Scream ‘cuz you know what he did that Halloween

scream resurrection 2019


2 Stars  2019/253m

“New season. New blood.”

Created by: / Cast: RJ Cyler, Jessica Sula, Keke Palmer, Giorgia Whigham, CJ Wallace, Guillian Yao Gioiello, Tyga, Tyler Posey, Mary J. Blige, Tony Todd, Paris Jackson, Roger Jackson (voice).

Body Count: 11

Laughter Lines: “Some dude turned him into a Pez dispenser.”

Leaving the town of Lakeshore in peace, and partially unresolved given the way Season 2 ended, the powers that be decided to reboot the TV format of Scream and take it to more urban surroundings, crop down the number of episodes, and… well, I have no idea what else. Some spoilers.

After the news about Harvey Weinstein broke, #MeToo, and various other black clouds gathered, the 2018 air date was delayed, eventually shifting from MTV for a get-it-over-stat run of airing the six episodes over three nights on VH1. Yeeps.

It could also be argued that the final product was so disappointing, everybody involved just wanted to wash their hands of it entirely.

scream resurrection 2019

Beginning with a nubile girl (MJ’s daughter, Paris) home alone getting a weird call, the opening scene proves to be a gag that introduces us to two trick or treating brothers who end up in trouble when they go looking for a stolen swag-bag of candy in the breaker’s yard inhabited by ‘Hookman’ (Tony Todd), who murders one, while the other escapes.

Eight years later (not five or ten for once!), surviving twin Deion (Cyler) is Weaver High School’s star football player, but also the plaything of a shady stalker, wearing the original Ghostface mask and making calls with the same voice: “Let’s see who you really are, Deion!” etc, etc.

scream resurrection mary j blige rj cyler 2019

The curse seems to leak out and infect a group of classmates when they share detention: The geek, the outspoken protester, her gay BFF, the goth, and the princess. Calling themselves The Deadfast Club before someone else comes up with it, they and some hangers-on are soon being slashed, injected, impaled, and litter-pick’d to death. Well, only the male ones. There’s curiously not a single female victim in Resurrection.

Keke Palmer is the brightest light here as social justice warrior Kym, who doesn’t shy away from calling things out: When the killer calls her and asks if she likes scary movies, she pointedly responds: “No I do not, ’cause everyone in them as stupid as hell.” The other five central players pale in comparison somewhat, a couple are able to add some depth to their knife-fodder roles but the by-numbers dialogue doesn’t allow them a lot of room to manoeuvre.

scream resurrection 2019

Goth-girl Beth is our Randy/Kirby stand-in, firing off Slasher 101 factoids all over the show, and it would seem this series might’ve challenged the conventions over who will survive, but given that the gay and Muslim kids are first to go from the main roster, has anything really progressed much? This isn’t the first slasher opus to try and switch up race roles, but is probably the most notable, which makes it more tragic that it was virtually written off and will doubtfully ever air again.

As we know with all horror tales involving twins, there’s going to be some switcheroo nonsense in there and it’s a groan-inducing moment when the truth finally seeps out, leading into an unmasking that’s particularly anti-climactic and ill-conceived, taking it about as far from the smart-ass post-modernism of the original Scream movie, which goes unmentioned, along with the events of the other two seasons. A throwaway line about the mask being similar to the one used in the Woodsboro killings? Nah. Zip.

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The kids do their best to try and subvert expectations, but we’re 23 years after Scream and 40 years after Halloween and Friday the 13th now. Applying the rules of their parents and grandparents doesn’t fly and it’s bleakly ironic that Scream: Resurrection has become exactly the kind of material that the original movie took to task in unravelling.

Blurbs-of-interest: Keke Palmer was in both seasons of Scream QueensGideon Emery was in Train; Tony Todd was Candyman, in Final Destination‘s 12, and 5Hatchet and its first sequelHell FestiMurdersJack the Reaper, Candy Corn, and Scarecrow Slayer.

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