Martin Carr reviews the third episode of Scream: The TV Series season 2…
Apart from it sounding like an old thriller set in a motel, episode three of Scream is heading in a decent direction. Take away the plotline which is being dragged out concerning Jake and things are ticking over nicely. Meanwhile if we take out the father and daughter relationship which is surplus to requirements, Will Fitzgerald is turning into a true horror heroine. There are the same psychological hang ups you would come to expect, a talent for being drawn into situations beyond her control, as well as the trouble attraction which is essential in any hero of schlock Elsewhere Audrey and by extension Taylor Klaus is playing an interesting game of cat and mouse with the audience that keeps us guessing.
Beyond that what remains good about Scream is the fact it continues to thrill rather than rely on horror. I know it’s rated eighteen but really the claret which flies around never shocks. Masked freaks with victims in the bath tub are nothing compared to certain internet results we are all free to type in. However as much as social media, texting and cyber surfing play a large part in updating Scream, it also represents an Achilles heel. In so much as people are impervious to fear anymore and nothing tends to shock the demographic this show is aimed at.
That major issue aside you get the sense these actors are comfortable in their respective roles and there is every chance of a third run. It may sound like a bold statement this early in, but by going with Netflix the programme has insured itself against network cancellation or interference. Quality not ratings seems to be the focus for this streaming conglomerate, meaning they are making serious inroads into both. By partnering with Marvel amongst others Netflix bigwigs have latched onto that gravy train early, taking advantage of this particular group of forward thinkers. Scream is merely one amongst many saved from obscurity and looking to be benefit.
If I like Scream however is another question entirely. For me the familiarity and nostalgia I feel for this programme harks back to Craven’s original post-modern slasher flick. What the show does well is tap directly into that seam and exploit it mercilessly. Sure the characters are nothing more than reimagined archetypes, but really that’s no bad thing. Any blood sport is done well and with a degree of quality attached which is appreciated, while no one is ultimately stupid. They all seem to have their heads screwed on and are victims by circumstance not ignorance. That for me is a big plus. It never tries to be something else and gives people what they want without fuss or fireworks. Occasionally to be treated with dignity by a television show means a lot.