Hey, ladies and gentlemen – I’m here with a super-review of the entire 3rd season of Scream – titled Scream: Resurrection! Now, slashers (as you longtime readers know) are near and dear to my heart and I would go down with my ship defending Scream 2 as the best slasher film ever made. It had characters we cared about, surprising deaths, continued the story in a natural way and (while the ending isn’t perfect) gave us some cool revelations and twists that played with the expectations of viewers while referencing famous slashers and storylines (Friday the 13th specifically)
So, I was a huge fan when MTV launched their Scream series (seasons 1 + 2 can be found on Netflix right now) and really enjoyed their take on the formula. I know that the Captain did not enjoy these, but I thought that they brought some new mythos to the idea and had (relatively) interesting characters and some gruesome deaths that gave me exactly what I wanted in a Scream series.
Now, when it was announced that Season 3 of Scream would not continue/complete the Brandon James killer-arc (which was extremely disappointing if you have seen the Season 2 Halloween special where SPOILER ALERT it is strongly hinted that Brandon James is not dead and is back and highly displeased that he has copycats who are soiling his – not-so – good name) I was very disappointed – as many fans were.
There is also the fact that the series was moving to VH-1 instead of MTV which felt kind of like they just dumped the series after building it up for several years and were just using the name to generate a little excitement over an entirely different series in tone and style.
That said, the first trailer (HERE) did make me want to check it out, so I DVR’d it and watch the 6 hour special (all in one night because I could skip past all of the commercials) and give it a fair and honest review from a fan of the franchise.
So, with all of that said, what did I think of Scream Season 3 and should you check it out?
I really like the way the season starts – with Paris Jackson getting a call from a creepy-voiced man on Halloween and then being “stabbed” by a trick-or-treater – this was interesting, as I rolled my eyes at first, thinking they were totally out of things to do, but then it is revealed that the trick-or-treater (who is wearing the classic Ghostface mask – something they did not have the rights to use before, a problem that the Captain had with the earlier seasons) is not actually the killer, but just a random trick-or-treater.
We then follow the kid in the Ghostface costume as he enters an abandoned junkyard and gets slashed by none other than Tony Todd, Candyman himself!
I want to talk about this for a moment, as this season did something really great in the introduction and something that I think was missing a little from previous seasons, but that the Scream franchise became famous for: playing with and subverting our expectations.
Now, this is a slippery slope – especially for writers just starting out. You want to make something original, fresh and take your characters and plot in an entirely new direction which is great, but it can also lead to trouble.
You see, if you are so worried about your radical twist ending that you forget to make your characters memorable or everything leading up to it feels stale, then your script/story will ultimately fail. In the same way, if you try to subvert every expectation and come up with a new surprise at every turn, your script can turn into a jumbled mess that a reader can’t follow.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t aspire to always be unique and to tell a stand-out story, but it takes practice and study to learn what will work and what will end up feeling cheap or becoming muddled from a lack of understanding of basic structure principles.
Now that my brief lecture is out of the way, back to Scream Season 3:
We are then introduced to our main cast –
Deon (D-Day) – A runner and football player – we get introduced to him by seeing him racing a school bus to see who can arrive at school first. He is kind of a typical jock, but likable and I like that they made him the protagonist, as we would usually have the Nerd or Outcast be the hero in our slasher.
Liv – Is the love-interest for Deon who has her own dark secrets that are revealed as the series goes on.
Keke Palmer – Kind of the Pretentious Snob stereotype, but since I know her from Scream Queens, we will just refer to her as Keke Palmer. She is an activist who is pretty in-you-face and over-the-top and was one of my least favorite characters.
The Nerd – Who goes by Amir, but for our purposes he will be referred to solely as “Nerd”. He is our comic relief, but wasn’t all that funny.
Manny – The gay friend of Keke Palmer who doesn’t speak-up for himself.
The Goth – Our horror expert – like Jamie Kennedy in the Scream film series. She doesn’t really offer anything new, but I did come to like her sarcastic clap-backs.
White Chocolate – This is his name – really. He is the white guy who has a pretty bad country accent and doesn’t like Deon because he is a superstar and better than him at football.
After we meet these people, Ghostface kills an Uber driver which is really going to hurt his Passenger Star Rating, as I think stabbing your driver automatically drops you down to 3 stars.
(Heh, they could have named this season Stuber as well because the killer stabbed an Uber Driver – get it? If you put stabbed and Uber together, you get Stuber!!!! HAHA – Apologies to all, I’m still a little salty about the writing in Stuber)
Later, outside of school, Deon is also attacked by Ghostface, but pretty easily escapes. He fights with White Chocolate over Liv and is then thrown into detention by a teacher, Miss-So-And-So.
All of our main characters have managed to get detention and the group chats and bonds, Breakfast Club-style, and then they all get invited to a big party by a drug dealer (Tyler Posey) who tells them all to leave so he can hook up with the Goth.
Of course, scattering is never a good idea and Deon gets shot by Ghostface… but not really, it was a dream. Which I hate, but you’ve heard me rant about that before, so I’ll just say dream sequences are cheap, lazy ways to pad page count.
At his house, Deon talks to his mother and we find out that on Halloween years ago there was some tragedy in his life, related to his brother Marcus, that caused him to have a mental breakdown. This is pretty familiar, but I think they kind of had to have this backstory to give our protagonist a connection to the killer, so I’ll let it slide without too much grief.
Oh, and we find out that Liv’s dad is a cop – basically, that’s required as well for at least one character in a slasher and he’s just another victim for Ghostface to slash, so don’t get too attached to him.
Then we’re introduced to Tyga – the rapper playing… well, basically playing himself – who is Deon’s half-brother.
Deon gets a call from the cell phone of his dead brother, Marcus, which is actually Ghostface who threatens Deon and tells him that his friends are going to die if Deon doesn’t come to the party at the old metro station.
Later that night, Deon goes to the party that night where everyone is wearing a Ghostface mask and costume.
Oh, and Tyler Posey of Teen Wolf fame reappears – it’s an MTV cameo, which I thought I’d mention, since even though this series is no longer on MTV, there is still a familiar vibe to the series which was nice to see.
At this point, I’m not sure if Ghostface exists in this universe or not – like, I don’t know if this takes place in a world where Sidney Prescott has taken down not one, not two, but four (technically five if you count the twist in the first movie) Ghostface killers.
Yeah, and we find out (in a pretty obvious reveal) that Devon and Marcus were the kids in the intro and Marcus was the kid who got killed by Tony Todd.
Then we start to get into the slasher part of this slasher series as one-by-one our cast of lovable losers is picked off by Ghostface.
First to go is White Chocolate – dropped from the ceiling and impaled by a hook – you will not be missed, sir.
After White Chocolate literally “drops” dead, the rest of our group all get texts from the killer – I wish they had gone further with the technology angle to add twists and surprises – they really went for it in Season 2 and used the technology to play with our expectations and character deaths. Here, not so much.
Next, Kiki Palmer gets attacked, but survives. She was watching tv alone, which seems strange after she has already had her life threatened once, seen a murder and been warned by a friend that she is in danger.
The next day, Goth girl and Kiki Palmer talk and the group decides to flip the script and go after Ghostface. I liked this because they acknowledge that most slasher movie characters wait until all or most of their friends are dead before going after the killer.
Quick Note Here: Though they do try to do some new things and play with expectations in this season, at the end of the day this season is pretty bland and predictable.
For example, the cops are totally useless. The characters do mention this, but you do have to be careful because just saying that you are being cliche over-and-over doesn’t lessen the fact that… well, your writing is cliche.
Anyhow, Liv reveals to Deon that Marcus may still be alive – she thinks that he is using a fake name and that it is really Marcus who is coming for them.
Meanwhile, Tyler Posey gets gassed and tied up by the Goth, Nerd, Manny and Keke Palmer in the empty school building because they think he is the murderer. Since we are only on Episode 1/Hour 2 of the Season, he is obviously just a red-herring.
Of course, Ghostface uses this as a trap to lock the kids in the school and try to kill them off one-by-one. In a surprise, they actually manage to knock Ghostface out as they get the jump on him, but Tyler Posey can’t pull the trigger because that would mean the season would be over, so Ghostface lives to slash another day.
And that is how we end Episode #1 – so far, nothing special, but I’m a sucker for horror and slashers, so I’m going to finish the season.
We begin with more Liv and Deon drama – they kiss and then sleep together.
Deon has another nightmare of his brother killing him which is a huge bummer because instead of writing original, unique scares, they decide to cheap-out with a dream sequence and a jump-scare.
Anyway, it’s now Halloween and Deon’s family (including his absentee dad) is freaking out due to the fact that it is the night that Marcus was murdered on. Tyga and Deon fight and then Deon gets a call from his dead brother – actually Ghostface – and is told to go to the junkyard where his brother was killed if wants to find out what actually happened that night.
Oh, and we learn that apparently Ghostface killed Tyler Posey off-screen between episodes because Tyler’s paycheck was too high to be in this series anymore.
The rest of the group decides to go help Deon when they realize that he is walking right into a trap… which he obviously is. Now, Deon really seem to be the only one Ghostface wants to kill, so why the rest of his “friends” who have known him for one day in total, choose to follow Deon to an abandoned junkyard, not telling anyone else where they are going, and making themselves targets, is anyone’s guess.
Deon, Vic and Nerd decide to go off to the junkyard alone, leaving the secondary characters – Goth, Keke and Manny – alone at a gas station with some Deliverance-like hillbillies. Keke and Manny fight, it’s revealed that Manny has anger issues, and Keke Palmer drives off alone.
At the junkyard, Deon and Vic leave Nerd in the car and go explore the junkyard themselves. They find a generic psychopath wall of newspaper clippings and photos of our heroes. Before they have too much time to look into this, Tony Todd grabs Nerd and almost kills him, but is stopped at the last second by Deon.
Tony Todd tells them that he didn’t hurt Marcus that night all those years ago, but can show Deon where he is. He takes them to a grave and reveals that he is a veteran with PTSD who lives alone, away from people he might hurt. 6 months after Marcus and Deon showed up at his junkyard on Halloween, Tony Todd reveals that he found Marcus, dead in the trunk of one of the cars in the junkyard, where he hid on Halloween night and got locked inside.
A few moments later we get a cool Candyman vs. Ghostface fight between Tony Todd and Ghostface, but since the title of this series is Scream, T.T. is killed by Ghostface after being crushed by the machine used to smash old cars.
Elsewhere, Keke Palmer is run off the road and into a cornfield by the Deliverance gang, but Manny appears and hits one of them with a tire iron and they leave. Before he can find Keke Palmer, Manny is captured and burned alive by Ghostface.
We then cut to a few days later at Manny’s funeral – nothing much happens, but everyone is sad.
Liv suggests that the killer is likely one of the main group: Nerd, Goth, Keke, Liv or Deon.
Can you guess who the killer is?
We’ll just pretend like you couldn’t and I’ll continue —
At football practice, Deon sees Ghostface who taunts them and then asks the group to text him a name of the next person to die. And, if they don’t text a name, then they all will die – Ghostface explains this in great detail, which he really doesn’t have to, because it’s first grade, Spongebob! (shout-out to the three of you readers who get that reference)
The group decides not to text a name, but then have doubts individually and mistrust and fear eventually win out and a name is picked – Deon.
We then see that Liv is using a bunch of different cell phones for something – we are not sure why yet, but it is suspicious – just suspicious enough to ensure that she is not the killer.
Oh yeah, Goth and Nerd hook up – doesn’t really matter, but we spend a lot of time setting the romance up, so I thought that I would mention it.
Liv has her dad arrest Deon so that Ghostface can’t kill him – of course, Dad doesn’t like Deon messing around with his daughter, so he drives Deon out into the middle of nowhere and talks to him about Liv. He tells Devon that Liv is unstable and that’s why he wants Devon to stay away from his daughter.
At that moment, the cop (Liv’s dad) is stabbed by Ghostface, leaving Deon alone and looking like the prime suspect in the killing.
While that happens, Ghostface, who now has the power of teleportation or just wishing really hard to be somewhere else (I know what you will say when the twist is revealed, but if you pay attention, there is no explaining this moment) jumps through a window and attacks Goth and Nerd, eventually killing Nerd by cutting him in half long-ways – really, the best kill in the season, which was pretty disappointing as the last couple of seasons gave us some pretty gruesome kills and they are a hallmark of the slasher genre.
I’m not going to go too much into what happens here as I don’t want to spoil the entire Season 3 if anyone was considering watching it.
However, Deon gets arrested for the attack on Liv’s dad. Her dad survived the attack, but Liv told the police it was Deon who stabbed her father, so he spends the night in jail. Luckily, her dad wakes up for just long enough to clear Deon of the attack, so Deon is freed.
Also, Deon’s arrest causes the football recruiter who was coming to watch him play that night to leave and his football career to go down the drain.
Keke and Goth team up to try to figure out who the killer is – big surprise this doesn’t go anywhere, but succeeds at padding the running time and clearing Liv of suspicion.
Later, Devon rushes to the hospital where Ghostface is trying to kill Liv and her father – Goth Girl and Keke are there too, just because.
After Ghostface kills someone else (no spoilers) we cut to the next day where Deon has been reinstated to the football team because the coach took the recruiter out for drinks the night before, which was enough to change the recruiter’s mind – hey, I guess this young, suspected murderer can’t be so bad if his coach, who has a large stake in the kid’s future career, will buy me a free beer!
So Deon decides to play in the final game, Goth Girl and Keke decide to go to the game to look for Ghostface and Ghostface decides to torment our survivors by playing a game of his own.
Anyway, predictably, there is a big final showdown where the killer knocks off some more of our supporting characters as secrets are revealed and the killer is unmasked.
As I said, I’m not going to spoiler it, other than to say that they sort of take twists from Scream 1 and Scream 4 and mesh them together which works, but I guessed most of what was going on pretty early, but they do manage to make it a bit different by mixing and matching their twists and reveals.
So, that is about as much as I am going to say about the final episode, except that I really liked the final reveal despite the fact that A. It is very unbelievable and B. each episode was a super-long two hours and it felt like it. Not to say I didn’t enjoy parts of it, but the season moved kind of slowly in places.
Though it doesn’t do a lot to set itself apart from other, similar slasher fare, it’s enjoyable for what it is. If you are a fan of slashers, I’d say check it out when you can catch it on TV or Netflix. However, if you are on the fence or not really into slasher horror, I think you can safely skip this season.
Though it was nice to see Scream come back, I think most fans of the series would rather have seen the return of our previous characters and the resolution of the Brandon James arc. Ah, well, I suppose I’ll just have to go to some fanfiction message boards to see how that turned out.
If they didn’t want to connect this to the previous seasons, then they could have at least connected it somehow to the film universe – for example, it seems like people in this season know about Ghostface, but why? Are the Scream movies a thing in this universe? Does Sydney Prescott live and/or exist in this world? Has Ghostface killed before?
If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the never-ending rabbit-hole of Scream fan-fic, searching for how Brandon James returned from the dead and who his final victims were.
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