The Scream franchise is going to get an extra jolt of adrenaline this summer, thanks to MTV. The network has assembled a cast of bright, young things to face down a new murderer in a creepy, darkly funny throwback to the 1996 classic. Just because you have seen the movies, don't go into Scream expecting to know the plot, though. The series is very much doing its own thing — and that thing is giving you some much-needed summer chills and thrills.
Recently, star Connor Weil, who plays the straitlaced basketball player Will, a young man who just wants to go to college and leave his small town life behind, chatted with us about what Scream the series will and won't be. Spoiler alert: One thing it will be is your new favorite summer show.
What passed for scary in 1996 is pretty tame by some of today's standards, and Scream the TV series has to play to a horror-savvy, post-Scream audience. The franchise dissected the horror movie genre, and in the same way, Scream the series has to do its own thing or risk looking like it is going through the motions.
Weil told us to expect the series to be darker and bloodier than the 1996 film. "We like to push just a little bit further because the horror genre is on such a kick right now," Weil said. "We are going to lean harder on the darker undertone for sure. That's what's hot right now. It's thrilling and exciting."
Remember that epic MTV promo that brought cast members from all of MTV's shows together for a bloodbath to introduce viewers to the world of Scream? That's the tone of the show in a nutshell: Deadly with pitch-black humor. "We will continue with the fun, twisted humor that the movies were so famous for," Weil promised. "It's inevitable for the Scream franchise. You sit there and you're like, 'I can't believe I laughed at that, that's awful,' but it's hilarious."
Weil confessed that, in many ways, the actors are as in the dark about the fates of the characters as the audience will be. However, one thing fans can expect is to play the ultimate guessing game when it comes to who the killer(s) is/are. Half the fun will be in trying to figure out the show's twisty narrative.
Scream is filmed on location in Louisiana and that means more than just the promise of stunning visuals. The backdrop adds to the atmosphere of the show. Weil and the rest of the cast have had a blast exploring the state in their downtime, but it's what Louisiana brings to the series that impressed Weil the most.
"It's my first time in the South and it's the perfect mix," Weil explained. "It's nice when you need it to be and it can be so creepy when you need it. It's like the perfect place."
Just go ahead and give in now because the characters are amazing. You will love them and then your heart will be ripped out. There will be lots of death and double-crossing, but Scream stays rooted in the humanity of the story, like all the best horror. Ultimately, that means your emotions will get a workout, but that is a good thing.
The series is not going to cater to the "throwbackers," as Weil dubbed original fans of the franchise, or newcomers. It has something for everyone. If you loved the movies, go into it knowing the show will pay homage to the tone and style, but it also has to build a world around these characters and reach an audience that didn't exist in 1996. "We will take you on your own, individual journey," Weil promised fans in both camps.
The bottom line is: If you love horror, then Scream is can't-miss summer TV.
Scream premieres Tuesday, June 30 at 10/9c on MTV.
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