Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Scream Episode 3 "Wanna Play a Game?"

Hello again, fellow Scream fans!
I feel like I should warn everyone again that if you have not yet watched episode 3 of MTV's Scream, you should not continue reading until you have! Spoilers will most probably follow.
We realized a couple of things while re-watching tonight's episode... most notably that Scream is a lot smarter than it wants you to think. Sure, it has a chatty character who constantly makes comparisons and name drops well known horror movies (with his very own background music), but that is not why the series is worthy of the iconic title, although a little misleading at first. This show does something that you may not notice until you revisit an episode for the second time. It leaves hints. 

If you watched Room 237, you know that the background of a scene is not accidental. And while not every director goes so far as to turn cans of corn to the exact side they want to be showing on screen (like Kubric during The Shining (seriously, you should see Room 237)), it's sometimes impossible to deny that the background of a shot is trying to give you a hint to what's going to happen next. It's these inter-titles that lead the majority of our viewers to agree that Mr. Branson, the teacher with questionable morals and will power, must be the killer. He was the one to pair the students up to work on a project, ultimately the reason Emma started talking to Kieran, found out that he had the case files from the Brendan James murder spree at his house, and discovered that her mother was hiding her involvement for all these years. And you remember that phone call she got at the end of episode 2, where the voice at the other end of the line told her that everyone was hiding something from her... Mr. Branson also put Brooke with James, which gave him a chance to go off on what seemed like a tangent about power mind games and get in her head. This conversation gains a lot more weight when you notice that Mr. Branson has the words "I've got all the power" hanging behind him as he stand in front of the class. He also has a portrait of Shakespeare hanging on the wall, which is standard enough in a classroom, cliche even. That is until you think back to that awkward conversation Riley had with her drama project partner in the hallway, where she brought up Shakespeare out of nowhere. 

One more point I want to draw attention to has to do with the title of this episode. Wanna  Play a Game? I admit, I kind of sighed when I heard that because of the obvious reference it makes horror fans think of. There was no way they could work Saw into this too! After watching it though, I realized that the game this referred to had much more of an Unfriended feeling to it. Good girl Emma was the one who decided which of her friends the killer would go after next and now they have their first bit of dirt on her. That comparison makes a lot more sense, considering all the social media in the show and how the story all began. But it also makes me wonder when we will find out what Emma is really hiding.

Till next week!

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