Martin Carr reviews the ninth episode of Scream: The TV Series…
Earlier this week news broke of Wes Craven’s death from brain cancer. A debilitating, dignity stripping disease which I have had the unfortunate honour of witnessing first hand. However, with anything which has such a devastating affect it is best to reduce any column inches concerning this blight to zero. For now then let us focus on the man.
When I was growing up Craven was known for one film; Last House on The Left. A rape slash revenge flick which managed to make it onto the video nasty list, circa nineteen eighty something. By the way I was borne in seventy four, meaning my formative years were shaped by the video tape revolution. Age restrictions in rental shops were laughable, allowing me to watch everything from Shogun Assassin to Driller Killer. These gems combined with my imagination turned me into a sponge for any film information. Which in turn lead to this some thirty six years later. Where Craven fits in is difficult to say.
Familiar from A Nightmare on Elm Street which produced one of the most iconic movie monster ever conceived. Craven provided me with more than my fair share of sleepless nights and panic attacks before dawn. Constantly working in horror with occasional deviations, his calling card will remain Elm Street and its post-modern pop culture cousin Scream. A concept which spawned four films and one television series deep into its first season. As producer on this new variant it would be fair to say that Craven approved. And so it is as we venture into the penultimate episode, a film industry is forced to bid farewell to another visionary. A writer director who at seventy six still kept it fresh, vital and intriguing through constant reinvention. Something which Scream writers have taken to heart by mixing it up, in an episode packed with red herrings and misdirection.
Referencing Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder, Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and more contemporary fare such as The Babadook. Scream: The TV Series continues turning the tables on its audience, all be it in a predictable fashion. As we get closer to the root of Brandon James things get more and more confused. Seth Branson is the best red herring yet invented, while teenage love issues go toe to toe with hack and slash murder ethics. Unfortunately, for all the action it could be said that people spend a lot of time just talking. There is little time invested in the set up and minimal pay off come credits roll. With bloodbaths overflowing and a season finale fast approaching they may be saving the best for last. In light of this week’s news let us hope so.