The town of Lakewood has recovered from the reign of terror of the white-masked killer. Emma Duval and her friend Audrey killed the murderer in a climactic lakeside confrontation. And that was the end of that… But Noah Foster, serial killer aficionado, mused that the killer may have had an accomplice. After all, the costumed killer and his “secret identity” were both seen together at least once. And as the series ended, the accomplice was revealed, to the viewers at least.
Now, months later, Emma returns and the Lakewood Six – the survivors of the first killer’s rampage – are reunited. But the killer’s accomplice has been receiving some familiar sounding phone calls. If they don’t do what the caller tells them to, then evidence exposing their actions will be released. But if the original killer’s accomplice is consumed by guilt and fear, who is that running round wearing a familiar white mask and brandishing a familiar looking knife?
Just a quick recap – this doesn’t tie in at all to the Scream film series. Yes, the killer is a very human individual (or individuals) who clearly watched too much Scooby Doo while growing up, and the basic costume is black robe (although slightly more practical) and a white mask (although not Ghostface), but there’s no relation plot-wise. The mask, rather than being a gimmick, was worn once upon a time by Brandon James, a tragic facially deformed individual who apparently went bat-poop crazy and killed a bunch of people before being shot and falling into the lake, never to be heard of again… Of course, that’s not the whole story but, spoilers, you know?
I really liked the first series. It was a whodunit, admittedly not one with clues. There were some good scares, a couple of nasty murders, sort of tastefully shot, the pick of them being Emma’s sort of ex-boyfriend, cut in half by an industrial saw but lengthways. You don’t see it happen, just the reaction shot, but there’s a perfect through-the-bisected-corpse shot later on. Just the right level of yuckiness for me.
Anyway, series two. After the reveal right at the end of series two, I was wondering how they would keep the whodunit going when we knew who the accomplice was. Well, by having a new killer target the old accomplice (and obviously Emma as well), this set the dynamics up in a different way. In fact, there aren’t many bodies in the first few episodes, although well done to the actor who seems to have hung around for at least three episodes after being murdered playing his own corpse, as the town seems unaware that the killer has started up again, until a fantastic reveal towards the end of episode… four, I think, when it all kicks off again.
There are some lovely plot twists and turns here, although as with the first series, only an idiot wouldn’t spot the killer(s?). I think. It was pretty obvious to me at least as I thought the faux-suspects were a bit obvious. Although having said that, the first film played up to that cliché and got away with it. But here, I could see the misdirections as clear as day.
What wasn’t obvious was the killer’s (killers’?) scheme which sees the light of day at the end of the penultimate episode and you can see what he/she/they have been building to. Of course, he/she/they then kick off and go back to near wholesale slaughter for the finale but it is a horror series, after all. There’s a lovely epilogue as well, showing that, as with the last series, things might not be over just yet…
The cast put in a good show here, although not everyone is given enough to do. There’s no shock like the killing of Randy in Scream 2 and you get a sense that the members of the Lakewood Six who make it into episode 2 are kind of untouchable. There’s a very effective episode called The Vanishing (they’re all titled after thematically linked horror films) which is only let down by the fact that you never really feel that Noah (the Randy-esque but much more likeable character) is going to die. Still, the punchline at the end of that episode caught me out.
So, if you’re looking for a box set to switch your brain off to and play a creepy version of Guess Who?, then Scream is available on Netflix in the UK. Season Two has just finished in the US – avoid googling it as every article you’ll see spoils the killer (and the epilogue) in the headline. Really, people, use your brain. I know this is a guilty pleasure of mine, but I find it loads of fun with an enjoyable cast – credit in particular to the Lakewood Six – and it’s Highly Recommended. Oh, and MTV – do make another season, won’t you?