Posts Tagged ‘Scream’


Some news broke last week regarding popular genre shows. The biggest was the Star Trek news but we will get to that in a minute.

First of all there is a small update on this new Buffy reboot. During a big TV event last week one of the big bosses at FOX had this to say – “It’s not on an incredibly fast track, but we’re hopeful. There’s actually no script to see. We’ve sat down with creators and had conversations with them about it. It’s a very exciting prospect. It’s fairly early. We haven’t pitched it to any possible licensees yet, all of that is still to come.” Confirming what I figured. If this show happens it will more than likely be a 2020 debut instead of next year. Various cast members from the original show have given their support for the reboot with James Marsters, who played Spike, saying he would be open to return for the reboot. Let’s just see if this all comes to be first of all.

Next up is Scream and the news ain’t good I’m afraid. Netflix, who act as distributors for MTV’s Scream in the U.K.  are no longer under any obligation to stream the already completed third season. The new show was to be a total reboot, after mixed reaction to a messy second season, with a brand new cast and creators. Fans got excited too because the news broke the show would be more faithful to the movies and include the original Ghostface mask! Now the show is in total limbo. There are currently no networks nor streaming services optioning the show. Will it ever see the light of day?

Finally, I have saved the best for last, Patrick Stewart delighted legions of Star Trek fans over the weekend when he announced he was returning to the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Stewart played the popular character for seven seasons on the Star Trek: The Next Generation series and went on to appear in four Star Trek movies after the TV series had wrapped. This new take on the character is said to explore the twilight years of the fan favourite character as he continues to research and explore the mysteries of the galaxy. This new series will be a companion show to the currently airing (and awesome) Star Trek: Discovery. No word yet when the show will debut or if we can expect (you can) any other of The Next Generation characters to return with Picard. Like Buffy I think this will be making its debut later rather than sooner. I’d expect a early 2020 premiere.




Scream 4 (No spoilers)

Posted: June 27, 2018 in Movies
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Sideny Prescott is one of the horror genre’s iconic ‘final girls’. In the 90’s she was the face of the slasher genre. Scream put slasher movies back on top in 1996 and its two sequels secured its likeable characters and its Ghostface killer a place in pop culture history. The plan was for the third film to close out the series but thankfully the Scream Team had one more slash left in them and all of the key players would return for one last scream in Scream 4.

Released in 2011. Ten years had passed since the last movie and the horror landscape had moved on. Between Scream 3 and Scream 4 horror had gone through various waves – The Ring, The Grudge, Hostel, Saw, Insidious and Paranormal Activity came and went. I won’t even mention the HORDE of remakes that flooded the market during the 00’s. Simply put Scream 4 had a lot to say upon its release on the state of modern horror like the original film did back in 1996. I think this one highlighted just how you handle a reboot with respect and creativity too. To explain why would verge too far into spoiler land but it’s pretty apparent what the film’s overall stance is on horror by the time the credits roll. I’d make a case for Scream 4 being neck and neck with the second film as the best in the series outside of the original classic.

It’s a pain at times discussing the Scream movies because outside of the kills being spoilt there’s often twists and turns aplenty that you run the risk of ruining. So plot, okay, so basically Woodsboro, the town of the original slayings, is coming up on the anniversary of the killings. Sid is back in town to promote her new book which deals with all of the crap she’s been through. Deputy Dewey is now sherriff and Gale Weathers, ex-ace reporter, is now Gale Riley and is beyond bored with small town life. Someone else is back too. Ghostface and he?/she?/them? rains down a new wave of terror on the town as a fresh spree of killings kicks off. The targets this time being Sid’s teenage cousin Jill and her circle of friends.

I love this movie. The opening of Scream 4 is totally nuts and works brilliantly. It more than keeps the audience on their toes. The kills are brutal throughout, this is easily the goriest entry in the series and doesn’t shy away from some nasty kills. The set pieces are executed with great skill that it is a credit to the timeless talent of director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson. The writer of Scream 3, Ehren Kruger, did contribute to the script and as such he too should be given credit. When the dust settles and the motive behind the killings is revealed it’s not only cultually relavent but outright chilling. Scream 4, for all the fun and laughs offered up in between the horror, has a nasty streak running through it and pulls no punches when it comes to the horror of it all.

The cast and characters, old faveourites and new blood alike, are universally great. You get the impression all of the actors are on top of their game in this entry. A big part of that is no doubt due to the big gap in between movies and the fact the new additions were no doubt delighted to be a part of a great movie and a series with a classic legacy. Campbell, Cox and Arequette were no doubt on auto-pilot by the time Scream 3 came out and possibly ready to move on. In Scream 4 it’s clear to see each of them loving the fact they have been able to revisit their iconic roles of Sidney, Gale and Dewey. Emma Roberts, and Hayden Panettiere lead the new additions to the cast and they and their peers add great characters to the series.

Sadly Scream 4 is bittersweet as it would be the final movie to be directed by horror legend Wes Craven. But you know what? What a legacy. Craven’s work speaks for itself. He has created and brought to life some of the horror genre’s most famous nightmares and frights. This, his final movie, is a fitting example of the care he put into his movies. Outside of the gore, the frights and the kills Craven always strived to make the audience care first and foremost. If you don’t care about who lives and who dies in these movies then what’s the point really? Scream 4 more than delivers on that ideal. Originally this film was set to launch a new trilogy that would see a Scream 5 and Scream 6 close out the series. Once more, due to television commitments, Kevin Williamson decided to step away from his creation. That aside if this proves to be the final Scream then all involved can be proud that the series ended on a high (or should that be a scream?) and isn’t that better than outstatying it’s welcome?


Scream 2 (No Spoilers)

Posted: February 26, 2018 in Movies
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After the success of 1996’s Scream everyone involved with the series set to work on a sequel. Crazy by todays standards – in that I mean how good the sequel turned out – Scream 2 hit screens less than a year after the debut of the box office smashing original. Wes Craven returned to direct from a script from series creator Kevin Williamson and all of the surviving characters and cast from the the first film returned for another dance with slasher Ghostface. Over twenty years on from it’s release and Scream 2 is the slasher sequel to beat. It’s strong points far outweigh it’s bad points but the film, considered a favourite amongst fans of the series, does have some slight issues at times.

Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) has moved on from the events of the original film that saw her friends brutally dispatched by a knife wielding slasher, of whom she was the main target. Now in college Sid is determined not to let those events shape her life. Easier said than done. It seems a copycat killer is on the loose. Now Sid finds herself the target once more. Those closest to her in mortal danger. Bodies begin to pile up and ANYONE could be the killer.

Scream made an impact by the way it embraced the conventions of the slasher genre and played with audience expectations in relation to them. It’s characters we’re aware of slasher movies and all too aware their lives had turned into one. It was a great idea and hit home with fans. Scream 2 continues in this manner only this time it turns it’s sights on sequels. Scream 2 is a clever film. The problem is it’s arguably a bit too clever for it’s own good. See this sequel spends so much time – for a slasher movie this clocks in at just under two hours – showing us how it knows most sequels suck. Characters discuss the conventions of the sequel and by doing so prove how they can be overcome and still manage to provide a fresh and exciting film that goes against what the viewer expects to happen AND for the most part that’s just what Scream 2 does. Yet in doing so it forgets to be a movie in some ways and comes off more like a dissertation. I’m not syaing that’s bad and hell, look, Williamson had more than earned the right to show off with his genre knowledge with this sequel but it’s just extremley busy.

I love Scream 2. I love how big the film is compared to the first film. It’s got a massive cast and some of the best set pieces out of the entire series. There’s loads of characters in Scream 2 and each one is well drawn out from the leads to the smaller roles. So much so that when one character claims “Everyone’s a suspect” you literally think that ” yeah, no messing, the killer or killers could be anyone in this movie!” The big stand out Scream has had over other slasher movies is the way it follows it’s core characters and not it’s slasher. Ghostface in these films is a tool. The focus, as I hope more slasher writers would come to realise, is it’s fantastic characters. You don’t want these people to die. You root for them. I think that’s why I love the Scream series as much as I do.

Wes Craven, his cast and crew do fantastic work. The film looks brilliant. No one expected the first Scream to be such a smash hit and with this sequel you can see on screen the results of that success. Like I said, this film is bigger, bolder and much more self assured of itself. That’s not to say it’s better. Scream is a classic. Scream 2 is almost as good but not quite. It would have been interesting to see what Williamson and Craven would have come up with if the sequel had not have gone into production as quick as it did. As it is Scream 2 is a extremley strong film, a great sequel and one that turned out shockingly well when you consider the fast turn around from concept to release.



How about that? It looks like the murder and mayhem is far from over for Emma and co. This season Scream has gotten a pair of new show runners who previously worked on MTV’s Celebrity Death Match. That series had a wicked sense of humour and I think these guys could be a good fit for the new season of Scream. They have to be. This show can’t get away with another season of unbalance as far as the tone goes and I’m still hoping the majority of the less appealing characters meet Ghost Face. Sorry but that’s how I feel. That said, I’m not a hater or unrealistic. Look that first season was using the Scream name more than being a worthy tribute to the movies of the same name and I don’t even think it was made with the original fans in mind as the target audience. That said…the seeds are there for something special but they just need to be fed and allowed to grow.

Scream: The TV Series

Posted: January 22, 2016 in Movies, TV
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MTV first announced thier plans to bring Dimension Films Scream to the small screen a few years ago. After the news broke fan opinion was split. With Teen Wolf MTV managed to produce a show that defied expectations and became one of the best genre shows on TV. I had my fingers crossed that lightning would strike twice. Sadly – based off season one at least this isn’t the case.

One of the reasons why Scream doesn’t quite work is the lack of the core creative team. That being the late and great Wes Craven and of course Kevin Williamson. The series makes the (smart decision IMO) of not using any of the original characters from the series and it even goes as far (to date at least) to be set in a totally new town that has it’s own dark history centering around a murder in the past that has seemingly muderous consequences on the teens of Lakewood in the present.

As you watch the show it hits all of the Scream beats, by which I mean it’s self aware, victims are terrorised by phone calls and social media, the teens are all hip to the killings and there is even a reporter (or blogger sorry, it is 2016 haha) snooping around town and looking into the killings. Some effort has been put into these characters but the execution is wanting. Emma, the Sid of the series if you will, is so broad and passive. It’s hard to warm to her. Thankfully she is surrounded by a likeable if not fantastic (don’t expect SCREAM movie calibre characters here) group of friends and parental figures and/or suspects.

The kills do not shy away from the blood letting which was a plus. It’s a pretty gory show and I give the makers points for that. There are two or three stand out kills too that are genuinely well done but the whole “No one is safe”  threat Emma is given in the opening episode feels like a big missed oppertunity. When I first saw that scene I was expecting the show to go all out and kill off it’s ‘final girl’ in the opening episode. Missed oppertunites such as that can’t help but stand out.

One aspect of the show I will say is strong is it’s sense of self. It sets out and actually succeeds in carving out it’s own identity by relying on it’s own original mythology based around the secrets of this town called Lakewood. So by the time we get to the very Scream like killer(s?) reveal, which was handled pretty well, you kind of stop and ask yourself why have they called the show Scream at all instead of it’s own unique brand. The show runners even go as far as to change the look of the iconic costume which I actually felt was effective. I guess the answer is name recognition.

MTV’s Scream is okay slasher viewing. Nowhere near the quality of the films whose shoudlers this series is attempting to stand on. Had this been an original show (like the excellent Scream Queens) I may have been more favourable towards it because it does have a degree of charm once you get into it and the mystery starts to unfold. If season 2 is prepared to take some risks this show could improve (I’d personally look at trimming down that cast as it stands going into season 2 and bringing in some more charismatic or better written characters) but when all is said and done Scream just isn’t Scream without the core team. I’m looking forward to season 2, don’t get me wrong but my expectations have been checked.



Posted: April 7, 2015 in Movies



In 1996 Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson unleashed Scream on an unsuspecting horror fan base. From the trailers and the articles in Fangoria magazine it was clear that Scream was not your typical horror movie. In fact the early trailers walked a fine line between what sort of genre Scream was. A hybrid of thriller, slasher and comedy. Was it a spoof? As it turned out Scream would embrace all of the above but when all was said and done it was deadly serious. This was a slasher movie, the slasher movie to end all slasher movies in some ways. The stereotypes of the slasher genre – final girl, the masked killer, the jock, the dumb blonde, the bitch and the clown – were all laid bare and expectations would be blown apart.

The film takes place in the picture perfect California town of Woodsboro. The town is stunning. Every time I watch Scream I think how lovely it would be to live in Woodsboro. Except for the masked killer of course! Yes, sadly the town has become the hunting ground of one Ghostface, a now iconic slasher who uses horror movie pop culture to terrorize his (or her) victims via terrifying phone calls which more often than not result in messy ends for the victim. The hook of Scream is both killer and victim alike are aware of horror movies and slasher flicks in particular, with a heavy focus on their conventions. It’s a bit like breaking down the fourth wall but not quite. One of the funniest and scariest parts about Scream is the way the characters know the rules of the genre – “Never say i’ll be right back”, running up the stairs instead of out the front door etc only to fall victim to these same pitfalls! It’s clever. Think about a time you have been genuinely terrified in real life and just froze? We all have. It’s so easy to yell or to think you’d react like lightning if faced with a masked killer but chances are you probably would just freeze like a deer in headlights. :O

Craven’s direction is flawless. The film looks amazing and the composition of the shots is spot on. The frame always leaving room enough for there to be a constant fear that the killer could (and does) strike at any time. Day or night. Kevin Williamson’s script is naturally the stand out. The story is tight, the dialogue is self-aware without being indulgent and the characters and set ups are great. What a cast this film has too. Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, Rose McGowan, Mathew Lillard, Jamie Kennedy (deep breath) AND Drew Barrymore all add depth and believability to their roles. The casting is great and all the actors nail the characters which leaves you rooting for them to survive and outwit the killer. Marco Beltrami’s score is atmospheric and does a good job – in its weird industrial, electronic way – of setting the tone. It’s heavy and oppressive at times but vibrant and new too.

Scream, now almost twenty two years old, is probably the last slasher movie of note. Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Friday The 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street and then Scream. Nothing has come close since to joining what I consider the classics of the genre. (Sorry Cabin in the Woods fans :/). Here’s hoping we get another great slasher offering to add to these classics sooner rather than later.