Scream Season 1 Episode 1 “Pilot”
Directed by Jamie Travis
Written by Jill E. Blotevogel, Jay Beattie, Dan Dworkin
Created by Jill E. Blotevogel, Jay Beattie, Dan Dworkin
Starring Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna, Brianne Tju, Amadeus Serafini, Connor Weil, Carlson Young, Jason Wiles, Tracy Middendorf, Tom Maden, Bobby Campo MTV
Air date: Tuesday, June 30th, 2015, 10pm
I am usually a staunch anti-remake guy. But the Scream series that premiered debuting Tuesday night on MTV intrigued me. For once, the concept actually makes sense. The original movie itself was a self referential genre exposing (and revitalizing) film. Its best moments were when it poked fun at itself and the horror genre.
For those living under a rock these last 20 years, Scream was about a horror movie obsessed serial killer(s) who tortured victims over the phone. Nearly two decades later, with social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter, the killers of the series can actually play their sadistic games even better.
The show opens with, of course a video going viral. Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus, Arrow) is caught having a lesbian kiss in a parking lot. Celebrating this are Nina and Tyler (Bella Thorne and Max Lloyd-Jones), the most stereotypical high school “It Couple.” In the grand tradition of the Scream franchise, Nina goes into her mansion for a late night hot-tub and is texted mysterious videos of herself by Tyler. Thinking it a joke she plays along, until well… I mean you can probably guess what happens (see Barrymore, Drew).
Nina’s death is the talk of Lakewood High the next day. Serial killer enthusiast Noah (John Karna) tells of the local legend about a deformed boy with a crush who was bullied and beaten, and went on a crazy rampage, killing five teens 20 years earlier. Noah is an obvious nod to franchise fan-favorite Randy played by Jamie Kennedy. The crush of the killer turns out to be the mother of main character Emma (Willa Fitzgerald). Soon mom is getting hearts mailed to her with messages threatening her daughter.
At a party to celebrate (I guess) Nina’s life, there are more shenanigans as characters develop their backstories and personalities. I like Noah’s budding relationship with Riley (Brianne Tju), and that makes sense because Randy was my favorite character in the franchise. Most of the characters though are brutally portrayed by the young cast, and are written as really dull stereotypical characters. If not for the occasional creepy phone call or vicious slashing of a girl’s throat, you might think you were watching The OC or even Saved by the Bell. Call me crazy, but I can forgive that. I expected it. It is MTV after all. The killer sequences are good and scary for a primetime slot. I like the mask and the possibilities of “who” and “why” with the killer/killers. Sure, some of the acting is sketchy and the dialogue might be laughable at times, but THAT’S slasher horror. If you criticize Friday the 13th for the script… well then just stop, and go watch literally anything else. Scream was a fun, fast-moving hour of scare-TV, that did poke fun at both itself and other horror themed TV series, that take themselves WAY too seriously. For that, I liked it.
Scream returns with a new episode next Tuesday night at 10:00pm ET on MTV.
The first body has been found… but who’s next? See what’s to come on this season of Scream, and don’t miss new episodes every Tuesday at 10/9c on MTV.