With the 20th anniversary of the 1996 cult horror classic “Scream” on the horizon next year, a remake was inevitably due. Upon hearing initial news of the remake, like most other fans, I rolled my eyes. However, I decided to enter the series with an open mind. I am not trying to hold this series up on the high pedestal created by the original. I decided to watch this show as just another slasher series. Warning: may contain minor spoilers.
The show opens with Nina (Bella Thorne), our new “Drew Barrymore”. The opening scene plays out rather quickly and the final “chase” moments seem rather rushed. However, this is actually one of the few complaints you will hear from me. One thing that I really liked about the opening episode was the use of new technology. This is something that I think Scream 4 could have done more with. The use of snap chat and text messaging from the killer elevates the masked slasher to the modern millennium… a welcomed update of the 90’s original.
At the end of the opening death scene we get our first clear glimpse of the new mask. In close-ups the mask is notably different, however in long shots the mask closely resembles that of the original. The jury is still out on the new mask.
We are then introduced to the new cast of characters. Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus) and Noah (John Karna) both make up Randy 2.0. They represent the knowledgeable horror nerds. Our new Sidney is Emma, played by the very likeable Willa Fitzgerald. The suspicious boyfriend, Will (Connor Weil) and his friend, Jake (Tom Maden) are painted with giant red targets in the opening episode. In true homage to the original, our Billy and Stu are clearly being framed. Rounding out the core cast is the resident rich-bitch, Brooke (Carlson Young), and the new guy in town, Kieran (Amadeua Serafini). The new cast of characters inhabit the world of Lakewood. A Woodsburo look-a-like, Lakewood is every small town in modern America. The grass is plush, the houses are large, the lake is calm, and the suburban environment creates a false sense of security. “A perfect slasher setting”.
In typical MTV fashion, the high school teen melodrama is littered through out. The show looks as if it will have its fair share of cyber bullying, make-ups, break-ups, and heartache. Also tackled in the series is the growingly popular same-sex angle. All of these factors come in a rather cliché manner, but I am willing to accept and expect it, as it is on MTV.
Some aspects from the original that I was happy to see return in the reboot are humor and self-awareness. The humor that made the original film so clever is still sensed in this remake. Everyone can relate to Siri misinterpreting our daily demands. “Call 911! Calling Pottery Barn”. The show also makes a mark at commenting on the state of horror television today, even mentioning how they can’t have a slasher show unless someone dies every 15 minutes. In our new “Randy Rules” scene, Noah proudly exclaims the rules of a slasher series killer. He explains how the killer, like “a wolf”, needs to separate his prey from the pack. Immediately following the rule, we see Brooke alone in the garage. This self-awareness is exactly what made the original so impactful, so I was happy to see the show follow the same direction.
A new aspect added to the show is the history and legend of Daisy or Magaret (Tracy Middendorf). Margaret, the mother of Emma, was stalked as a teen. Her stalker was shot and killed in the town’s lake. When the mother receives a bloody package, the new mythology makes the viewer question if the killer could in fact be supernatural, giving a literal definition to the name, Ghostface (PLEASE NO).
Perfectly capping off the end of the episode, we see our heroine walking home alone on a plush green street (awesome “Halloween” homage), when she gets a call from the killer. Up to this point I was wondering if we would ever hear the killer speak or if he/she would only be present by text. As soon as I heard the voice, I sighed with relief. He sounds very smart and very quick. The new Ghostface voice sounds very similar to the original, only this time around he sounds much younger… eerily similar to Noah? (Hmmm). We are also treated to a glimpse of Noah wiping blood off of his forehead.
Overall, I was very pleased with the premier of “Scream”. As a DIE HARD fan of the original franchise, I was very worried when the remake was announced. I went into the show with an open mind and I actually really enjoyed it. However, I do feel that for the show to succeed, the scare factor is going to need to be amped up. And please don’t add in the supernatural element (fingers crossed). What are your thoughts? Let them rip in the comment section below, and be sure to return next week for my review of episode 102!
Overall Rating: 3.5/5