Years ago, the disfigured Brandon James was in love with a girl called Daisy. After years of adoring her, he snapped and killed five people when her boyfriend and his friends provoked him once too often. After confronting Daisy by the lake, he was shot by the police. Falling into the water, his body was never recovered. All that remained was the memory of the white surgical mask that he wore.
Now, Daisy has returned to Lakewood with her daughter Emma. But when a cyber-bullying incident divides the school, and the perpetrator is killed in her own house, violence returns to the town. But as the death count slowly rises, it seems that not only has violence returned – but so has the mask (and the rest?) of Brandon James. As events circle around Emma and the killer takes a personal interest in her, it seems that a twisted game is being played – and there can only be one winner.
Well, I reviewed the first episode of Scream the other day, along with the first episode of the similar Scream Queens. There are two vital differences between the two. First off, Scream is all on Netflix so I could binge-watch the entire series. Secondly, Scream Queens, which is being broadcast weekly, is already getting on my nerves with its style of comedy and complete lack of tension.
But, as you may have surmised, I’ve watched the entire first series of Scream already. You may recall that I’ve written on the Scream series of films before, mostly Scream 4. I’m a fan of those films, mostly due to the mystery element, a sort-of slasher Scooby Doo style, but I’ll admit they do have flaws. The Scream series has flaws too, but in a different way. But overall – I think it’s just as good as the first film, if not a bit better.
Problems with the first film – well, if you watch it now, the killer stands out a mile and to get all the pop-culture references in, there are some characters, Randy and Stu in particular that seem like cartoon characters. While there is a similar Randy-esque character in the form of Noah, his “knowing” comments are less shoe-horned in. The characters here are well-defined, but that leads to its own problems with the plot.
In Scream, the death of Tatum (by cat-flap) gave an indication that no-one was safe. Here, while there are some unexpected deaths (and two pretty messy ones towards the end) there seems to be a larger group of “safe” characters – well, safe or murderer, anyway. In fact the primary problem with the show as a mystery is that the killer is bloody obvious from about the halfway mark – although I forgot about the bit that was supposed to convince me of their innocence, so that didn’t help… The other problem is the character of the school beauty Brooke, who is plagued by internet snoopers trying to see her in her underwear – which leads to several sequences where she is walking around in her underwear. For a show with primarily female leads – most of the victims are male – it’s an odd choice, especially as part of her arc (and I won’t say how long it lasts) is her transformation from bitch queen to human being is mostly well-handled.
Overall, I think fans of the film series will find plenty to enjoy here. It’s not a direct copy of the film series, featuring no returning characters or links to Woodvale, but there are a couple of nods, especially in the finale. It’s atmospheric and while the direction doesn’t have that Wes Craven touch, it’s a damned sight creepier than Scream Queens and there are some good shocks. It’s well acted – apart from one complete acting failure at one point – convincing grief clearly wasn’t in that actor’s bag of tricks. And given there is a second series, let me reassure potential viewers that the killer does get unmasked at the end – I was a bit worried that we weren’t going to find out who it was until next series.
So, if you liked the films, why not take a look? As I said, you’ll spot the killer – probably – but it’s a lot of fun. Highly Recommended.