Scream offers more drama, more mystery, less slasher thrills, but a fun Halloween special.
The second season of Scream brings us a new killer and the murder spree is far from over. New characters, new friends, new enemies, new victims and new suspects are introduced to conjure up another murder mystery. But instead of the stakes being higher, it chooses to play it on the safe side. The situations the Lakewood Six find themselves in, almost never feel dire enough.
This second season gets bogged down in drama and the characters run around in circles, without real thrilling moments. The raking up of Brandon James with new locations, feels artificial and like a plot device to set out some red herrings. While the story isn’t focused enough and too tame, despite some gruesome murders and deaths of people we don’t really care about in the first place, it still is an enjoyable young adult drama disguised as a teen slasher. It’s more about what they are going through, and that’s fine.
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A couple a months after the murder spree, Emma returns home from therapy. She suffers from PTSD, but now she’s back, another killer rises. The accomplice of Piper Shaw who wants to take revenge on her killers, Emma and Audrey. Now Audrey is targeted by the killer who blackmails her and makes her his unwilling accomplice. Everybody is dealing with the traumas and scares caused by the first murder spree, but the second killer is far from done with them.
Why you should watch it
This second season turns the slasher series more into a drama series. Everybody is coping in his/her own way, and the psychological terror, the cat-and-mouse-game is leveled up a notch. Audrey and Emma are framed and the killer is toying with them, while they are on the run from the cops and the killer. It’s a nice change of events, but it does take some time to get there.
It starts up rather slowly. The first kill is indeed fast and wrenching when it’s one of the Lakewood Six. But then it takes a few episodes to let the killer strike again. And when he strikes it’s people we didn’t really care for in the first place. No daring choices are made. There’s no feeling that the main characters we love are in any real danger. That the characters will be saved in time, or just have a scratch and can walk with a giant stomach wound. It’s therefore very tame and plays it on the safe side. On the other side, it can also result in a more comforting watch, that still is thrilling, but not heart wrenching.
That also means that the focus is more on the drama. About Emma not being believed. About Audrey not wanting to let out her secret. But it’s also about romance, about grief and trauma. Everything is addressed, but does not dive deep into the psychology of it all.
With more drama that stays on the surface, less thrilling elements, the kills are gory and gruesome. Hands are cut off, bodies slashed in half, burned alive, drowned alive, but mostly these victims aren’t the most likable persons anyway. So it doesn’t affect us, as it maybe does some of the main characters. Something that is, according to Noah, paramount. You got to care, if it’s a series. And that’s just what is lacking a bit.
Still, Scream is a very enjoyable series, that is well worth a watch. But don’t expect it to be a Scream, like the films. The cat-and-mouse-game does make it fun though and finally stirs things up a bit. But the new characters and setting, like the farm, the revelation of Miguel and Maggie about Brandon, all make it more complicated, without eventually being of real importance to the story. It feels like there are more plot devices at work, more confusing situations and that there’s more going on than needs to be.
Bonus episode: Halloween Special
Piper’s accomplice has been revealed and now the new Lakewood Five do have a future to think about. To take a break they go to Shallow Grove Island for Halloween, to investigate the local legend about Anna Hobbs for Noah and Stavo to write their next graphic novel about. But, you have guessed it, when a storm breaks loose on Halloween, a killer dressed in Anna’s mask is out to get them.
My favorite part
Honestly, I liked the bonus episode best. It’s a change of scenery and atmosphere and it’s a very fun mystery and slasher wrapped into a very entertaining watch. Although the motive of the killer might be a little farfetched, it’s a perfect watch for Halloween.
But in the season itself, I liked how Audrey was cornered and eventually did some crazy things to keep her secret. It’s nice that the focus shifted more towards her, so that the trauma bits of Emma were more balanced out. Because it was more focused on the drama, the ending could have been more about the importance of friendship between Emma and Audrey. It’s what this whole mess started, and it could have been more rounded in a more well-deserving conclusion between them.
Gore factor: ★★★★☆
Scare factor: ★★★☆☆
Thrill factor: ★★★☆☆
Gruesome factor: ★★★★☆
Entertainment factor: ★★★★★
Read more about Scream:
- Scream season 1 review
- Scream season 1 whodunnit
- Scream season 2 whodunnit
- Scream season 2 Halloween Special whodunnit
- Scream (1996) review
- Scream (1996) whodunnit
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), Santiago Seguar (Gustavo Acosta), Anthony Ruivivar (Sheriff Miguel Acosta), Bobby Campo (Seth Branson), Sean Grandillo (Eli Hudson), Austin Highsmith (Kristin Lang), Bryan Batt (Mayor Quinn Maddox) and Alexander Calvert (Alex Whitten).
Music: Jeremy Zuckerman. Cinematography: Yaron Levy. Production companies: DiGa Studios, Dimension Films, Dimension Television, Lantern Entertainment, MTV, Netflix. Original network: MTV, Netflix.