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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Scream The TV Series (2015)


This horror-cum-slasher TV series recently concluded its Season 1 on MTV and is a somewhat direct descendant of the popular slasher movie series called Scream. Set in the small town of Lakewood which was once haunted by a series of serial murders 20 years ago, Scream the TV series starts with a group of mean, rich and utterly spoilt high-school friends posting a online video of a secretly filmed making out session between two girls Audrey and Rachel.

Very soon, the cyber-bullying turns into a nightmare as the group's primary perpetrators Nina and Tyler get murdered by a vicious killer who wears the notorious ghost-face mask. As their friends Emma, Brooke, Riley try to cope with the murders in their own way, two of the boys in the gang Will and Jake try to cover up their secret filming and blackmailing activities, while their rest of the gang remains unaware. 

Kieran, Emma, Will, Noah, Audrey, Brooke
Meanwhile, Emma receives threatening phone calls from an unknown stalker who claims to know her mother well and calls her mother a whore and a liar. Meanwhile, Emma's mother Maggie receives a carved out pig's heart along with a threatening note, taking us back to her troubled history. After the third murder takes place, the town's sheriff Clark Hudson and medical examiner Maggie start seeing a pattern and realize that a serial killer is trying to recreate the past murders from 20 years ago. 

As the body count goes on increasing, the killer keeps tormenting Emma with his deadly games. Emma soon discovers her mother's history and connection with the current murders, as she teams up with Audrey and her dorky friend Noah, the serial-killer lover, to unravel the killer's true identity, resulting in a dangerous cat-and-mouse chase.

Comparison with the Scream Movie Series

  • The movie series was set in the 90's when cellphones were just coming up. Therefore, there is bound to be a lot of difference in Scream the TV series that has a modern present-day setting, with social media and internet playing major roles in the storyline. The killer also displays a huge amount of expertise in hacking phone signals, email accounts and school servers.
  • While the movie has Sidney Prescott as the main protagonist, a high-school student whose mother was murdered by the serial killer, Scream the TV series has Emma Duval, another high-school student as the main protagonist. However, in Emma's case, her mother Maggie was in fact Daisy, the love interest of Brandon James, a Lakewood serial killer from 20 years ago before he got shot down by the cops. Emma's father was a surviving victim of Brandon James who later separated from his Maggie.
  • Both the girls Sidney and Emma get frequent phone calls from the killer who stalk their every move, while killing their friends one by one.
  • While Scream the movie series has Gale Weathers, the high-profile TV crime reporter snooping around to find the killer, while also getting involved with Deputy Sheriff Dwight Riley, Scream the TV series has Piper Shaw, a well-known podcast reporter doing the same thing. Both Gale and Piper befriend the primary female characters, although with vastly different motives.
  • In both the movie as well as the TV series, both Sidney and Emma's father are considered as primary suspects, until proved otherwise. Same case with their boyfriends Bill and Will, except that in the movie, Sidney's boyfriend Bill turned out to be the killer, while Emma's boyfriend Will was not so fortunate.
  • Of course, like all high-school slasher movies, there are loads of parties going on even with a serial killer on the loose, serving as a feasting ground for the killer.
  • Last but not the least, the ghost-face mask in Scream the TV series looks slightly less dramatic look, though that was probably not the intention. The one in the movie series looked a lot scarier.
The ghost-face mask

Verdict

Scream the TV series does not lack in the usual clichés of a slasher movie, with loads of meaningless parties, the killer being an expert hacker, main female character's friends getting killed off for no reason, and the list goes on. In spite of all this, the series manages to create a certain amount of chill factor and suspense, especially by having suspicious characters like Seth Branson, the handsome and creepy English teacher who has an affair with his student, or Kieran Wilcox, the Sheriff's son and a newcomer to town who befriends Emma and seems to successfully sabotage her relationship with her boyfriend Will. Even Noah's dorky love and fascination with serial killers raises questions about his motives.

Eventually, almost everyone becomes a suspect and the Scream the TV series manages to retain that suspense till the final episode. The finale has a moderately good ending, though if you had connected the dots well enough, you might have vaguely guessed the true identity of the killer within the last few episodes. Overall, the TV series is entertaining enough if you like the serial killer genre and can look beyond the usual clichés of slasher movies. I will rate it a 6.5 or 7 out of 10.

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