I have always loved Scream. I first saw it at about 10 years old, picking up a VHS copy at the local CVS to watch. I’ve seen them all. When MTV said it was going to do a series, I was filled with dread. MTV was never known for quality, it produced low rent TV shows with mostly mediocre music stars, whilst real music was mostly forgotten about. The last time MTV was even relevant, Kurt Cobain was still alive and Headbanger’s Ball was still on the air. I wondered what would become of my beloved series, one that inspired a lot in my first novel, including this gem of a scene from the original unedited manuscript.
I closed my eyes as I laid back and tried to not focus on the eerie silence when the phone rang and nearly sent me flying to the ceiling, like a scared cat getting its tail stepped on. “Hello.” I said into the receiver. All I could hear was heavy breathing on the other end. “Hello” I said more hurried and with a little annoyance in my voice. A voice came to life on the other that sounded deep and scratchy. “What’s your favorite scary movie?” It said to me. “Listen fucker” I cursed at him. “I saw that god-damned movie too, so leave me the fuck alone.” -Excerpt from 13 by Kage
So was my fear founded? We will find out.
Same basic premise as the movies, teenagers being stalked by Ghostface and dying off one by one until the big finale.
The first season had an additional backstory to this Ghostface, seeming like an homage to classic flicks of yore, where the killer had some weird backstory, but it works right up until the end, when obvious killer is obvious. Still, that was always one the charms of the series.
I hated the mask at first, but as the series progressed, I cared less about it and went with it. Lighting is good, albeit, typical of Hollywood teen shows and movies, but it works. While the style doesn’t have a Scream feel, the rest makes up for it.
It is a horror show and an MTV show. No one will be winning too many awards, if any at all, but it is fine and passable. The actors do very well in developing the characters, along with the writing, to give us characters to care about. MTV is really showing they can do a series and have it work, they just cannot get their shit behind the scenes working to keep going with more seasons.
The writing is very much in the same vain as Scream. Maybe closer to part three, but the overtones of Kevin Williamson are still there and it hits all the right beats, making me satisfied that this isn’t some scheme to capitalize off the name rights alone. It takes care to pay homage to the film whose name it bears and takes care not to fuck with the formula too much, while being interesting. The teens are characters we can continue to care about and want to see a resolution with, which is nice, given most of the character is movies serve only for use to like the killer. Not here though, it is about the story. Fantastic and much appreciated from my perspective.
For something I had zero hopes for going into it and really thought I would come away pissed off, I was surprised that it was actually really good. It isn’t flawless, but the nitpicking isn’t really relevant to me. I enjoyed it as I enjoyed the original flick as a child and that is all that I can ask for.
I can’t really believe I am going to praise MTV but this series deserves its rating. I also hope we will get a third season, and they resolve what storylines they need too as well as the rumor of the original ghost mask making a return.
I give it 4 stars out of 5