“You can’t do a slasher movie as a TV series,” Noah Foster (John Karna) blurts out. The class is discussing the current gothic movement of TV shows. The Walking Dead, Hannibal, and American Horror Story are mentioned as the pioneers of the current reinvention of the old genre which started The Castle of Otranto. Noah is reminiscent of Randy from the original flicks. He knows the rules of the game. He is the geeky sidekick.
His opinion mirrors that of so many of us when MTV revealed their plans. Scream as a television show? How can this spill past a first season without boring the audience? Noah explains it. It’s not about the whodunit, as much as it is about the characters in the story. Several plot and subplot points are revealed within the first hour of this new series. We have a viral video outing of a girl. We have the estrange friendship. We have the town serial killer legend. A mother with a secret past. A new kid finding his way. A broken relationship. Two boys hacking the first victim’s computer. A student/teacher affair. And it’s almost as if we’re thrust into a teen drama that finds itself tangled with slasher flick. Because that’s what it is. Very few people admit that they watch The Walking Dead for the zombies, after all, so why should Scream be about the murders? Why can’t it stand on its own two legs?
I’ll admit I didn’t expect much from a series based on 90s slasher movies. The Scream trilogy holds a special place in my heart. What I’m walking out with is an interest in it. Will I continue watching the show? Maybe, if I remember it exists; I’m not the target audience, after all.
Post script note: I’m well aware that a fourth Scream movie exists. The fourth film, as you may remember, stands alone in the way of plot from the first three. All three original movies revolve around Mrs. Prescott’s infidelity in some shape or form. And let’s not forget that each movie is a representation of how horror movies once worked. Part one establishes the rules of a horror movie. Part two establishes the rules of a sequel to a horror movie. And part three establishes the rules of a trilogy. Part four, on the other hand, deals with remakes and how they differ from the original.