REVIEW: SCREAM: THE SERIES HALLOWEEN SPECIAL (2016)

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MAIN CAST

Willa Fitzgerald (Gotham)
Bex Taylor-Klaus (Arrow)
John Karma (Premature)
Amadeus Serafini (Smoke)
Carlson Young (True Blood)
Tracy Middendorf (New Nightmare)
Santiago Segura (Silicon Valley)

GUEST CAST

Alexander Calvert (Arrow)
Alex Esola (The Young Pope)
Zena Grey (Snow Day)
Austin Highsmith (Gangster Squad)
Karina Logue (Bates Motel)
Anthony Ruivivar (Beauty and The Beast)

Everyone seems in good spirits following another of year of murder and torture. The Lakewood teens are just looking for a little break from the Halloween hype and decide to venture off to a remote island where they think a relaxing beach getaway will solve all their troubles. Aside from these teenagers’ total inability to spot a bad plan when it is right in front of their face, there were many changes among the Lakewood crew, some that may even play out for the recently renewed, yet shorter, season three.

I guess if you were paying attention, Stavo and Noah have a lot more in common (creatively) than we thought. Their obsession with the horror genre and death somehow lead them to write/illustrate a book together and therefore have an editor urging for more work. The basis for the trip to the island was their editor, Jeremy’s, idea to help inspire Noah through his writer’s block. Shallow Grove Island (nicknamed Murder Island, mind you) played host to the Whitten mansion where a terrible murder spree occurred in which Anna Hobbs apparently murdered her family and the people they worked for.

The story was eventually proven untrue through some sleuthing and puzzle piecing by Noah. However, this new partnership is one that I’m intrigued by and after Noah’s narration at the end of the episode, the two may continue collaborating in season three. Stavo is finally a part of the Lakewood teens group, instead of being considered as a suspect.

When Emma cozies up with the only remaining descendant of the Whitten family, things start to take a turn. Alex Whitten immediately catches Emma’s eye and most viewers too. He’s mysterious, quiet, good looking, kind. He’s had a troubled life, too with the tragedy of his own parent’s death. Emma relates to his feelings of being in the spotlight because of his trauma and is inspired by how he has made a good life for himself. However, their new romance is tainted by a new set of murders on the island, starting with the man who ran the museum with Anna Hobbs’ mask and murder weapon (garden sheers). Those things were taken and used as the killer’s disguise. Who knew a potato sack mask could be maybe even more creepy than the revamped scream mask regularly on the show?

Then everyone starts dropping like flies, including Stavo and Noah’s arrogant and annoying editor, Jeremy who by the end of the episode, wasn’t such a devastating loss. I thought we’d have to deal with him once season three was back but, apparently not. What this means for their book deal…I don’t know. The Lakewood 6 eventually find a sanctuary at Alex Whitten’s mansion as a storm comes in and prevents them from getting off the island.

I was a little disappointed by the trick factor. I guess this isn’t an M. Night Shyamalan. However, I did like the subtle nod to Shyamalon’s most recent horror film comeback, The Visit. Emma realizes Alex is the murderer on the island when she finds the real Alex Whitten’s mangled body in a chest at the mansion. Yes, Emma gets the final take down of Alex Whitten when she pushes him off a balcony. Emma’s gusto was pretty kickass in this episode and I can’t wait to see more of it. Her character has definitely taken a turn for the better as she has become a person with a lot more strength and gumption. Finally, the Lakewood teens are all reunited and get the hell off that island.

Overall, I was happy with this brief storyline they created for the Halloween special and am excited about the new storylines they introduced that will contribute to the direction of season three. We will have to wait for more answers once season three premieres in 2017. While the season will only be six episodes, that just leaves more opportunity for some jam packed episodes of shock, drama, and a good dose of horror.

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REVIEW: SCREAM: THE SERIES – SEASON 1 – THE DANCE / REVELATIONS

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MAIN CAST

Willa Fitzgerald (Gotham)
Bex Taylor-Klaus (Arrow)
John Karma (Premature)
Amadeus Serafini (Smoke)
Carlson Young (True Blood)
Jason Wiles (Zodiac)
Tracy Middendorf (New Nightmare)
Tom Maden (Killer Coach)

GUEST CAST

Bella Thorne (Amityville; The Awakening)
Amelia Rose Blaire (True Blood)
Bobby Campo (The Final Destination)

THE DANCE

Mr. Branson is taken into custody for the murders, but Emma starts to suspect his innocence when Kieran is placed in the spotlight. Sheriff Hudson is attacked by the killer and Piper and Emma visit Mrs. James, Brandon’s mother, who reveals the identity of Brandon’s son. Brooke plans her Halloween after-party.

REVELATIONS

Mr. Branson has escaped when Deputy Roberts is murdered by the killer, and the search for Sheriff Hudson is on. He is later found, and dies from his injuries. The group is splintered, with Jake, Audrey, Brooke, and Kieran unaware of the killer’s grand finale. Unable to reach them, Noah and Emma take things into their own hands, racing against time to save their friends. The killer claims yet another victim, a random party goer named Greyson, and injures Audrey. The killer also chases Brooke before locking her inside a freezer, where he attacks and non-fatally stabs her through the walls of the freezer. But when her mother is taken by the killer, Emma must rescue her, and when the killer is revealed, she must stop the Lakewood Slasher, once and for all. Once Emma is at the dock, the killer confronts her and Maggie, before being revealed to be Piper Shaw. She is Emma’s long lost sister, and Brandon James’ daughter. She reveals her entire plan to Emma and her mother, then attacks Emma. She is shot dead by Audrey and Emma. Emma’s mother is taken to the hospital, and everyone begins grieving. Noah takes over Piper’s podcast.During his first episode on the podcast, Noah talks about the possibility of Piper having had an accomplice since when Will was attacked Piper had been a supposed victim of the killer. It it then revealed Audrey had exchanged letters with Piper months prior to the murders, which she is shown burning, implying that she was somehow involved with the murders, possibly being Piper’s accomplice.Choosing to end the first season on Halloween was brilliant, having the big revelations come about at Halloween was also a good idea, I absolutely loved these episodes and the big reveal in the finale was  awesome.

REVIEW: SCREAM: THE SERIES – SEASON 2

MAIN CAST

WIlla Fitzgerald (Gotham)
Bex Taylor-Klaus (Arrow)
John Karma (Bindlestiffs)
Amadeus Serafini (Smoke)
Carlson Young (Heroes)
Tracy Middendorf (New Nightmare)
Kiana Ledé (Guidance)
Santiago Segura (In The Deep)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Tom Maden (Killer Coach)
Austin Highsmith (Dolphin Tale)
Anthony Ruivivar (Chuck)
Mary Katherine Duhon (Underground)
Bryan Batt (Funny People)
Sean Grandillo (Secrets and Lies)
Karina Logie (Bates Motel)
Tom Everett Scott (Dead man On Campus)
Bobby Campo (The Final Destination)

Scream

 

Emma returns to Lakewood after several months at a retreat. Her friends begin to question whether she has truly gotten over the killer’s crimes. Meanwhile, Audrey is hiding her connection to the killer, but is getting harassed by someone who knows the truth, and Noah is getting closer to the truth about the murders. Lakewood’s murderous past, both recent and distant, are once again brought to focus – with this killer’s psychotic mind-game intent on targeting the Lakewood Six survivors.

Although there appeared to be many cringe-worthy moments, I personally enjoyed all the pop culture references as it made the show feel more relatable growing up in world where social media is everything (whether we like to admit it or not). It brought the show into a modern era using terms such as ‘viral’ and ‘gif’ which would appear in everyday conversation of young adults and adolescents, making the show even more appealing. Also, the use of Samsung’s and iPhone’s was very well done as it used the proper text tones and ringtones. Even small technical adjustments such as these, make all the difference to getting the audience on the director’s side as it shows familiarity and makes an extremely dramatized show even the slightest feeling that maybe something this insane is possible.

Overall, this show is thrilling and constantly keeps the audience wondering who the killer under the Scream mask is.  Although it appears far-fetched at times, the story is interesting and the characters are lovable as well as having the scare-factor within each episode. I would definitely recommend if the horror genre is something you’re interested in.

REVIEW: SCREAM: THE SERIES – SEASON 1

CAST

WIlla Fitzgerald (Gotham)
Bex Taylor-Klaus (Arrow)
John Karma (Bindlestiffs)
Amadeus Serafini (Smoke)
Connor Weil (Sharknado)
Carlson Young (Heroes)
Tom Maden (Killer Coach)
Jason Wiles (Zodiac)
Tracy Middendorf (New Nightmare)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Bella Thorne (Amityville: The Awakening)
Bobby Campo (The Final Destination)
Brianne Tju (Opposite Day)
Max Lloyd-Jones (Izombie)
Bryan Batt (Funny People)
Amelia Rose Blaire (True Blood)

We’ve been here before: A girl home alone at night; a killer taunting her by phone; a twistedly gory denouement. The new MTV series Scream doesn’t even try to distance itself from its iconic predecessor  which stood out from the slasher film pack because its young, alternately nubile and nerdy cast of potential victims were hip to slasher film mechanics. They knew the genre they were trapped in and acted accordingly, which still didn’t up their chances of survival. Nina Patterson (Bella Thorne), one of the architects of a vengeful viral video targeted at rebellious outcast Audrey Jensen (Bex Taylor-Klaus). While images of Audrey making out with another young woman are drawing Twitter and Facebook OMGs, rich-bitch Nina is basking in the glow of her prank with a late-night Jacuzzi dip. Then the texts start flooding in — seemingly from a guy who wants to climb in beside her and put the “hot” in “hot tub.” But then the guy’s severed head comes flying through the air, and it isn’t long before Nina finds herself on the wrong end of a blade wielded by the Scream series’ ghostface killer. (His/her mask has been redesigned to resemble a dead-eyed porcelain doll.)So the mystery begins, but how does one stretch the tale of a knife-brandishing maniac over ten episodesResident film and TV nerd Noah Foster (John Karna) — basically the show’s Jamie Kennedy — ponders that very question over two scenes of the premiere, noting the rise of pop and cult series like American Horror Story and Hannibal before ultimately articulating the show’s mission statement: “You need to forget it’s a horror story … that someone might die at every turn.”There’s a Sidney Prescott-like heroine, Emma Duval (Willa Fitzgerald), who isn’t as innocent as she initially seems, and whose mother, Margaret (Tracy Middendorf), is hiding a dark secret. There’s the new guy in town, Kieran Wilcox (Amadeus Serafini), who despite his own shady past, seduces Emma away from her cheating boyfriend Will Belmont (Connor Weil). And there’s catty mean girl Brooke Maddox (Carlson Young), who seems set to go the way of the first Scream’s Rose McGowan (death in garage), until being granted a reprieve.Each episode just gets better and better, with no character safe from the killer, with each episode keeping you guessing as to who the killer is, and when the killer is revealed in the finale it’s truly amazing, with a nice little cliffhanger to keep people intrigued for season 2.

REVIEW: SCREAM 1,2,3 & 4

CAST

Neve Campbell (Wild Things)
Skeet Ulrich (As Good as it Gets)
Courteney Cox (Masters of The Universe)
Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo)
David Arquette (Eight Legged Freaks)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
Drew Barrymore (Charles Angels)
Liev Schreiber (The Fifth Wave)
Rose McGowan (Jawbreaker)
W. Earl brown (Bates Motel)
Roger Jackson (The Powerpuff Girls)
Joseph Whipp (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Linda Blair (The Exorcist)
Henry Winkler (Happy Days)

Sidney Prescott isn’t your typical hometown girl… at least, not anymore. She’s been trying to cope with the brutal rape and murder of her mother for almost a year now, but the town of Woodsboro just isn’t willing to let her move on. It’s a small town where hardly anything of interest ever happens, so it didn’t even take a heartbeat’s notice for a small time reporter, Gale Weathers, to start spreading tabloid propaganda about Sid’s mom. More or less, she pegged Mrs. Prescott as the town bicycle that everyone got a chance to ride, and unfortunately, this ongoing story has made it very difficult for Sidney to find peace with the biggest tragedy she’s ever had to face. Not that you can blame the poor girl, what with her mom’s good name and reputation constantly being soured and all. To top things off, her father is always away on business, and she’s catching some flak from her boyfriend for being intimately distant. Sid’s nightmare is about to get worse however, as a killer in a generic five-and-dime Ghostface costume has gutted two of her classmates. It isn’t long before Sid realizes that the timing of the latest deaths in Woodsboro (leading up to the one year anniversary of her mother’s death) isn’t a coincidence. After being put into protective custody by local Deputy Dewey, everyone close to Sidney starts dropping like flies, making it painfully clear that she’s at the center of the killer’s murderous rampage. Finding the killer will unfortunately be no easy feat however, as everyone is seemingly a suspect.
The plot’s implementation in Scream is what really allowed Wes Craven to once again change the face of the genre. Unlike any horror film before its time, the characters in Scream are completely self aware. That is, thanks to the Ghostface killer pretending like he’s the star in some slasher flick, everyone knows they’re playing by the rules of a horror movie – If you don’t want to die, don’t say something to foreshadow your own demise like ‘I’ll be right back’, don’t drink or do drugs, and above all else, you better hope to God that you’re a virgin.

Of course, despite the fact everyone is actually aware of the ‘horror movie as life’ analogy at play, most people dismiss the genre clichés that could potentially save their lives, and inevitably end up meeting their maker anyway. By taking the bold step to often times put the main characters in the very situations they’re attempting to satire. So, without question, Craven and Williamson revitalized the horror scene in 1996 with this film. Not only because it was actually able to deliver legitimate scares and keep the audience guessing who the killer was until the very end, but because it’s genuinely entertaining throughout its entirety.

CAST

Neve Campbell (Wild Things)
Courteney Cox (Masters of The Universe)
David Arquette (Eight Legged Freaks)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
Liev Schreiber (The Fifth Wave)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Gotham)
Laurie Metcalf (The Big Bang Theory)
Omar Epps (House)
Timothy Olyphant (Hitman)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Gruel Intentions)
Jerry O’Connell (Sliders)
Joshua Jackson (Cursed)
Heather Graham (Killing Me Softly)
Duane Martin (Any Given Sunday)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)
Portia de Rossi (Stigmata)
Roger Jackson (The Powerpuff Girls)
Rebecca McFarland (Two and A Half Men)
Elise Neal (Hustle & Flow)
Lewis Arquette (Tango & CAsh)
Marisol Nichols (Riverdale)
Tori Spelling (Scary Movie 2)
Luke Wilson (That 70s Show)
David Warner (Tenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Selma Blair (Hellboy)
Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo)

Scream 2 is a surprising success as a film and a sequel, instead of simply trying to play around the rules from the first film, Scream 2 builds a separate story while acknowledging the Rules of Sequels. Again, Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson have teamed up to create an entertaining, suspenseful horror film that rises to a cerebral level unparalleled by all the films in the genre except its predecessor.While the film contains an exchange between Dewey (David Arquette) and Randy (Jamie Kennedy) the film’s slasher-fan movie geek about the rules of sequels, an even more impressive exchange is a classroom discussion of sequels and whether they are inherently inferior or if there are sequels which can actually outdo their predecessors. The discussion is an accurate and realistic one that real people, especially film students would have, mentioning such great sequels as “Aliens,” “Terminator 2,” and the Oscar-winning “The Godfather, Part II.”.Another great plot device in the film is the movie within the movie- “Stab”. Based on the events of the first film and starring  Tori Spelling, the film is basically a typical horror flick without ambition or originality. It also brings up the interesting issue of what relationship films, particularly violent films, have with the violence perpetrated by its viewers. Neither “Scream” nor “Scream 2” gets overly preachy on the subject, however, and Craven seems to ultimately reject any direct link.Scream 2 updates the story of Sydney Prescott, now in college and trying to get past her traumatic experiences, who once again hears a familiar voice on the telephone and soon finds her friends and acquaintances turning into victims of a familiar ghost-mask wearing killer. Once again, there are many “red herrings” throughout the film, as the audience must once again figure out who the mysterious killer might be, and Craven does cause the viewer to keep guessing throughout the film. As in Scream, the film is driven by an all-star cast, including the return of most of the principals from Scream, as well as Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jada Pinkett Smith, Laurie Metcalf, Jerry O’Connell and Omar Epps.Although Craven did a great job building suspense in the first film, he does manage to improve upon his efforts in the second film. While some of the killings are shockingly abrupt, the suspense in the film is quite impressive. While Scream will be revered for years as a modern horror classic, “Scream 2” is a worthy successor. While likely not destined to be a classic on its own, it is clear that Williamson and Craven did not rest on their laurels and truly put an impressive effort into this film, which pays off well, and helps to establish the whole trilogy as a landmark in the horror film genre.

CAST

Neve Campbell (Wild Things)
Courteney Cox (Masters of The Universe)
David Arquette (Eight Legged Freaks)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
Liev Schreiber (The Fifth Wave)
Kelly Rutherford (Gossip Girl)
Heather Matarazzo (The Princvess Diaries)
Beth Toussaint (Red Eye)
Richamond Arquette (Zodiac)
Patrick Dempsey (Transformers 3)
Scott Foley (Felicity)
Lance Henriksen (Aliens)
Jenny McCarthy (Two and a Half Men)
Emily Mortimer (Hugo)
Parker Posey (Superman Returns)
Carrie Fisher (Star Wars)
Patrick Warburton (Family Guy)
Roger Jackson (The Powerpuff Girls)
Kevin Smith (Mallrats)
Jason Mewes (Dogma)

Scream 3 is a fitting end to the Scream trilogy. It contains much of what made the first two films great, lots of frights, a few laughs, a good cast, a few great cameos and a self-awareness of both the horror genre and the first Scream film expressed this time in the filming of “Stab 3” throughout much of the first half of the movie.


Because each of the three movies focuses in large part on who the killer is and there are references to the earlier culprits in this film, one should definitely watch the films in order and not watch Scream 3 first. Those who have seen the first two films however, will enjoy the subtle references made throughout the film to earlier events, particularly those in the original film.


Like the other two films before it, Scream 3 has an enjoyable cast, featuring returning cast members Courtney Cox Arquette, David Arquette, Neve Campbell and Jamie Kennedy and featuring new cast members Scott Foley, Lance Henriksen, Jenny McCarthy, Parker Posey, Emily Mortimer and Patrick Dempsey who does a surprisingly good job as a cop with more than a passing interest in the plight of Sydney Prescott, Neve Campbell’s character as the people she knows and the people playing the people she knows find themselves in grave danger. Also extremely enjoyable in the film are the cameos of Carrie Fisher, Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, and in a larger role, Patrick Warburton, (“Puddy” from Seinfeld) Warburton’s use of the word “Aight” is a true high point in the film.


The suspense of the film is quite good and the audience is continually left guessing who the murderer might be. The killing scenes are at times graphic but will often leave viewers on the edge of their seats. Wes Craven unquestionably proves his mettle as a master of horror and suspense and does a good job of crowning off the trilogy with a good film. While many other horror franchises, including Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street have gone on to boast a series of eight or more films, Craven deserves a great amount of credit for making the film into a trilogy and settling there. This film does have a number of parallels with “Wes Craven’s New Nightmare,” the first horror film in the genre to truly deconstruct the genre from within, but even for those who have seen “New Nightmare,” Scream 3 is still a very enjoyable film

CAST

Neve Campbell (Wild Things)
Courteney Cox (Masters of The Universe)
David Arquette (Eight Legged Freaks)
Emma Roberts (Scream Queens)
Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars)
Shenae Grimes-Beech (90210)
Anna Paquin (X-Men)
Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars)
Britt Robertson (The Secret Circle)
Alison Brie (The Lego Movie)
Mary McDonnell (Battlestar Galactica)
Hayden Panettiere (Heroes)
Marley Shelton (Sin City)
Roger Jackson (The Powerpuff Girls)
Rory Culkin (Mean Creek)
Anthony Anderson (Transformers)
Adam Brody (The OC)
Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo)

Scream 4 arrived in 2011 promising new rules for a new decade, suggesting innovation and inspiration provided by the Asian remake craze, torture porn, and reboots. Instead, the best thing about the new film is its insistence on preserving the formula that made it popular in the first place. As they say, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Once again, the film reunites survivors Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Gale Weathers-Riley (Courteney Cox), and Dewey Riley (David Arquette) in the town of Woodsboro. It’s the last stop on a nationwide tour promoting Sidney’s book about her experiences, but before she can sign a single copy, dead bodies start turning up and all-too-familiar feelings start flooding back. Among the targets: Sidney’s cousin Jill (Emma Roberts), her friends Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) and Olivia (Marielle Jaffe), and local film nerds Robbie (Erik Knudsen) and Charlie (Rory Culkin).

It’s a relief to discover that the screenplay by original writer Kevin Williamson is pointedly focused on Sidney, Gail, and Dewey, and remains refreshingly faithful to the tone and style of the original films. There’s one swipe at torture porn and an even better jab at remakes, but Williamson doesn’t seem that interested in what’s been going on in the genre since Ghostface last graced the silver screen. The script is careful to tread the line between heightened and over-the-top: any horror that has changed as a reaction to older trends is inherently meta, and it’d be easy for looping back even further to become obnoxious. Instead, Williamson saves his poison pen for a wicked, inspired ending.

In terms of direction, Craven brings his A-game. The original Scream made waves for its violence, which holds up even today as excruciatingly brutal. Scream is bloody, no doubt about it, but it’s less the splatter and more the almost sadistic glee with which Craven pummels some of its victims that keeps the original shocking. This new sequel never climbs to the same level of ferociousness, but Craven isn’t pulling his punches, either, splattering bedroom walls with a ridiculous amount of blood.Scream 4 is not only one of the best in the series, but also one of the best slasher movies in at least a decade.