The Teen Slasher Revival: Are You Rooting for the Scream Queens or the Final Girls?
Young blood is flowing like water this year in movies and TV, and tonight the bloodshed continues with the premiere of Scream Queens on Fox. Starring Emma Roberts, Lea Michele, Ariana Grande, Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer, Nick Jonas, and original "Scream Queen" Jamie Lee Curtis, Scream Queens is a new hyperreal TV series from Ryan Murphy, creator of Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story and the horror-comedy genre altogether, apparently.
Scream Queens is set in an fictional elite college campus where rich, white sorority girls reign supreme (and provide for satisfying killer bait) and "the men are all sex objects and cardboard cutouts, which is fine," writes The Verge. Expect Murphy, a fan of genre and homage, to follow the rules of sorority-set slashers as outlined by Wired: "A Deadly Secret, High Stakes Hazing (with pagan ritual elements), Oaths That Go to the Grave and, most importantly, the Head Bitch In Charge with a Master Plan."
As if the show's official star power wasn't enough, Scream Queens is rumored to bring onboard a few surprise guests as the seasons goes on. The rumors point to Kate Hudson (a former Glee guest star), but we're still holding our breath for the more genre-apt Sarah Michelle Gellar. When the Buffy actress was the guest on Watch What Happens Live with Ryan Murphy, the two said they'd love to work together.
Scream Queens is not the only television series reviving the teen slasher genre. Earlier this summer MTV premiered a TV adaption of Wes Craven's original Scream movies. The Scream series, which has been renewed for a second season, follows a new set of high school characters with no relation to Sidney Prescott and the Woodsboro murders. But like the first Scream, the MTV series is self-aware and funny, mixing the original's love for pop horror with more modern horrors, like Snapchat, cyber bullying and being unable to slide open an iPhone with wet fingers. In MTV's Scream, the killer posts masked selfie GIFs after each murder.
Later this year, the self-aware tinkering with horror tropes will continue but on the big screen with The Final Girls, titled after the label given to the women survivors in horror movies, the last girl standing, the ultimate "strong female character" who gets to return for the sequel, the foil to the ditzy, slut-shamed blonde who dies first. Starring up-and-coming Scream Queens Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story) and Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries), The Final Girls is a smart and satirical take on a B-movie campfest that first premiered at South by South West earlier this year and will be in select theaters nationwide closer to Halloween.
And the trend won't end there. In 2016 even more slasher films will come back to the cineplex with a(nother) reboot of Friday the 13th, a "recalibration of Halloween, a reboot of Nightmare on Elm Street, and more sequels to Child's Play and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
By the sound of it, Scream Queens seems like one of the most original takes on the slasher revival. We haven't been this excited since Kristen Bell and Anna Paquin's movie-within-a-movie scene in Scream 4...