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Scream Queens

Posted on October 2, 2015

Point Counterpoint: Is Scream Queens Horror? (Yes)


To be more specific, Scream Queens is clearly part and parcel of the horror subgenre called Horror/Comedy. So in a sense it is not straight horror. But I don’t think anyone assumed that it was. To negate Scream Queens as part of the horror canon is to negate such great films as Gremlins (1984), Beetlejuice (1988), and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)—and let’s not forget the landmark horror television series Tales From the Crypt (1989-96). What follows is my counter point to Elizabeth’s thought-provoking post, laying out why I feel Scream Queens is definitively part of horror and how horror comedy walks a thin line to maintain its place in the category.

Horror subgenres

Scholars of horror desperately try to define the parameters of horror. Both Elizabeth and I are tirelessly trying to create our own definition of what constitutes horror. One thing that all scholars seem to agree on is the fact that not everything that is horror fits nicely into the little box labeled “horror.” Perhaps part of the reason for this is that “horrific” is a subjective term. Some people find vampires and ghosts to be horrific. I, myself, find family gatherings, commitment, and small children to be much more terrifying. The things that incorporate horror but do not quite fit wholly within the category get shoved into subgenres. Some widely agreed upon subgenres are: teen horror, slasher, supernatural horror, monster horror, family horror, natural horror, body horror, psychological horror, and comedy horror.

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Posted on September 30, 2015

Point CounterPoint: Is Scream Queens Horror? (No)

Elizabeth Erwin

Note: Be sure to read Gwen’s argument why Scream Queens is horror!

Routinely criticized for a camp aesthetic that would make Divine blush, Ryan Murphy’s foray into horror has been mixed at best. While American Horror Story has had its share of viral moments, its consistently uneven storytelling has prevented it from picking up the mantle from its most obvious predecessor, Twin Peaks. And so it was with more than a little apprehension that I sat down to take in Scream Queens.

Gwen’s review highlights the many reasons there are to love Murphy’s latest television outing. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy every moment, mainly because it isn’t often that a show makes me laugh out loud. And ultimately that is the main problem with Scream Queens. By elevating humor above dread, the show is squandering its horror potential.

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Posted on September 23, 2015

Why EVERYTHING Works in FOX’s Scream Queens


The two hour premier of Scream Queens was everything I had hoped for and more. Where do I begin? It does what MTV’s Scream couldn’t, it takes it where A&E’s Bates Motel doesn’t, and it revitalized all that FX’s American Horror Story started with. This show has all the makings of greatness. Below are a few off the top things that the show has going for it.


This horror comedy makes the best of both the horror and the comedy. The pacing, the suspense, the one liners (Pissy Spacek), self-reflexivity (not running upstairs), and deaths are awe inspiring. I instantly was able to dive into the characters as if I was taken back to the days of watching Swan’s Crossing.  This show is a slick blend of Mean Girls, House Bunny, Black Christmas, and But I’m A Cheerleader.  Sorority Girls from Kappa Kappa Tau are being knocked off one by one by a demonically dressed killer. The story is dripping with campiness and political incorrectness. The season premier definitely leaves you craving the next installment in order to figure out who is thinning the crowd.

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