Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel “THE I IN EVIL”, and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
“SCREAM: THE TV SERIES HALLOWEEN SPECIAL” (TV Review)Movies/TV,News,Reviews Ken W. Hanley
With gore, suspense, and some really fun set pieces, SCREAM: THE TV SERIES has become the little horror series that could. Now, with two seasons in the bag and a truncated third (and likely final) season on the way, SCREAM puts a petrifying post-script on their 2016 offerings with a brand new 2-hour Halloween Special. But while this eerie epilogue gives us more time with the survivors of the massacres from previous seasons, this special does divert away from Lakewood and the Brandon James mythology, for better and for worse.
Set eight months after the events of Season Two, the SCREAM HALLOWEEN SPECIAL sees the survivors finally moving on with their lives, coping in their own unique ways. But when another death hits Lakewood on the anniversary of Piper’s killing spree, Emma and her friends leave the town for the local island getaway of Shallow Grove. However, Shallow Grove has its own horrific history, and soon enough, the past terrors of the island come colliding with the present as another killer emerges from the darkness.
On the plus side, the SCREAM HALLOWEEN SPECIAL feels like an extended episode of the regular series, with the dialogue, bloodletting, and twists that fan have come to embrace. It also offers up a unique mystery that explores Noah’s own moral compass in the SCREAM universe, while also giving a look into the lives of those affected: Audrey’s new relationship, Brooke’s unsure future, and the success of the Lakewood-inspired graphic novel from Stavo and Noah. And, for what it’s worth, the new characters introduced in the special are interesting as well, if not particularly long for the SCREAM world.
However, there is a sense of redundancy for this special edition of SCREAM, and as fun as it is to see the Lakewood group out of their comfort zones, the episode feels more or less like an unnecessary narrative buffer between seasons rather than a genuine Halloween special. First off, there’s no real festive Halloween attitude, nor a real incorporation of the holiday within the episode, which is somewhat of a bummer; in fact, this episode shares more with a made-for-TV movie than a holiday special. And, to be frank, not much happens narratively speaking; outside of one major death, there’s not much keeping the SCREAM HALLOWEEN SPECIAL from being much different than anything else the series has offered thus far.
But perhaps more of a disappointment is that this episode feels more like I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER than anything in the SCREAM franchise, the TV show included. By playing it like a straight slasher, with no meta-commentary and the character’s still making silly, horror-generic mistakes, much of the fun of the SCREAM series is frustratingly missing from this special. And while it may be fun to see Noah try to piece together an old urban legend, the SCREAM HALLOWEEN SPECIAL sometimes falls too far into SCOOBY-DOO territory, complete with secret passageways and masked men playing pranks.
However, if you’re a fan of SCREAM: THE TV SERIES, you’ll still find plenty to enjoy in this special, and there are some imperative, must-see moments for fans in this episode (particularly in the opening and closing moments). If you’re a fan of slashers without the internal commentary of SCREAM, you’re bound to enjoy this episode more than previous seasons, but for those looking for the best of what the series has to offer, you’ll be stuck waiting until Season Three.