When news broke that MTV was going to try its hand at episodic horror and that they had selected the Scream franchise as its model, many were wondering how the slasher elements would transfer to the small screen. Unlike other horror genres that seem an ideal fit for serialized and anthology television, slasher films often use a very specific pacing structure that can be hard to mimic beyond 90 minutes.
As a fan of the franchise, I was dismayed to learn that part of the deal to have Scream come to the small screen was an agreement that effectively took the prospect of a Scream 5 theatrical release off the table. Was the decision a sound one? Based upon the pilot, the jury is still out. If the 1996 Scream film was a self-referential slasher dripping with a 90s sensibility, MTV’s revamped version is a generic mishmash of slasher tropes with a decidedly 2015 flair. The end result is an uneven pilot that dangles enough questions of interest to merit tuning in for episode two.