When it was first announced that MTV had commissioned a TV series based on Wes Craven’s Scream films, the reaction was mixed, especially among those who saw the ongoing film franchise as a series of diminishing returns since Craven revived the slasher genre with his original 1996 horror whodunit. The opinion of diehard fans went even further south when it was revealed that the killer in the Scream TV series wouldn’t be donning the franchise’s iconic Ghostface mask, and that the story would take place in a new town with new characters unconnected to Sidney Prescott and the denizens of Woodsboro.
Ultimately though, Scream: The TV Series succeeded nicely with the young audience it was designed for, despite relative critical apathy and the aforementioned concerns from those who’d grown up with the films. Naturally, MTV had no qualms about renewing Scream for a 14-episode season 2, representing a 4-episode increase from the inaugural season’s length.
To promote the series’ impending return, MTV has released the first 7 minutes of the season 2 premiere online (above), a sequence that almost plays out as its own mini-slasher flick, while tipping its cap to the opening of season 1.
With season 1 seemingly vanquishing Lakewood’s resident murderer, the students of George Washington High are doing their best to get on with their lives after enduring the deceased psycho’s bloody rampage. Emma (Willa Fitzgerald), one of the lead survivors of the slaughter, has spent the past three months at a psychiatric facility trying to cope with what happened, and returns to Lakewood as the new season begins. Unfortunately – in Scream franchise tradition – information suggests that season 1’s baddie wasn’t working alone, leading to a whole new round of paranoia and death as those who previously didn’t fall victim to the killer’s blade try to solve the mystery before it’s too late.
While several serialized murder mysteries have graced TV over the years, it’s not often that such a series makes it to a second season. For example, CBS made an overture into the genre back in 2009 via Harper’s Island, a 13-episode slasher scenario featuring new victims each week, a small-town location, brutal killings, and many red herrings as to the person(s) behind the carnage. Despite a big promotional push, the show tanked, and was quietly canceled. The similarities between the two shows are many, suggesting that perhaps CBS simply picked the wrong time to try this particular experiment, and would have been better off waiting a few years.
That said, if Scream hopes to continue to exceed expectations and make it to season 3, it’ll have to overcome one of the oldest tropes associated with horror movies: the sequel is almost never as good as the original.
Scream season 2 premieres on Monday, May 30th at 11pm on MTV.