would do and I felt that it was either going to be a "of course" moment later on or it was an intentional red herring. The moment Noah said what I was thinking I knew it wasn't him, only leaving Piper.

The best thing about the Scream films was that they were usually very good when it came to keeping you guessing...except Scream 2 with Mickey but the appearance of Mrs Loomis was a genuine shocker. Maybe that was what the show was going for because later it was revealed to the audience that Audrey was in on the whole thing! There had been clues of course. Audrey had the voice changer app on her phone (I still can't believe the films and the show really try to get away with this since there is no such voice changer that gives that kind of excellent result), Audrey had a photo of Brandon that was never explained and Audrey's DNA was found on the inside of the mask.

We were meant to believe that the killer had planted her DNA there somehow and Emma even said that she was suspicious because since Audrey had been taken into questioning she hadn't heard anything from the killer. Now this is clever because Emma is then convinced that Audrey isn't the killer and helps get her out of trouble, unaware that she actually let the killer out!

But not only that but there is something I feel many might have missed out on.

The timelines don't match. The episode Audrey was in prison being questioned was the same one where Will and Piper were "attacked". The killer came in, took a slice at Will and dragged him off while a "unconscious" Piper was left behind. The problem with this is that Audrey wasn't released until the night, meaning that there has to be a third killer! While the reveal that Piper was the main killer was obvious, the show is smart enough to try and lead you down the wrong road. Noah even questions who the one who attacked Piper and Will while taking over Piper's podcast and the camera is pointed directly at Audrey. You're meant to think it makes sense until you actually put the pieces together.

The last three episodes are dedicated to pointing the finger and trying to throw you off. Piper takes Emma to Brandon's mother who confirms that Brandon's son came along and his name was Seth only for Piper to come along and tell Emma that she went back because something was bugging her and Brandon's mother identified Kieran as the one who came to speak to her. Again I didn't find this convincing. I was convinced it was Piper and it wasn't until Audrey was revealed to be alive that I suspected her and Piper's "I have another surprise for you" told me all I needed to know. Audrey came in and shot Piper before she could spill the beans and expose her. It didn't make too much sense until you see that Audrey was being hailed as a hero for saving Emma who was being identified as her best friend.

Audrey hadn't killed for revenge like Piper. She had killed and manipulated Piper because she wanted her best friend back. Emma had left to join a new group so she killed the ring leader, Nina, and then killed her boyfriend Will. Some people are speculating on who killed who and I think I've worked it out.

Piper: Nina and Rachel.

Audrey: Riley and Will.

I think Piper was the one who pushed Rachel off the balcony but I firmly believe that Audrey was the one on the phone. The Scream films often had someone talking on the phone to keep the intended victim busy while the other killer snuck in. I think Audrey killed Riley because she was getting too close to Noah and she didn't want a repeat of Emma and Will. She wanted Noah all to herself and so she killed her. It is also pretty obvious that Audrey killed Will because Audrey was angry at Will for a) taking her best friend away, b) going out with her for a bet, and c) she told Emma that she wanted her to have more pride but instead she took him back. It was established that Audrey could take Will on earlier in the show during their self-defence classes and Will was recovering from a stab wound.

Now Season 2 Speculations. What do I think is going to happen? Well like I said, the timeline doesn't add up and implies that there was a third person involved and I don't think they'll be too happy that Audrey killed Piper. Does Audrey know about the third person? I doubt it and that it's going to be the storyline for Season 2. The third killer is going to want to take revenge and in a nice twist, Audrey might become the central figure for Season 2. Emma will still be there but it'll be Audrey getting the phone calls but Emma will be the main target.

Audrey went through all that to get her best friend back. We don't know if it's because she's in love with her, since now nothing we know about Audrey can be trusted. She could have only been in a relationship with Rachel to use her to her advantage. Maybe she just really wanted her best friend back. We don't know and that's why I think Audrey might become the main character in Season 2. We'll get to learn all about her and see her struggle with her choices, much like Emma had been in Season 1. Will Audrey tell Emma about her involvement to try and keep her safe or will self preservation take over? If Emma is no longer the main character then there is every possibility that she won't be the final girl.

I'm excited to see where the second season goes because it's what I actually wanted to happen in Scream 5. Back when I originally watched it and Jill was revealed to be the killer in order to take Sidney's role as the final girl I thought it was brilliant. As much as I love Sidney it would have been a strangely fitting end for her. The theme of family has always been strong in the Scream franchise and Sidney dying at the hands of her own family member would have brought her story full circle while leaving Jill to go on into the sequels, only to now be the target. I felt that it could have been a brilliant twist. We're suddenly forced to follow the previous killer and be torn on whether we wanted them to die or not because the new killer was slaying innocent people and we wanted them stopped.

 

 

If this is where Season 2 goes then I'll be very impressed and shows that the show can be smart in a totally different way to the films. Maybe Piper being the killer was intentionally obvious. Maybe it wasn't, but the possible misdirection the show throws you in at the end is what makes it work while also leaving it open to a new Season. The plan had been to originally do the show as an anthology series and I at first believed that was the way it should have been. I didn't see how they were going to introduce a new killer and have it work...

Only to realise that they already have.

Scream -The TV Series- (Episode 1-7)

Contains spoilers.

"You can't do a slasher movie as a TV series," Noah Foster says in the pilot episode of MTV's adaption/reboot of the iconic slasher film series, Scream. When it was announced that MTV would be making the show there were some obvious concerns from fans. This is a channel that produces shows such as Teen Mom while the original Scream revived what had become a dead sub-genre of horror. The slasher genre had been plagued by bad sequels that were cheap to make and belonged in the over-the-top 80's. The Friday the 13th series almost had a film out every year from 1980 to 1989. That's how easy it was to make them and by the 90's everyone was aware of the rules and the conventions of a typical slasher film.

Then came along Scream, written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven, famed horror director of the original Nightmare on Elm Street, and it presented a new kind of slasher to audiences. This was a horror film that poked fun at horror films by pointing out the conventions, as an audience member would. The audience are aware of the "never have sex" or "never say I'll be right back" rules. It was a smash hit and was followed by three sequels with varying results. The fourth film did not make the financial killing (pun intended) that the studio was hoping for and, with the supposed fifth and sixth films cancelled, it looked like the series had been laid to rest.

So MTV had a lot of weight on their shoulders when it came to developing a TV series. Some were skeptical. I wasn't. I've watched MTV's Teen Wolf, an adaption of another (although not as fondly remembered) film and they managed to take what was originally a goofy, light-hearted comedy and turn it into a serious TV Show with a fantastic cast and writing team that doesn't talk down to its audience or spoon feed them. It handles subjects in a mature way and its small amount of episodes mean that its plot threads aren't stretched out to ridiculous lengths (I'm looking at you Vampire Diaries) and it constantly feels like its moving forward, so I was optimistic when it came to them "rebooting" Scream. It had ten episodes which meant it had more than enough time to establish characters and brutally murder them.

When it comes to horror I'm very picky. As a genre I don't particularly like it. I like horror films but as a genre it's bogged down by terrible sequels full of unlikable characters and unnecessary jump scares or are just overly gory for the sake of being gory (basically the Saw films) but at the same time some of my favourite films are horror films. Halloween, Halloween 4 and the first two Scream films are all in my top ten films and that's because of their characters. They are given time to either develop or come across as normal human beings, not stereotypes (although it could be argued that Halloween did have stereotypes, e.g. the repressed virgin with Laurie) so a TV series felt like the perfect place to tell a horror story.

So Scream the TV Series. What do I think about it? Going by the previous few paragraphs it shouldn't surprise you that I like this show. I'm only covering the first seven episodes and will cover the remaining three when they air so this is a "so far" review. The problem with reboots and remakes is that they walk a very thin line when it comes to making references to the previous instalments. They can come off as unoriginal with too many references or scenes inspired from the originals. At the same time they could fall into the trap of not respecting the original enough  then it becomes unrecognisable to fans of the original. Scream the TV Series luckily doesn't have these problems.

"It's a very simple formula!" Randy exclaims about the slasher genre in the original film and ironically Scream developed its own formula. We expect certain things from a Scream film. We expect the killer to torment his/her victims with phone calls, we expect the meta tone, a dramatic death to open up the story and Scream has oddly always had this theme of secrets within a family. The TV series has all that and expands on them. The killer now more tools at his/her disposal. He/she now torments his victims with phone calls, text messaging and at one point even Snapchat! You have the meta tone with Noah, who acts in many ways as the Randy of the show and even the killer makes a meta remark at one point. Secrets in a family as a theme now is both literal with Emma's mother and metaphorically with Emma's surrogate family with her friends (and even some of their parents are holding back secrets).

It hits all the marks of what we expect from Scream and because of this the show's references come off feeling very natural and even scenes/dialogue that resemble the original don't feel like ripoffs because every Scream film technically followed the same formula and story beats. They all had a scene where they deconstruct horror films and Scream 2 had a discussion about how sequels tend to pale in comparison to the original. It was a film where characters in a horror sequel insulted horror sequels. This is a show based on a slasher film that has a character bluntly point out that a slasher film as a TV show wouldn't work. They all had secrets within Sydney's family come to light, whether it was her mother's affairs coming to light or her cousin's insane jealousy issues causing her to go on a murderous rampage. The show is very much focused on Emma finding out the secrets of her mother's past and her connection to the town's supposed notorious mass murderer, as well as Brooke finding out that her father might have murdered her mother and covered it up.

As I've already said the extra run time means that these story elements can be expanded upon. Usually the revelation of the family secrets would be only vaguely hinted at and then actually exposed with the unmasking of the killer or literally just come out of nowhere but in the series the killer actually gives Emma clues and/or answers throughout the episodes. In fact he/she teases Emma about the fact her mother is keeping secrets and in turn forces Emma to keep secrets from her. The killer even exposes the secrets that her friends are keeping from her.

Are there problems with the show? Of course. Nothing is ever perfect. The character of Jake in particular comes off as a too-obvious red herring. He acts a bit too over the top and suspicious to actually be the killer but that in itself could be a red herring and oddly enough there are some plot points that come and go way too quickly. A serial killer is tormenting the town so obviously the FBI are brought in and the Sheriff is kicked off the case because of his lack of results, but all it takes is one episode for the FBI Agent to be taken off the case and for the Sheriff reinstated. Plus Emma's love triangle (yes...sadly there is a love triangle involved) with Will and Kieran comes in like a flash of lightning. It literally starts in the first episode. There's no build up to it. Emma finds out that Will slept with their mutual "friend" and the next thing we know she's making out with Kieran in a greenhouse. Did I mention he had just moved to the town? Because THAT'S not at all suspicious...

Where it also fails is that it comes off a bit predictable. This isn't because of the story beats inspired from the original four films, however. In the first episode they establish that the town had a mass killer called Brandon James who was apparently obsessed with a girl called Daisy. He then went on a murderous rampage after she freaked out after seeing his disfigured face. They claim that no one knows who Daisy was and in the next scene we see Emma's mother getting out a hand carved heart with "Daisy" carved into it. It was at this moment I predicted that Brandon wasn't really the one who killed all them people and even predicted that Emma's mother might of had a sexual relationship with him and that could explain why Emma's dad is absent. Sure enough Emma's mother reveals to Emma that Brandon was her friend and she didn't believe that he really "snapped" and committed the crimes on the night of the murders. The next episode the killer sets up a sick game just to give Emma a recording of one of her dad's therapy sessions where her dad says he can't get the image of his girlfriend sleeping with "that monster" out of his head.

Despite this the show is very enjoyable. The characters (aside from Jake) are for the most part likeable. I say for the most part because they are flawed characters. They've made mistakes, some worse than others, but this makes them feel very real and it gives them room to grow. Will starts off as someone who has made many mistakes and allows himself to be influenced and led around by other people, but then he tries to make up for this and takes responsibility for everything he has done. Brooke, who at first comes off as the typical b*tchy blonde girl seen in every slasher film actually decides to change her attitude after the death of a close friend and we see her character grow and, this is where the show excels.

Even though the original film had its quiet moments where the characters could reflect on their lives, they were still limited by the run time of a film. The show does not have this problem. It has enough time to develop its characters and have them react to the deaths of their friends. There's a reason why the majority of the killings happen near the end of a horror film and that's because they can't afford to have the characters waste run time by saying things like "remember that time when..." every time a character dies. This show has a whole 42 minutes where characters reflect on the death of a character and we see the consequences. This, again, makes the characters feel very real and in turn makes us grow attached to them, which makes their inevitable deaths even more painful- something they tell us near the end of the first episode. That is the show's intention and they warned us about it in a very Scream way. We go into horror films knowing that almost everyone is going to die, but we're not given enough time to grow attached to them unless they're an actor we already know and are a fan of. The show gave Will an arc of redemption only to kill him with farming equipment afterwards.

Is the show a worthy successor to the original films? I'd say it's definitely better than the third and fourth instalments. The first two films can easily act as horror's answer to The Terminator/Terminator 2: Judgement DayAlien/Aliens and The Godfather/The Godfather Part 2. If Scream 1 2 are horror's equivalent to the James Cameron Terminator films then Scream the TV Series can easily be seen as their answer to Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles...and that's not a bad thing.

Be sure to check back for my reviews on the last three episodes and my final thoughts!