Martin Carr reviews the eighth episode of Scream: The TV Series…
As we roll into the final few episodes Scream: The TV Series is gaining some serious momentum. Either putting Willa Fitzgerald through the Scream Queen wringer. Peppering the walls with Kubrick references, or employing strobe effects and pints of fake blood. Elsewhere however homages are used for a less visceral purpose. Firstly by name checking under rated Rodriguez flick The Faculty. Then dropping in seminal detention classic The Breakfast Club.
As usual Scream has method in its madness. Initially pointing out the pervading erosion of this educational institution from the inside. Then secondly taking it further by implying persecution of the students. An idea name checked with The Crucible by Arthur Miller and McCarthy’s Communist witch hunts in the nineteen fifties. In part because Emma would have been branded a witch, based on her visions, paranoia and apparent mental meltdown. While Karna and Taylor-Klaus’s reluctance to rat out classmates, would label them guilty by suspicion.
A valid point to raise as Robert De Niro starred in Guilty by Suspicion, which focused solely on Communist paranoia. Relevant only because the writers reference Scorsese’s Cape Fear remake towards Scream’s conclusion. By replicating the dynamic between De Niro and Juliette Lewis, with Mr. Branson and Brooke Maddox. A salacious encounter which focuses on atmosphere, her naiveté and our knowledge of Branson’s history. Factor in the associations of acting as being a profession based on falsehood. And this encounter begins to take on another dimension. In terms of tying things up it represents a change from the mental bombardment. Allowing us to appreciate what came before and ending the episode with sinister subtlety.
Beyond that it became clear how much love these writers have for this genre. Imagery reminiscent of the genre’s finest work, proved to me that these guys really revelled in its recreation. Taking evident pleasure in depicting her crumbling mental state, you could almost hear the fan boys cheer as things turned medieval. Celebrations which would remain short-lived unfortunately, as plot points took precedence.
Shamefully disappointing they may be, but these old chestnuts form the basis of any clichéd slasher flick you care to mention. To reveal would be to ruin. But I tell you now, there will be a collective groan from anyone with even minor knowledge of the genre come the big moment. A development which merely drags up these points as leverage to add breadth.
As we fast approach the conclusion things will continue to build. With the ante being upped week on week and effects budgets being blown in an attempt to wow. It is my opinion that Scream: The TV Series has every intention of hitting a home run, burning round those bases and leaving us wanting. A goal which is sure to fulfilled.