Doc On The Box – Scream Season Two

The town of Lakewood has recovered from the reign of terror of the white-masked killer. Emma Duval and her friend Audrey killed the murderer in a climactic lakeside confrontation. And that was the end of that… But Noah Foster, serial killer aficionado, mused that the killer may have had an accomplice. After all, the costumed killer and his “secret identity” were both seen together at least once. And as the series ended, the accomplice was revealed, to the viewers at least.

Scream 2.1Now, months later, Emma returns and the Lakewood Six – the survivors of the first killer’s rampage – are reunited. But the killer’s accomplice has been receiving some familiar sounding phone calls. If they don’t do what the caller tells them to, then evidence exposing their actions will be released. But if the original killer’s accomplice is consumed by guilt and fear, who is that running round wearing a familiar white mask and brandishing a familiar looking knife?

Just a quick recap – this doesn’t tie in at all to the Scream film series. Yes, the killer is a very human individual (or individuals) who clearly watched too much Scooby Doo while growing up, and the basic costume is black robe (although slightly more practical) and a white mask (although not Ghostface), but there’s no relation plot-wise. The mask, rather than being a gimmick, was worn once upon a time by Brandon James, a tragic facially deformed individual who apparently went bat-poop crazy and killed a bunch of people before being shot and falling into the lake, never to be heard of again… Of course, that’s not the whole story but, spoilers, you know?

I really liked the first series. It was a whodunit, admittedly not one with clues. There were some good scares, a couple of nasty murders, sort of tastefully shot, the pick of them being Emma’s sort of ex-boyfriend, cut in half by an industrial saw but lengthways. You don’t see it happen, just the reaction shot, but there’s a perfect through-the-bisected-corpse shot later on. Just the right level of yuckiness for me.

Anyway, series two. After the reveal right at the end of series two, I was wondering how they would keep the whodunit going when we knew who the accomplice was. Well, by having a new killer target the old accomplice (and obviously Emma as well), this set the dynamics up in a different way. In fact, there aren’t many bodies in the first few episodes, although well done to the actor who seems to have hung around for at least three episodes after being murdered playing his own corpse, as the town seems unaware that the killer has started up again, until a fantastic reveal towards the end of episode… four, I think, when it all kicks off again.

There are some lovely plot twists and turns here, although as with the first series, only an idiot wouldn’t spot the killer(s?). I think. It was pretty obvious to me at least as I thought the faux-suspects were a bit obvious. Although having said that, the first film played up to that cliché and got away with it. But here, I could see the misdirections as clear as day.

What wasn’t obvious was the killer’s (killers’?) scheme which sees the light of day at the end of the penultimate episode and you can see what he/she/they have been building to. Of course, he/she/they then kick off and go back to near wholesale slaughter for the finale but it is a horror series, after all. There’s a lovely epilogue as well, showing that, as with the last series, things might not be over just yet…

The cast put in a good show here, although not everyone is given enough to do. There’s no shock like the killing of Randy in Scream 2 and you get a sense that the members of the Lakewood Six who make it into episode 2 are kind of untouchable. There’s a very effective episode called The Vanishing (they’re all titled after thematically linked horror films) which is only let down by the fact that you never really feel that Noah (the Randy-esque but much more likeable character) is going to die. Still, the punchline at the end of that episode caught me out.

So, if you’re looking for a box set to switch your brain off to and play a creepy version of Guess Who?, then Scream is available on Netflix in the UK. Season Two has just finished in the US – avoid googling it as every article you’ll see spoils the killer (and the epilogue) in the headline. Really, people, use your brain. I know this is a guilty pleasure of mine, but I find it loads of fun with an enjoyable cast – credit in particular to the Lakewood Six – and it’s Highly Recommended. Oh, and MTV – do make another season, won’t you?

 

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12 comments

  1. I watched Season One and was sort of ho hum about it, although I liked some of the characters. I have to say that I only lasted three episodes into season two before I gave up for boredom. Sounds like it picked up after I left, though.

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  2. A Halloween special of two episodes has been confirmed, but not season 3 as of yet. I think special will solve original murders and that may be it for series.

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    • Good news – I think. Despite the ending, I think that Season Two ended on a good end-of-horror-movie note but if we’re going to explain it, I’d rather the series took its time rather than jamming it all into a couple of hours… although I guess that’s what the films did. There is at least one “fill-in” plot that I can think of to tread water until the next series but I doubt the writers would want to twiddle their thumbs for a while…

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  3. I’m so far behind on my TV viewing that I still haven’t finished all of 24 or the “new” Battlestar Gallactica. And I’ve got the first four series of Homeland to attempt. But — whew — when I get through that, this sounds like it might be good fun.

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    • I think fun is the right word. It does depend on your tolerance for US television – it’s hardly going to win any awards – but it worked for me, even with some woeful misdirection… Oh and good luck with Homeland. Season One was good, but not sure I even made it to the end of Season Two. I’ve heard it’s improved again, but really can’t be bothered…

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      • Okay, “It depends on your tolerance for US television – ??” REALLY??? We have some good shows here in the States! It’s just that we tend to run them into the ground to suck out every dollar we can until they’re unrecognizable pap and must be put out of their misery with a single shot to the head. (Usually LITERALLY a shot to the head!) But not all the time . . .

        And let it not be said that the British are not above doing the same thing once in a while (Doctor ‘kaff kaff” Who, anybody???) As an American who watched all of Season One of Scream and the first three episodes of Season Two, I have to say that this was not good television. The production values were good, but the writing and acting was mediocre at best. But as a mystery fan, I was willing to stick it out to discover the killer’s identity (which stuck out a mile to me throughout, and if you’re saying the same is true of Season Two, I’m not sure I will return.)

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      • Sorry, Brad, I meant to say middle of the road US television aimed at teenagers. There’s plenty of top quality US TV out there – much more entertaining than a lot of the “gritty” British stuff. Apologies.

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      • I haven’t even taken the cellophane off the Homeland box yet, and I think I’ve had it for about six months (it was a gift). So my eagerness to persevere is already facing a challenge…

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