The Scream franchise finds new life with the DVD release of the first season from the MTV series adaptation.
Although the season is a tad light on scares, the makers of the show make sure the gore lives up to what Scream fans expect and the writing has plenty of opportunity to tease the horror genre for its various cliché moments.
Based on the movie franchise created by Kevin Williamson and directed by the legendary Wes Craven, the television adaptation was created by Jay Beattie, Jill E. Blotevogel, and Dan Dworkin.
It featured a fresh cast of Hollywood stars including Willa Fitzgerald, Carlson Young, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna, and Amadeus Serafini.
The cast also included Tracy Middendorf, Jason Wiles, Amelia Rose Blaire and Bella Thorne – stepping into the shoes of Drew Barrymore as the opening kill.
While trying to stay as spoiler free as possible, the series updates the franchise taking it into the digital age as the first season plot revolves around cyberbullying by local high school mean girl Nina Patterson (Thorne) and her friends against sarcastic outsider Audrey Jensen (Taylor-Klaus).
The incident leads to the first murder as Patterson and her boyfriend are slaughtered in her home after the killer teases her through text and phone calls.
The murder sends shockwaves through the city of Lakewood and also reminds the town of a killing spree that happened years ago involving a deformed boy in love with a popular high school girl.
The cyberbullying also continues to haunt the characters as Emma Duvall (Firtzgerald) tries to reconnect with Jensen and slowly becomes the main target for the killer.
Throughout the 10-episode season, the show borrows from the franchise formula to keep the audience guessing the killer’s identity.
It also borrows from other classic horror films with its use of the Brandon James character who seems like he could fit in a Friday the 13th film.
At times, the series does feel like an extended episode of Scooby Doo, but the fresh writing and young cast keep the series from being weighed down by its own trappings.
The updating of the Scream formula does an excellent job of keeping the nostalgia factor (we still get reminded of the rules for surviving a horror film) while giving the younger audience things they can relate with (there is less mention of Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger and more drops about Pretty Little Liars).
The series does get weighed down by its stretching the story out for 10 episodes and several of the characters tend to blur together or be easily forgettable – which makes their deaths less shocking. The series is also light on real scares.
The movie franchise was never an “on the edge of your seat” nail-biter but managed a good jump or two.
Some of the scares could be lost on how well the series follows the franchise formula and giving the audience time to know when the new Ghostface (who sports a new mask for the series) is about to jump out of the closet.
The creators make up for the lack of scares by not going light on the gore department. Teenagers are sliced and diced in a variety of ways, and there is a lovely trip to an abandon hospital complete with a killer’s lair that would make Leatherface or Jigsaw proud.
Along with collecting all of Season One’s episodes, the DVD comes with some decent bonus material for fans of the show.
Special features include a promotional gallery from the shooting of the series, a great gag reel, and deleted scenes from various episodes.
The first season of Scream was a solid start for a new direction for the franchise and did an excellent job of promising new thrills for Season Two.
Fans of the original movies and new fans will find plenty of gore to love and maybe a scare or two along the way.