REVIEW: SCREAM: RESURRECTION

Scream: The TV Series (2015)

 

Starring

RJ Cyler (Power Rangers)
Jessica Sula (Split)
Giorgia Whigham (The Punisher)
Christopher Jordan (Everything Must Go)
Tyga (Boo! A Madea Halloween)
Tyler Posey (Truth or Dare)
Keke Palmer (Scream Queens)
Giullian Yao Gioiello (Iron Fist)
Gideon Emery (Teen Wolf)

Scream: The TV Series (2015)RECURRING/ NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Mary J. Blige (Rock of Ages)
Nash Grier (The Deleted)
Patrick Johnson (Sabotage)
Paris Jackson (Gringo)
Tony Todd (Candyman)
Kathleen Hogan (Conra Kai)
D.C. Young Fly (Armed)
Terrence Jenkins (Burlesque)
Roger Jackson (The Powerpuff Girls)
Robert Pralgo (The Vampire Diaries)

“Scream: The TV Series” was never a big hit over at MTV, both in ratings and with critics’ reviews. Due to its struggles, it was announced that the third season would see a hard reboot with a completely new set of cast and characters brought in to introduce a brand new story-line. The third season was completed after several re-shoots, but then it sat on the shelves in Hollywood for nearly three years due to the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Honestly, all hope was lost that fans of the television show or Wes Craven’s four part Scream movie series would see the show again, but then out of nowhere VH1 bought the rights to the show and dropped the six-episode third season in a three-night event spectacular.Paris Jackson in Scream: The TV Series (2015)Now going forward as Scream: Resurrection under different showrunners and producers – including Scream 1 through 4’s Cathy Konrad and Marianne Maddalena – Scream: Resurrection finds the local football star, Deion, as ghosts from his past emerge to kill him and his friends. When he was just a child on Halloween night, a man with a hook killed his brother, and the events of that night have haunted him ever since. Leading up to the anniversary of the murder, someone dressed as Ghostface begins targeting Deion and his closest classmates. The teens are then forced to work together and follow the rules if they hope to survive this scary movie.Keke Palmer in Scream: The TV Series (2015)RJ Cyler (Power Rangers), Jessica Sula (Split), Giorgia Whigham (“The Punisher”), KeKe Palmer (“Scream Queens”), Christopher Jordan Wallace (Notorious), Guillian Yao Gioiello (“The Carrie Diaries”) and Roger Jackson reprising the role of Ghostface star in Scream: Resurrection with Tyga (rapper: 2009’s Bedrock), Mary J. Blige (9x Grammy Award winning singer), Gideon Emery (“Teen Wolf”), Tony Todd (Candy Man), Tyler Posey (“Teen Wolf”) and Paris Jackson (Michael Jackson’s daughter) appearing in supporting roles. I think the biggest question anyone reading this overview has is: how is Ghostface introduced and does he have a connection to the Scream movies? Well, the original Ghostface costume returns – the previous seasons used a weird sex doll version – and better yet, the original voice of Ghostface returns, too, however, he/she has no relation to the material in the Scream movies.When Deion and his brother are trick or treating as kids, his brother is wearing the Ghostface Halloween costume when he was murdered. Naturally, the killer dons the same costume to mess with Deion throughout Scream: Resurrection. This was a clever way of re-introducing the iconic costume to younger horror fans while easily avoiding the conflict of making it relate-able to the plight of Sydney Prescott. As far as characters go, my favorites were Beth (Giorgia) and Becky (Jackson), although the latter was used so sparingly. I had trouble investing my energy in Deion (RJ) because I didn’t believe in him as the hero.William Scharpf in Scream: The TV Series (2015)Scream: Resurrection also hits a minor road bump at the start because it introduces its own urban legend – The Hookman (played by Tony Todd). Having a Candy Man/I Know What You Did Last Summer type of character in the Scream universe was a little cluttered, but ultimately Tony Todd and Ghostface have an epic battle in a junkyard that is the horror battle royal we’ve all been waiting for since Freddy vs Jason. Also to its repulsion, Scream: Resurrection refers to its central characters as the Deadfast Club (a Breakfast Club parody) with each character matching one of the roles in the 1985 classic. Two of the characters, Kym (KeKe) and Amir (Christopher), are incredibly annoying and then you have a third, Liv (Jessica), who’s so wooden and disconnected from the violence that it hurts the viewer and their overall viewing experience. I don’t fault the actors at all because they have extensive resumes and have turned in great performances in the past. Scream: The TV Series (2015)I blame the sloppy writing and unenthusiastic production team for these blunders. The writing is terrible, even worse than the previous seasons, and the characters’ train of thought and emotions fly all over the place like loose canons, or they’re dead inside and a couple more takes should have been filmed for a better effect. The writing literally made me want to scream my face off, pun intended. You should see how the teens talk about the murders half the time, like it’s as commonplace as eating breakfast every morning. Just terrible.Giorgia Whigham in Scream: The TV Series (2015)Considering Scream: Resurrection is aimed at teens, several romances bloom this season, much like in the previous two. One of the main character’s dad is a big time police officer in town, closely following the outline of “Scream: The TV Series,” but Scream: Resurrection does carve out its own path on occasion. This can be seen in the frequent nightmares and visions that Deion experiences where he or one of his friends is killed by Ghostface, and when the teens decide to take the fight to the killer before one of them gets picked off. Racism, poverty and class discrimination are also heavily explored in Scream: Resurrection due to a more urban setting. One of the biggest pitfalls Scream: Resurrection makes, much like the two entries before it, is its use of throwaway kills. Over the course of the six-episode season, nine victims fall victim to Ghostface, and they’re done so by use of various instruments including needles, trash compactors and lots of fire.Jessica Sula in Scream: The TV Series (2015)While it’s nice to see Ghostface using other weapons, something he rarely did in the Scream movies, I wish he was using these weapons on characters with some sort of worth. Three of the victims could barely be considered characters, another three only had about five minutes of air-time and the last three were part of The Deadfast Club or someone close to them. Only having three dead main or supporting characters packed no emotional punch what-so-ever; not that you’re actually going to care about any of them.Giorgia Whigham in Scream: The TV Series (2015)With one really beautiful visual, one awesome death scene, and a lot of great locations, Scream: Resurrection leaves a lot to be desired. It has modest production value and it tried to do something different than the first two seasons on MTV, but it’s still kind of a shitfest. An abbreviated season that was pushed out in a three night event was a smart timesaver on VH1’s part, but the whole thing still seems unnecessary.Nothing in Scream: Resurrection is actually scary and the writing, and the performances that it births, are absolutely dreadful. Come to think of it, they’re the only frightening thing in the whole show. Not to mention the killer’s motive of “watching scary movies wasn’t enough anymore, I wanted to be in one,” was kind of a let down. I was hoping for more bite in their reveal. Bringing back the original Ghostface costume and voice actor was a welcomed idea, but the rest of Scream: Resurrection was so bad that it took away from this nostalgic effect. And again, Ghostface’s presence wasn’t enough to get fans invigorated in a script that was dead on arrival. I saw the live viewership numbers for episode one (767,000) and episode two (627,000) and I don’t think the ratings picked up after horror fans saw how bad this was. To its favor, though, these numbers are more than double what “Scream: The TV Series” was averaging in season two. Still, I don’t think anyone’s going to rush to buy this one when it’s inevitably released to Blu-ray/DVD this Fall. Another wasted opportunity in the Scream franchise, I think it’s time to put this adaption to rest and leave it there forever.

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REVIEW: SPLIT

CAST

James McAvoy (X-Men: Apocalypse)
Anya Taylor-Joy (Vampire Academy)
Betty Buckley (The Happening)
Haley Lu Richardson (Ravenswood)
Jessica Sula (The Lovers)
Brad William Henke (Fury)
Sebastian Arcelus (Ted 2)
Neal Huff (Moonrise Kingdom)
Kim Director (Inside Man)
Lyne Renée (Ober)
Bruce Willis (Unbreakable)

Three teenagers, Claire, Marcia, and outsider Casey, are kidnapped and held captive by “Dennis”, one of 23 personalities present in the mind of Kevin Wendell Crumb, a victim of childhood abuse diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder.Over the years, Kevin has been treated by his psychiatrist Dr. Karen Fletcher, and appears stable: within his mind, all of his personalities sit in chairs in a room, waiting for their turn “in the light”, i.e. controlling the body, while “Barry” controls who gets to go in the light. Two personalities, “Dennis” and “Patricia”, are kept out because of Dennis’ voyeuristic tendencies and obsessive–compulsive disorder, and both personalities’ worshiping of “The Beast”, a rumored 24th personality.The three girls realize Kevin’s nature when they meet “Patricia”, who dresses as a woman. Casey seeks to befriend “Hedwig”, a personality that claims to be a nine-year-old boy, who confides that the girls will be sacrificed to “The Beast”. He says that he stole control over the light from “Barry” and was persuaded to help “Dennis” and “Patricia”. When Claire attempts to escape, “Dennis” locks her in a separate cell. “Dennis” masquerades as “Barry” while attending a meeting with Dr. Fletcher, but she realizes that “Dennis” and “Patricia” have supplanted “Barry” as the dominant personality. Marcia tries to escape next but is caught and also placed in a different cell. Casey continues to befriend “Hedwig”, having earlier heard him mention a window in his bedroom.“Dennis” and Dr. Fletcher talk about Kevin’s father, who abandoned Kevin as a child. The personalities began manifesting to help Kevin cope with the abuse he was subjected to by his mother, who suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder. They also talk about how a month previously, two girls had placed “Dennis’s” hands upon their breasts as part of a dare, which Dr. Fletcher theorizes is what drove “Dennis” and “Patricia” to take over. Casey persuades “Hedwig” to take her to his bedroom, but she is distraught to learn that the “window” in the bedroom is only a drawing of a window. Hedwig, realizing Casey tricked him, becomes upset but she reminds him that he was going to show her something cool. Hedwig reveals a walkie-talkie, but Casey is subdued by “Patricia” as she unsuccessfully attempts to radio for help.Casey experiences flashbacks of being molested as a young child by her uncle John, who became her legal guardian after her father’s death. Dr. Fletcher begins to suspect that “Dennis” is responsible for the kidnappings, and decides to make an unscheduled visit to where he lives. During the visit, she discovers Claire is being held captive at Kevin’s house. But before she can do anything, Dr. Fletcher is caught, drugged, and locked up by “Dennis.” He soon leaves the facilities, and on an empty SEPTA train car, turns into “The Beast”, manifesting superhuman speed, strength, and agility.“The Beast” returns home. Knowing that the only way to call to the real Kevin is to speak his full name, Dr. Fletcher writes it on a piece of paper before being killed by “The Beast”. “The Beast” then kills and eats Marcia and Claire, while Casey stumbles upon Fletcher’s corpse and her note. She briefly calls Kevin to “the light” by speaking his name. Horrified by his actions, Kevin orders Casey to kill him with his shotgun before his other personalities begin to take over. As “The Beast” returns, Casey shoots him, but only lightly injures him. “The Beast” voices his plans to rid the world of the “untouched”, those whose hearts are impure because they have never suffered in their lives.“The Beast” begins to bend apart the bars of the cage in which Casey has locked herself, but then notices numerous old, faded scars on her shoulders and lower torso, many of which are evidence of self mutilation from cutting. He then rejoices in the fact that she is “pure”. Concluding that troubled people are exceptional, “The Beast” spares Casey’s life and leaves. Casey is rescued by one of Kevin’s coworkers and learns she was being held underneath the Philadelphia Zoo, where Kevin worked and lived. Casey is asked by a police officer if she is ready to return home with her uncle. She hesitates to answer. In another hideout, “Dennis”, “Patricia”, and “Hedwig” exert collective control over Kevin’s body and admire the power of “The Beast” and their plans to change the world. In a diner, patrons listen to the media coverage of Kevin’s crimes, for which he has been nicknamed “The Horde”. One of the patrons notes the similarity between Kevin and a terrorist who uses a wheelchair and was arrested 15 years prior. The man sitting next to her, David Dunn, reminds the patron that the terrorist’s name was “Mr. Glass”.M night shyamalan is a very hit and miss director but luckily split is an absolute hit for many reasons! Fantastic original story that’s genuinely creepy and tense and very well paced out keeping you guessing with chilling reveals as the story unfolds.