Saturday, November 19, 2016

EDITORIAL: Scream - From Film to Television

In 1996, Wes Craven came up with a masterpiece that would forever change the horror genre. The movie was Scream and it brought back the popularity of the slasher movies from the '80s. It boasted a hot young cast consisting of Neve Campbell, Drew Barrymore, Courtney Cox and David Arquette. Scream spawned three sequels and a TV series.

I was sixteen when the first Scream came out and I was spellbound. The voice and mask brought the film to a whole new level for me. What's your favorite scary movie? is a phase that will love on forever. It was a stroke of cinematic genius to have Drew Barrymore as the first victim instead of as the lead actress, whom Neve Campbell played in the role of Sydney Prescott.  And she played the role wonderfully in all four Scream movies.

In the first film of the franchise, the teenagers of Woodsboro, Mass begin being killed off. The mysterious murderer calls their victims and asks them questions about their favorite scary movies. The film follows Sydney Prescott, the film's "final girl", as she and her friends attempt to avoid being butchered by a psycho in the now infamous "Ghost Face" mask.

The second film begins with two college students being killed at a preview of Stab, a film based on the events of Woodsboro, from the first film. It was a movie within a movie, which really drove the meta-feel to a new level. There seems to be a copycat killer on the loose, and of course Sydney is the target once again. Scream 3 came out in 2000 and was to be the last film in the trilogy. A new killing spree begins, targeted towards the original Woodsboro survivors and those associated with the movie Stab 3. Sydney faces her past in a way she never would have expected.

Then more than a decade went by before we'd see anything else from this world with Scream 4 coming out in 2011, targeting a whole new generation of horror fans. On the 15th anniversary of the original Woodsboro killings, two high schoolers are found dead. Sydney is in town promoting a self-help book. However, evidence is found which makes her a suspect, with some saying she was trying to become more famous off the killings. But, someone very close is jealous of Sydney's success...

In 2015, MTV created a series based off the film franchise, sharing many similarities to the films. A hot young cast with great acting chops is just one. It has been on for two seasons and has been renewed for a third, but how many more seasons can there be? There are only so many scenarios to go through without the show getting stale.

Season 1 centers around a group of high schoolers in Lakewood who are stalked by a killer out for revenge. This was also the premise for the Scream film franchise, so its similarities were instantly visible. The first victim is a popular girl named Nina. The night before, Nina and her friend Emma had put up a video of classmate Audrey making out with a girl. So Audrey has motive.
The killer in the first season turns how out to be someone you would least expect. Our final girl, Emma, played by the lovely Willa Fitzgerald, supposedly seeks professional help after almost being killed herself.

Season 2 starts out with Emma coming home. She reconnects with Noah, Audrey, Brooke, Jake and of course Kieran. Her fellow classmates whisper behind her back when the killings start up again in Lakewood. Emma finds out who her true friends really are. The killer turns out to be.. Sorry not telling. You'll just have to watch the first two seasons to find out. MTV's Scream is stylish and hip. But, with the third season approaching, how will producers keep the show fresh? I'm looking forward to finding out.

When Scream came out in 1996, it revitalized the horror genre. The survivor did not have to be pure. In the slasher films of the 80s, the first people who usually got killed were teenagers having sex. However in Scream Sydney loses her virginity and still survives.

The Scream franchise changed the way we looked at horror movies. When you thought you knew who the killer was, there was always a twist. Even technology began to play a more important role starting with Scream 4 (the use of webcams and live streaming being prevalent) and continuing in the MTV series. Noah's podcast in Season 1 and 2 keeps everyone in Lakewood informed about the killings. So as technology evolves so does the way we make movies and television shows.

Both the films and the series have changed the way I view the horror genre. There can be more than one killer. The virgin does not always survive. Stereotypes and rules were made to be broken.

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