Scream Season 3 – Season Review
Should I bother calling it Scream: Resurrection?
Should I bother calling it anything other than the trash it is?
It’s bad, baby. Real bad.
TL;DR A bunch of nothing characters don’t do anything other than get harassed by Ghostface; everything about the production is lazy and pathetic; why didn’t this just stay buried with the Weinsteins where it belongs?
Probably because not even the Weinsteins would want to be associated with it.
You know, I was going to do individual episode reviews (I took full notes and everything), but so little happens across this six episode “event” that it’s not worth it. The main character of our latest group of teen victims is RJ Cyler as Deion, some bland “I wanna get a football scholarship” archetype whose twin brother was killed on Halloween by Tony Todd when they were little. There’s a little sliver of plot around that thread, but like everything else in this show, it ends up being arbitrary and disappointing. Our other characters are a bland love interest, Liv, a girl who takes a liking to RJ, but does stupidly creepy things to make her a blatant red herring; Keke Palmer as a too-old-to-be-in-high-school SJW; token gay kid, Manny, who is merely that; Amir, the nerdy DJ or something; a goth chick who acts as the trope-announcing Randy of this iteration; rapper Tyga as RJ’s half brother; and Tyler Posey rounds us out as some pointless drug dealer. From the very first episode, these characters do literally nothing but get chased around and talk about Ghostface, so there isn’t any character development for anybody but RJ. But don’t get your hopes up there, as his story culminates in an utterly pointless reveal that, gasp, he’s actually the other twin. But this means nothing to his love interest, and doesn’t even influence Ghostface’s motive, as it’s revealed that big brother Tyga is the killer, out of jealousy that RJ and his brother’s existence is what broke up their shared dad from Tyga’s mum. Oh, and Goth Chick is the obligatory second killer, and her motive is that she’s just a sociopath who was in it for the evulz. Both are killed, and RJ lives blandly ever after with Liv. And Keke somehow survives, too.
Given she had the highest profile in the cast, I didn’t think they’d be able to afford her all the way through.
And therein is Scream Season 3’s biggest problem: it’s a cheap, empty, ambitionless piece of absolute shit. Diss the two MTV seasons all you want (and boy, have I), but even among all the misguided, stupid things they did, at least they tried to tell a story; they tried to achieve something. It wasn’t very Scream, but it was a cohesive, basically competent effort.
Not so for VH1’s Resurrection, which has no character development, no plot, and despite bringing back the original costume and voice for Ghostface, resembles Scream even less than the MTV seasons.
You should have left it in the fucking vault, VH1. Unreleased, Scream Season 3 could have been a horror mystery for the ages. But this? This. Is. Shit.
Why I hate this season:
I know the huge delay in release was business-related, so it would be foolish to whinge a “you had all this time.” But apart from that, the point of radically changing the show and getting rid of everything from Season 1 and 2 was to make it better. Fuckin’ hell, did Scream fail at that.
Of the many, many big problems it has, I’ll have to give a huge shoutout to the god-awful pacing. From the very first episode the characters in the “The Deadfast Club” (groan) are acknowledging and talking about how they’re in a horror movie and a psycho killer is after them. That’s too early, dude. You need to build up to that. Hell, the Scream movies were never even that blatant about things at any point. The characters in those movies were still real people living their lives and trying to deal with the murders going on around them (you know, like any slasher movie). These idiots don’t exist outside of “what do you think Ghostface is going to do next?”
That leads into another enormous problem: tone. Yes, Scream has always been a series with comedy. But at a base plot level, the characters still took what was happening to them seriously. Scream Season 3 again fails at this, as the characters simultaneously spend all their time talking about Ghostface, but none of it taking him or the threat he poses seriously.
The only characters who get a life outside of Ghostface are RJ and Liv. We’ll start with Liv, who is pushed as a red herring right up until Goth Chick’s reveal as the other killer in the final episode. And why? Because Liv acts like a fucking psychopath at every turn. Even when nobody’s around! This gets handwaved away with some excuse about how she’s been unstable since her parents broke up, but damn, bitch. It’s amazing how much this season wants to lean into the self-awareness, meta thing, but the characters are not aware of themselves at all.
Now, onto RJ, who is the only one to get any real story of his own, as he spends about half the season investigating what actually happened to his twin brother on the night Tony Todd attacked them. The answer, that Tony Todd only minorly injured his brother (in a Vietnam PTSD episode, so it’s okay) and then he hid in a car boot and couldn’t get out so died in there, is kind of interesting. But it’s farted out so quickly with no build-up at all, and RJ barely reacts to it, that it makes me wonder why it was even a thing in the first place.
But just kidding, I know why: so RJ can reveal climactically to Liv that he is actually that other twin, Marcus, and that after the attack, he pretended to be Deion because people like Deion better or something. Huh? They were, like, eight years old. And it’s not like this is some big “I’m actually the evil twin” reveal. Deion was just slightly more liked than Marcus. That’s it. Bonus points on the pointlessness of it all, as Liv keeps calling him Deion for the remainder of the show, anyway.
And like I said, it doesn’t even feed into Tyga’s motive rant (sidebar: Tyga’s acting is so blah, that I actually started tuning out during the motive rant because I didn’t realise that’s what was happening. I had to rewind), as his motive was about the dissolution of his family as a result of the Tony Todd thing. It didn’t matter at all that RJ had played twinanigans. What was the fucking point, show?
Goth Chick’s motive is even dumber than Stu’s from the first Scream. A peer pressured psycho killer is more fun than just this “I do what I want, and what I want is to kill people” bullshit. Even Mickey from Scream 2 had his silly plan to blame the movies in his impending trial. Goth Chick was just doing it for fun, I guess?
It’s pretty obvious they had Mary J Blige for less than a day, as she only appears in, like, three scenes. And her hair is exactly the same in each one, so the wig didn’t even get messed up between takes.
Most of the kills in the season are not on the end of Ghostface’s trademark hunting knife, which is very un-Scream. Tyler Posey gets killed with a drug injection to the eye; Manny gets blown up in some weirdly elaborate fuel line to a car stunt; Tony Todd gets crushed by a car crusher; Amir gets stabbed with a bone saw. What? A simple knife isn’t good enough for you?
One of the few things this season shares with its MTV brethren is the lack of chase scenes. So fuck you, show.
Oh, and you know what the saddest thing about Scream Season 3 is? With a little more effort put into the script, and goddamn a new cinematographer, this premise might have actually made for a semi-decent I Know What You Did Last Summer TV reboot. This just plainly isn’t Scream.
But it’s not all bad:
At a merciful six episodes, and dumped over three nights, I would like to believe that VH1 hates this trash fire as much as I do. Reboot it again, guys, or just don’t bother.
Although, can you imagine if they got the MTV gang back together and made it actually good this time? That would be fucking cool. Because then we’d get more Brooke!
I will genuinely praise this season for keeping me guessing on who the killer would be. I had actually picked that wigger friend of RJ’s, as he was one of the first teen characters we met in the first episode, and he was then weirdly absent for a long time. What a nice surprise that, although I was wrong, he turned out to be a secret gay, and was part of Keke’s happy ending.
Keke is the best part of the season. Yes, she’s too old to be in high school. And she was often at fault for fucking up the tone of her scenes because she was being too much. But with everyone else sleepwalking, I was glad that Keke seemed to actually give a shit. This is her penance for Scream Queens.
Keke gets the best line of the season when she is under attack from Ghostface in the second episode and she starts yelling “officer down” to attract attention, before pausing and then changing to “white officer down.” Topical.
There was a thankful subversion of the gross and outdated “you can’t date my daughter” trope that Liv’s dad tries to invoke, as he reveals to RJ later that he actually wants to keep them apart to protect RJ from Liv’s unstable tendencies.
Oh, and terrible CGI shot aside, Amir’s elevator-assisted bisection was pretty gnarly. I’ll remember it.