‘Scream’ Season 2 Halloween Special Review

Photo Credit: MTV
4

Eight months after the season two finale, Emma (Willa Fitzgerald) is trying to move on with her life. With Noah (John Karna) and Stavo (Santiago Segura) now bestselling authors of a graphic novel based on the Lakewood killing spree, they decide to multi-task: give their friends a vacation in Shallow Groves while researching a notorious killer that lived there. Of course, their vacation is anything but relaxing as things get bloody.

 

**Spoiler Alert**

This review contains spoilers for the Halloween Special episode of Scream. If you haven’t yet watched, read at your own risk.

 

The Good

Two dead in the first five minutes. The special wastes no time in letting the audience know that there’s plenty of blood and mayhem on the way. Not only does the masked killer take out Kieran’s guard after a 10 consecutive life sentence is laid down, but they also take out Kieran without revealing who they are to him. Kieran indicates that they had a deal before he gets his throat slashed, so it does create the doubt in the audience’s mind that he was even responsible for all the murder and mayhem before.

Emma starts to let loose a little. While she doesn’t actually get the tattoo when she suggests it to Audrey, she does browse the catalog, flirt with a cute boy, and even joke around with Audrey about the cute boy. It’s progress for someone who has been living under the weight of the Lakewood murders, and it’s so fun to see. Audrey and Emma’s friendship, when they’re both upfront and trusting one another, always adds a lightness to the show in the middle of all of the horror.

Noah pokes a lot of holes in the Anna Hobbs story. Noah, as always, is the voice of the audience as the killing gets underway. He’s not sold on using the story of Anna Hobbs for the next graphic novel he and Stavo are working on. Why? Because it’s not a full story. It seems like a run-of-the-mill scary story, but no one knows why Anna snapped and there are plenty of conflicting reports about the evidence. Noah’s complaints about the story gives us the head’s up that there’s the potential for an interesting twist on the way.

Emma’s first creepy phone call. She knows Kieran is dead, but that doesn’t stop her hand from shaking and her voice from breaking just a little bit when she hears that familiar disguised voice on the other end of the land line at the island house. The sequence gives the audience a nice homage to the original movie as well with a white cordless phone and Emma being told to turn on the porch light. At the halfway point in the special, we know this is where the real action starts.

The group heading to the Whitten house for help. The idea itself isn’t shocking. This is an island and there are only so many people on it, but the camera shot of the group standing in the doorway as it’s opened for them is a nice homage to the original promotional material for season one that had the entire main cast show up at someone’s house for a party and stand on the porch in almost the same formation.

MTV

The group is also incredibly prepared for another murder spree. Despite them all being too quick to trust anyone still, the five friends are able to keep their heads and formulate plans under the threat of a murderer somewhere nearby. It’s nice to see no one freaking out and running away from the group at this point as they’ve all been through similar situations more than once.

Stavo gets deep about Noah’s writer’s block. Stavo points out that Noah isn’t suffering from writer’s block, but he’s too preoccupied with his survivor’s guilt. Noah and Stavo have turned the tragedy surrounding them into a profitable venture. It’s only natural for Noah to feel guilty about everything that happened, and I like that Stavo is the one who can see it. Stavo doesn’t have the same guilt that Noah does because his drawing has always been, as we saw during the season, how he works through his issues, but it makes sense that working so closely with Noah over eight months would put him in the best position to understand.

Noah still gets excited about the weird things. Not only does he bring up the lingering questions about the Anna Hobbs story, but his curiosity is peaked by a photo album and a secret passage. Noah manages to forget that they’re all being targeted by a killer again when he has the excitement of a legendary murer to occupy him.

“I don’t need a hero.” Emma has spent a lot of time confused about where she goes next and how to move on with her life. For her to step up and be the hero of her own story, again, and this time realize that she is, is a big step for her.Her taking on “Alex” herself was such a great sequence.

That teaser of an ending. While the production team might not have known for sure that they were going to get a season three when planning the movie, setting up the ending for a season three was a smart move. It leaves us wondering who the bigger danger is to Emma and her friends - is it her father, who has been spurned by just about everyone involved in the story or is Brandon James whose obsession with her mother started everything?

 

The Bad

The back and forth with Stavo and Brooke. When the special opens, Stavo actually seems much more relaxed and less creepy than we’ve seen him in the past, but cue Brooke mentioning one thing about college, and suddenly, that tension is back again. They both seem to self sabotage, and you’d think after everything they’ve been through already, we wouldn’t be subjected to the same back and forth we saw with Brooke and Jake, or even the early part of Brooke and Stavo’s relationship.

Killing off all the guest stars first. It’s a pet peeve of mine on television, I have to admit. It’s hard to believe the stakes of a show are real when the main cast is safe all the time. Of course, this is a two hour special instead of a 12 episode season, so killing off a bunch of the main cast too quickly wouldn’t allow suspense to build.

Why split up? Brooke is the only one who constantly reminds everyone once the killing starts that they should stick together. Everyone else seems to forget that splitting up throughout the series has ended up with someone dead as they are targeted one by one. There’s definitely safety in numbers, and you’d think that would be something they know by now.

MTV

 

The Questions

Are the love lives of these characters just doomed? Brooke and Stavo might be self sabotaging, but Brooke, Emma, Audrey, and Noah have all had at least one boyfriend or girlfriend fall victim to the killer. Now, they either trust too quickly or don’t trust at all. Audrey’s history interferes with her relationship, Emma gets targeted by another killer, etc.

What does this mean for season three? The series recently got a renewal for a shortened third season. Are we going to see everyone in Lakewood before heading off to college? Are we going to skip ahead to the group split up around the country? My first instinct is, since this special was set around Halloween, is that we’ll see the group have one last hurrah before leaving Lakewood behind for higher education, in the spring or the summer, giving closure to the story.

Who killed Kieran? This is the question that season three is going to have to answer. But it also begs the question of whether or not Kieran was actually involved in as many murders as we were led to believe. Just like the tease of Piper’s accomplice in season one, we’re left wondering about the implications of his death.

 

Grading the episode: There were plenty of cheesy horror movie moments and conflict that you would think the group would have moved on from by now, but overall, the special was a great way to tee up season three and allow the characters some closure after season two. The special didn’t feel like an ending, but a tease of what’s to come. B