[Netflix Review] Scream Season 1 (2015) ★★★☆☆

Scream turns a slasher into a murder mystery with gory bits. 

Scream is a teen-slasher in the likes of the original Scream (1996) movie. With fun nods to the film, the phone calls, discussions in the classroom just like in Scream about horror movies that is translated to a series, it certainly does try to repeat that same thrilling but parody feel of Scream.

With high school friends, a final girl who is targeted by the killer, a nosy reporter, a legendary past full of death, a nerd who knows all about slashers and horrors and of course gruesome brutal kills, this series knows its source material. But it isn’t Scream. With more teen drama, more mysteries to unravel, more red herrings, more romance and room for fun and some breathing space, this is definitely a very enjoyable watch for young adult slasher lovers.

This first season consists of 10 episodes with each a duration of 39-44 minutes. It has a continuous storyline in which the Lakewood Slasher sets out on his murder spree and it is up to Emma and her friends to expose him and uncover the truth. 

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Emma Duval lives with her mother Maggie in Lakewood. Her father Kevin has left them 8 years ago. 20 Years ago a high school boy with a disfigured face named Brandon James caused a massacre and killed 5 high school kids. Now it seems that someone else is using Brandon’s surgical mask and starts a killing spree among Emma’s friend. He threatens her and plays a cat-and-mouse-game with her. She has to uncover the truth about what happened 20 years ago, what it has to do with the killings now, and why she is targeted. With the help of her best friends Audrey and Noah, Brooke, Will and Jake she tries to stop the killer before there’s no-one left. 

Why you should watch it

The series Scream is based on the original 1996 film and that shows. It does have that same feeling and elements and it succeeds partially to imitate the film. But the duration does slow it down a bit. With 5 deaths by Ghost Face, the Lakewood Slasher only manages to kill 8 people, two of which are actually of no real importance to the story, or to the audience or Emma and her friends. That indicates also that there’s more focus on the characters, the teen dramas, romances, but with also more focus on all their little dark secrets, and the mysteries than on the killings. 

Find out who the Lakewood Slasher is, here.

That makes this series an excellent watch for a younger audience. But there are also a lot of nods to the original film, by way of structure, characters and setup. So Scream fans should have some fun too. With a lot of secrets, quite a few suspects, several red herrings, this series keeps you guessing who the real killer is. It’s excellently done, without too many plot devices to set you on the wrong track, but with clever turns the reveal is going to be a big surprise. 

Although there aren’t a lot of kills, they are brutal. And with a series like Noah (the new Randy) says, you have to care. The kills are gruesome and gory, but also very awful and horrible. The way how they were killed, the sadism of it, but also the act itself was very hard to watch. Their death scenes were indeed hard to take and especially when some very nice people died, who didn’t deserve it, just like Tatum. The slasher element is very effective and not made for laughs. It doesn’t have any popcorn quality, but it’s full on the drama and how it affects and effects Emma. 

In that way it’s also more serious than the original film. But it also addresses some serious teen issues, like sexuality, bullying, friendship, love, parents. Especially the cyber bullying is now taken to the extreme and in this way an even newer element than the fourth installment of the Scream films, for the technology is even more advanced and used to harass, incriminate or make fun of people. It’s not about the 15 minutes of fame anymore, it’s about much more than that. 

My favorite part

The mystery part of the story, when Emma, Audrey and Noah take control to unravel everything about the past and Brandon James and to unmask the killer are the best parts. It moves away from the original films, to create a new fresh take with a series structure, and that does make it feel more like a murder mystery than a slasher. With this different approach it brings something fresh that is worth a watch, while you can actively guess who the killer is.


Rating: ★★★☆☆

Gore factor: ★★★★★

Scare factor: ★★★☆☆

Thrill factor: ★★★☆☆

Gruesome factor: ★★★★☆

Entertainment factor: ★★★★★

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Cast and crew

Scream is created by Jay Beattie, Jill E. Blotevogel, Dan Dworkin and Brett Matthews. It stars Willa Fitzgerald (Emma Duval), Bex Taylor-KLaus (Audrey Jensen), John Karna (Noah Foster), Carlson Young (Brooke Maddox), Tom Maden (Jake Fitzgerald), Amadeus Serafini (Kieran Wilcox), Tracy Middendorf (Maggie Duval), Amelia Rose Blaire (Piper Shaw), Jason Wiles (Sheriff Clark Hudson), Bobby Campo (Seth Branson) and Bryan Batt (Mayor Quinn Maddox).

Music: Jeremy Zuckerman. Cinematography: Yaron Levy. Production companies: DiGa Studios, Dimension Films, Dimension Television, Lantern Entertainment, MTV, Netflix. Original network: MTV, Netflix.

Check the trailer below

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