Preview: What to Expect from the Scream Halloween Special

The small-town mystery continues on as our mask-wearing, blade-wielding madman is set to make this Halloween a bloody one! “Scream,” you say? Yes, it is most certainly time to scream!

Note: You may stumble across a minor spoiler or two, though we’re working to keep the surprises intact, as you’ll have the chance to check out this beauty tomorrow night, October 18th!

Our grand Halloween special gets off to an ultra-violent beginning, as we see one of the series’ focal characters meet an astonishing and graphic end. And when we say “astonishing and graphic end,” we mean exactly that: In this episode a few characters are bound to wind up extremely, extremely bloody. In fact, within a few brief moments we see one of the most savage killings produced in two seasons.

Meanwhile we see that Noah and Stavo are still pressing on with their overnight success graphic novel. But depicting factual murders in these books looks to be having a serious effect on Noah, whose conscience isn’t exactly encouraging him to continue on, transforming heartbreak to greed-fueled artistic expression. Keep in mind, Noah seems to be one of the very few decent human beings in this story.

One of the interesting elements of this blockbuster seasonal gift is the reaction put on display by the focal ensemble. These are teenagers who’ve been having their lives turned upside down for a year or so; yet, they’re all behaving carefree and seem none too bothered by the ever-escalating body count in Lakewood (and beyond).

It seems these kids take the term desensitized to entirely new levels. But how long can that last?

Throughout the Halloween special we see that life is still somehow moving forward in seemingly typical fashion. Relationships are being nursed, faith is being invested in plenty of characters that may or may not deserve such trust. And somehow, these players appear to be legitimately happy.

Odd, given the nightmare they’re living.

Noah and Stavo really dig their feet in during this episode, engaging in some thorough research, looking to gain some strong and impactful facts to incorporate into their successful graphic novel. It feels a bit tacky, but as a teenager, tact and situational sensitivity aren’t necessarily a top priority… even when imminent danger is lurking around every shadowy corner.

The brilliance of this episode is the breakneck speed at which the story moves. MTV execs seem to understand their viewers, as we’re spared extensive exposition in favor of a proverbial car with the break lines cut. It’s a great maneuver on MTV’s part, as there’s virtually no chance to become bored with what proves to be a thoroughly enjoyable Halloween special.

A fair portion of the first hour of the episode features continued speculation regarding the one donning that new creepy mask, but interestingly enough, this speculation is often underplayed, a surprise given the fact that the potential victim list is still quite lengthy.

That said, viewers get some stellar ghost stories as our primary group of survivors sit around a bonfire and recite horrifying ghost tales. But the cleverness of these scenes is the ambiguity of it all. How true are these stories? How are the facts known, in such detail, by local kids? And, better yet, are these stories pure fabrication, or is there truth in these anecdotes?

This, my friends, is becoming a very interesting little shindig. The fact that there may very well be a serial killer lurking about only adds to the episode’s allure.

It’s safe to warn viewers (who will most likely see this as not a warning, but a high point of intrigue) in advance that this Halloween, “Scream” is going to push the bloody boundaries, forcing censors to no doubt intervene and trim a few of the particularly graphic sequences.

In fact, the truth is this is the goriest episode of “Scream” that I’ve seen to date, and it’s mighty glorious. Gorehounds are going to be sincerely satisfied with this epic episode.

But for every blood-soaked image, we’re made privy to the anticipated teenage drama (can I coin the term “trama”?). The good news is there’s such an abundance of violence and eerie sequences that the trama of the series fades into the background, shoved aside in favor of merciless brutality.

One of the superb moments in the episode takes a very direct cue from Wes Craven’s original Scream. Though I’ll refrain from spoiling this particular scene, you’ll know it immediately. You’ll also likely find some charming nostalgia that all but guarantees a return to visit to the original Scream film. It seems only appropriate.

Between new blossoming relationships, the effort to continue creating a (loosely) fact-based horrifying graphic novel, and what should be a relaxing weekend away from imminent danger, viewers are briefly led to believe that these poor kids may enjoy some pleasant little Halloween shenanigans without too much gruesome murder.

If you’re one to predict a mellow episode, you’re way off base.

“Halloween Special” makes for an excellent piece of television. There is no peace to be found within the episode, and the level of carnage is gorgeously stunning. You want a “Scream” episode with a high body count and a revelation or two that will stun you on an unbelievable level? Then you’ll want to catch this two-hour long extravaganza in which – it seems painfully obvious – no one is safe from the wrath of a deranged mask-wearing murderer.

You’re going to see some excellent prosthetic work, some top-notch practical special effects, and then there’s the best part of it all: You’re going to be surprised by a few of the bodies that pile up. Some come as expected deaths; others will leave your jaw on the floor.

While I would’ve greatly appreciated a stronger Halloween “presence” (aside from the occasional decoration and Jack-o-lantern) from the episode, it’s hard not to enjoy one of the more risqué and revealing episodes in the series. New mysteries are born. Fan favorites are terminated. Confusion courses through the minds of everyone present at this little festival. And a murderer’s face is revealed. Yep, you read that right!

If you’ve been waiting for that special episode of MTV’s “Scream,” you’ve finally gotten it. “Halloween Special” has raised the intensity bar for MTV, and the only lingering question now is: How will the network follow up such a riveting episode… an episode that leaves blood streaming in the streets, sucked into the gutters? The rain may wash away the plasma, but anyone following “Scream” religiously knows good and well that the terror these youngsters are experiencing is far, far from over. The body count is going to continue to rise, and beware… because your favorite character is anything but safe!

Catch “Scream’s” two hour “Halloween Special” tomorrow night on MTV at 9PM!

Scream Halloween

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Matt Molgaard

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