Starring: Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna
Release Date: May 10, 2016
The town of Lakewood is under attack by a masked killer that digs up memories of similar events that happened twenty years earlier. The targets are a group of teens and the people connected to them that may be harboring all sorts of secrets.
The SCREAM legacy started in 1996 with Wes Craven's slasher film that made being meta horror cool. The self aware nature of SCREAM wasn't exactly brand new but it was done in a time when horror needed something new and this film took the slasher film cliches from a decade earlier and exploited them in a slasher of their own as survival hinged on knowing how to survive a horror movie.
Now after three sequels SCREAM has been turned into a TV series for a new generation. I will admit that I had very low expectations for the show and little desire to ever see it. Now that I've seen it I will give credit where credit is due and say that it really wasn't that bad. That may not seem like the most glowing accolades of all time but for the complete fishy smelling garbage I expected I was pleasantly surprised by the watchability of season one.
The cast of SCREAM is attractive, even the nerdy and outcast characters are easy on the eyes. There's no surprise that everyone looks good, we're even treated to quite a few sexy lingerie scenes. Don't worry about feeling like a creep, it's pretty obvious that most of these actors are well into their 20s and not high school students. The acting is spotty and uneven with plenty of overacting and the characters are written with plenty of stereotypical upper middle class millennial kids in mind. This was one of the more obnoxious aspects of SCREAM.
SCREAM is as much a teen soap opera as it is a horror series. Relationships come and go and come, teachers and students are connected, family drama, baby mama drama, cyber bullying, it's all here and it plays as big a role as the murder mystery does. It's not as corny and overbearing as daytime soaps but it certainly has that soapy feel while the horror aspects were surprisingly more violent and gruesome than anything I thought I'd see on MTV. The cat and mouse games become a bit repetitive over the ten episodes and the police force is totally useless. There are subplots that disappear for episodes at a time along with some really awkward editing at times. The biggest flaw SCREAM has lies at its core and immediately limits how successful the show could be - We're expected to care about a lot of characters that we're given plenty of reasons to dislike or at the very most tolerate.
All that said, the revelation of the killer and the twists involved are handled decently. It's never something that easily gives away the killer's identity and later on in the series it becomes fun seeing the setup of character's deaths. As I said before the series is a very easy watch that managed to engage me just enough that I could overlook the flaws and mildly enjoy it episode to episode.
SCREAM isn't going to be a big hit with hardened and seasoned horror fans. It is geared toward an audience that is closer to their high school graduation than their 30th birthday and is more interested in the new Drake song than who the hell Wes Craven is or what he did. MTV knows that and created the show for that audience. As far as that goes I'd say they were successful even if the show really is exceedingly mediocre.
The Audio & Video
Anchor Bay releases SCREAM Season 1 on DVD with a great looking and sounding presentation. The anamorphic widescreen transfer has great detail, color and black levels. It's a spotless picture as it should be. The audio is crystal clear with no distortions or level fluctuations.
The Bottom Line
For a show that I had little interest in and equally little faith in I didn't find myself in misery while watching it. I know I'm not the target audience for this show so I had to take it with a small grain of salt and judge it as such. I wouldn't call myself a fan but I don't think SCREAM is bad. Recommended for fans of lighter horror fare.
SCREAM Season 1 is available HERE