PopWrapped horror buff and Senior Staff Writer Aedan Juvet was invited to attend the star-studded premiere of the upcoming MTV series, Scream, at The 2015 LA Film Fest, held at LA Live.
For those of you living under a rock for the last 19 years, Scream is a horror film that reinvented the slasher genre by embracing all of the humorous and scary tropes of horror films entirely. The film went on to create three successful sequels and die-hard fans that have proven to be immensely dedicated for almost two decades.
The series premiered Sunday June 14th at the LA Film Fest, where Bob Weinstein introduced the writers Jill E. Blotevogel, Jaime Paglia and the talented fresh cast. Before the screening could begin, Weinstein jokingly proceeded to admit that he hadn’t quite learned the cast’s name yet, explaining, “It’s probably good if I don’t because most of them are gonna fuckin die,” appropriately referring to the Scream franchise’s high body count.
The premiere episode itself welcomes us to the world of Lakewood, with a high-profile cat and mouse game reminiscent of the opening to the films. Though Scream sets off a great ride right from the jump by integrating modern technology into the fray, such as pesky smartphones with heat sensitivity and automated features that normally are a great assistance, those things can actually be a major hindrance.
The pilot episode also introduces us to an eclectic group of individuals in Lakewood, with small town ties to each other and a plethora of secrets guaranteed to unravel throughout the first season. As it turns out, there is a deep-rooted, rich back story of a bullied teen who went on a killing rampage that resulted in the death of many, and you can guarantee the present day killer is very aware of it. I can’t get to spoilery on the plot details, since the series airs June 30th, but I can say that each character brings something to the series and adds an air of mystery to the story.
Some of the noteworthy characters include the talented actress Willa Fitzgerald, who creates a layered character torn between popularity, friendship and affection in just the first episode as series lead character Emma, who has many different unfortunate circumstances to deal with. Carlson Young, who plays Brooke, is another standout in the group as the new reigning queen bee of school, with a ball-busting attitude to match. Actor Tom Maden plays the role of Jake Fitzgerald, a brash jock with little empathy, but who also manages to encompasses amusing characteristics that make him another “guilty pleasure” character that Maden brings to life (hopefully he will stick around!).
After much anticipation regarding the new mask, I can confirm that the new killer’s costume translates perfectly on camera, as a seamless transition to make the series more individualistic while embracing a clear concept. In fact, the killer is actually very impressive (in a non-creepy way) by creating intense doses of suspense while leaving an eerie, lingering feeling from overall appearance and voice; like a shot of the killer watching a potential victim, or calling one of the teens to cause intimidation.
The cinematography enhances the vision of the series, with each image seemingly holding a potentially dangerous outcome for just about every character at some point or another, much like a Wes Craven horror film (who also happens to produce the Scream series).
The series accurately depicts the Scream trademark self-awareness by showing people’s concerns regarding a slasher film as a television series. However, if the pilot episode is any indication of the direction, Scream may be needed to fight that label with a larger story to discover, and imminent death that will pain viewers on a weekly basis.
During the panel that took place afterward, Blotevogel acknowledges a long-term, driven plot and compared the mysteries to that of the cult classic show, Twin Peaks. She also confirms that, while Scream will give you many answers during Season 1, they hope to elaborate in an expansive world with both past and present day plot devices for multiple seasons. A majority of the cast admitted during the panel that they hadn’t seen the Scream films until they were cast, with a few horror fans in the mix who were exposed to the series at a young age like Bella Thorne, John Karna and Carlson Young; all of whom knew of the series previously. They also disclosed that there was a cast viewing where they familiarized themselves with the franchise by watching the films to discover the essence of what makes the Screamseries so iconic. “Mixing that much gore with comedy, it’s gold!” Bex Taylor Klaus, who plays Audrey, added.
The MTV Scream series proves to be a major contender in the horror-television genre, setting up intricate stories, plenty of scares and a team that is passionate about the series. By the end, the audience seemed to thoroughly enjoyScream (myself included), and all of the varied facets beginning to surface will make Scream a refreshing show with hopes to reinvigorate the slasher genre as a whole for television.
Scream the series may differ from the films in many aspects but the consistent tone seems to mesh with the ambiance that the Scream films originally created, and because of that I guarantee you I’ll be watching every episode of the horror series.
Keep up with mef or more exclusive Scream coverage, recaps, and reviews! Scream airs Tuesday, June 30th on MTV!