Scream: Resurrection, or Scream the TV Series Season 3–there are IMDb pages under both names with the exact same information–debuts tonight on VH1 at 9 pm EST with a brand new story set against the backdrop of Atlanta.
The new series centers on Deion Elliot (RJ Cyler), a football star with big dreams and an even bigger secret he’s kept locked away for years. His mother (Mary J. Blige) and half-brother (Tyga) both support him as best as they can, but despite their help, he soon finds himself in a game of cat-and-mouse with a killer that seems to know everything about him and will stop at nothing until Deion is exposed, dead, or both.
What’s more, this killer has a serious hangup with hypocrites, and the first two episodes become increasingly tense as Deion finds that his friends are also targets.
The writers really went for it, attempting to create the meta-trope-filled environment that made the Scream franchise great right down to the character archetypes updated in the most tongue-in-cheek way possible for 2019.
The cast of characters includes:
- Kym (Keke Palmer), the activist who is so used to being a leader she just assumes people will do what she says.
- Manny (Guillian Yao Gioiello), Kym’s gay best friend who is just trying to make it to graduation so he can make the jump to college and a more queer-friendly environment.
- Liv (Jessica Sula), the good-girl cheerleader with a police officer father whose just almost too good to be true.
- Amir (Christopher Jordan Wallace), the aspiring DJ who is trying to walk the line between his parent’s faith and the life he wants to live.
- Beth (Giorgia Whigham), the goth horror movie fanatic, who knows all the rules for surviving a horror movie but can’t seem to stay out of trouble in the real world herself.
The show’s creators have also brought back the franchise’s original costume and Roger Jackson who voiced Ghostface in all four of the films which makes this particular iteration of the Scream television series feel just a bit closer to its big screen forebears.
Unfortunately, the writers were working so hard to make it Scream that almost every horror homage and reference seems to barrel off the screen into your face.
Tony Todd, for instance, appears as a war veteran suffering from PTSD with a hook for a hand that the kids call Hookman. All he’s really missing is that fur-lined coat to turn Hookman into Candyman.
It’s certainly nostalgic, but this lack of subtlety ultimately ends up working against them as they set up the rules of the game their killer is playing.
Still, the cast does a fine job of embracing their roles and telling stories of people who recognize their flaws, even if they’re only doing so at knife-point.
Cyler, especially, stands out in the role of Deion pivoting from tough-guy to vulnerability with admirable ease. Whigham’s Beth, meanwhile, is an edgier version of the Randy character from the original trilogy, and though we know that’s her function in the “game,” it’s still refreshing to see her take a more proactive role, rather than rehashing the lovable buffoonery of the trope.
Oddly enough, it’s Keke Palmer as Kym that sits the most uncomfortably. Don’t get me wrong, she acts the role with ease, but you can almost tell at times that she’s growing weary of playing this particular type of character.
After all, she spent two years on Scream Queens playing what is basically the same role, but Kym lacks the humor that Zayday had and because of this, ends up just being loud and a version of brash that borders on bullying even toward Manny, who is supposed to be her best friend.
Despite its flaws, however, by the end of episode two, I was ready to see what would happen next and I suppose that says something about the show.
Will the show ultimately deliver the goods?
Tune into VH1 for the special Scream: Resurrection event starting tonight at 9 pm EST and see for yourselves. The next four episodes will follow, two each night, at the same time through Wednesday, and iHorror will be here with reviews each day to help you get ready.