“Why are you crying?”
“I don’t like to see you sad.”
“Are you watching me?”
“It’s what you want, right? On Instagram, on Facebook. Big smiles, perfect lives. But I know the truth.”
“Who the hell IS this?”
“I’m the one who’s gonna lift the mask.”
After a video of quirky high school student Audrey and neurotic-about-her-looks Rachel making out in a parking lot is uploaded online courtesy of two popular jerks, said jerks are slashed to death by a crazed killer in a mask and dark hooded cloak. So begins “Scream” the series, MTV’s next attempt to turn a tired horror franchise, such as “Teen Wolf,” into a relevant weekly TV show.
The show goes down easy and doesn’t exactly challenge the mind, but there are a few interesting tidbits floating around in this new concoction. It takes place in the town of Lakewood, where everybody has a killer house and the specter of Brandon James looms large. You see, 20 years ago, Brandon was an awkward teenager born with horrific deformities who took to wearing a medically issued mask to hide his face.
At a Halloween party, he approached the object of his secret affections, pretty blonde student Daisy. When he took off the mask, she screamed bloody murder and he was attacked by her peers. This led to a misunderstanding and Brandon’s death by angry locals who thought the boy a stalking monster. His dead body fell into a local lake.
20 years later, rich bitch Nina and her boyfriend Tyler meet bloody ends at the hands of maniac dressed like Brandon at that fateful Halloween party; a hooded black cloak, gloves and a somewhat mournful ceramic face mask replaces the iconic droopy mouthed Ghostface look.
For all the excruciating blandness of most of the characters, with their salon perfect hairstyles and their mind-numbing postmodern chatter, a few positive elements do shine through. I like Audrey and Noah, who is sort of less irritating version of Randy from the film franchise.
Good Girl Emma Duval, who is the first character to get a menacing call from a very familiar voice, is a work in progress in terms of earning our concern. She’s dating a bland jock named Will but secretly likes mysterious loner Kieran, who contains shades of Christian Slater’s iconic J.D. from “Heathers.”
Kieran actually comes off as a more compelling figure than the show yet deserves. He’s the one to watch.
Emma’s mother Maggie and other adults in town are wrapped up in the mystery of Brandon James and his even more mysterious brother Troy, whom accepted and loved him.
Is Troy under the cloak and mask, butchering the children of his brother’s killers like Freddy Krueger back in ’84? Only time will tell.