FOX and MTV Want You to Scream

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IS THIS THE REVIVAL OF THE SLASHER GENRE?

My love of movies goes way back to when I was just a kid. Things kicked off with The Fox and the Hound and quickly escalated thanks in part to Beauty and the Beast. I kid you not, I still have found a character I love more than Belle. Sorry, Regina.

My eldest sister, Tiffany, upped the ante when she went away to sixth grade camp and came back to tell me and our other sister about Candyman and Bloody Mary (now you’ll know why I always freak out if someone orders this drink at brunch). Tiffany and her friends absolutely terrorized me growing up with stories of how I would be murdered by the Klu Klux Klan if I looked out of any windows after 7 PM on Wednesday nights (they were very specific which made it much more believable) or that I would also be murdered by the demons that lived in a massive old school fire burning furnace we had in our basement. I’m surprised I was able to function at all as a kid considering the only stories I ever consumed were about how I was basically going to die if I did anything.

When I was ten years old, Scream was released and I just knew I had to see it. In addition to being tortured by my sister, I was also fairly sheltered by my parents. The first movie I remember being allowed to see in theaters without an adult was Mean Girls…and I was a senior in high school when that gem came out. I say this to illustrate my surprise when she actually let me rent Scream on VHS but made me wait until the weekend to watch it with the entire family. All of the screaming and teenage slaughtering?

wes craven scream

IT WAS GLORIOUS.

One night not too long after that, I was asked to grab something from the kitchen and before I could turn on the lights, I looked out of the breakfast nook window that faced our backyard to find a man’s face in the window. My balls had yet to drop so my scream resembled Neve Campbell’s as I raced back into the living room to tell my parents what I say. My dad determined I was seeing things and my mom basically tried to ban Horror movies from our home. I still got my fix, though, because at the time, USA would air a Friday the 13th marathon anytime it was actually Friday the 13th.

No wonder I’m so anxious as an adult.

Either way, Scream truly sparked my love for the horror genre, specifically the slasher film. That genre has gone out of style lately but it would appear that just like Mariah Carey and Madonna, this old relic is trying hard to make a comeback and become relevant once again.

I was initially quite annoyed with MTV for adapting Scream into a television series but have since redirected my anger at other things in the world like Ariana Grande not releasing “Just A Little Bit of Your Heart” as a single. Think about it, though. Scream changed the game and is still to this day the highest grossing slasher film IN THE WORLD (it made $173 million at the box office).

When the TV show’s trailer debuted a couple of months ago, what flashed across my screen made the entire franchise seem unintelligent and uninspiring. It was a deplorable representation of the film’s premise and clearly won’t be of the same caliber. I’m not upset that they’ve adapted this into a television series because it has worked out before in the past (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, anyone?) but this just seems destined to die a quick death like most introductory characters in a horror film.

…I’ll still watch it for at least two episodes.

FOX continues its relationship with Ryan Murphy (the mastermind behind Glee, American Horror Story, Nip/Tuck and, most importantly, Popular) with the upcoming dark-comedy-thriller series, Scream Queens, starring Emma Roberts and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Roberts was awful in Scream 4 (“I don’t need friends. I need fans.” REALLY?) but based on the promo materials for this show, she perfectly embodies the character given to her. Who doesn’t love the unlikeable bitch these days? No one. That’s who. With the exception of

What is most exciting about Scream Queens is that it stands the chance to bring the slasher genre to television in a way that has never really been done before. If Murphy follows the AHS formula of reinvention each season with this program, it could do wonders for the genre in general. It will be tricky because it’s already been done with AHS which lost its way with Season 4. This is not to take away from AHS‘s success since it has managed to be both an industry leader with a total of 156 award nominations and a favorite with viewers. The Season 4 premiere had over 6 million viewers and averaged almost 4 million viewers throughout.

Here’s to hoping he’ll be able to scare up those types of ratings once Scream Queens premieres in the fall.

Honestly, the slasher genre is so easily butchered (no pun intended) with weak scripts and cheesy acting but still remains to be a strong addition to the horror genre when executed correctly. Classics like Psycho, Halloween and A Nightmare on Elm Street set the bar with Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer successfully reviving the genre in the late 90s. I’m not including some of the more recent box office “hits” because they have primarily been remakes (ie: Rob Zombie’s Halloween or 2003’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre). If you subtract those productions, there hasn’t been a slasher film with an original plot on the big screen. I think it’s time.

Wes Craven. Help.

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