‘Scream’ S2: E05 ‘Dawn of the Dead’ Review

Photo Credit: MTV
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The school is placed on lockdown as Brooke (Carlson Young) begins to deal with the aftermath of last week’s episode. Emma (Willa Fitzgerald) and the others realize that the lockdown might not be to keep them all safe, but to keep the killer inside with them.

 

**Spoiler Alert**

This review contains spoilers for S2E05 of Scream. If you haven’t yet watched, read at your own risk.

 

The Good

The lockdown. While only being able to use the school sets means that the production team spends a little less money on location shooting, it also means that the bottle-like episode forces all of the characters to be in the same place together and the tension ratchets up by about a thousand. When all of your main characters, a dead body, and the killer, are locked inside a building with a few hundred extra people, you know that it’s only a matter of time before something bad happens.

The horror movie nods. In addition to the tension build based on the Dawn of the Dead movie centerpiece of being trapped inside, there are also nods to When a Stranger Calls. “The call is coming from inside the house,” afterall. The idea of the killer in a horror movie being someone on the inside of the core group is so prevalent in horror movies that the idea has to get a mention here as well. Someone in the main cast has to be the killer, so Eli and Noah aren’t far off.

The group sticks together. Though the rest of the students might be suspicious of the Lakewood Five and their new friends, the group does their best to stick together. Eli offers to dispose of Jake’s phone when he knows it’s in Emma’s bag Audrey and Zoe work together to distract the police so Kieran and Noah can head for the lockers. As the episode goes on, the tension might grow, but this group is nothing if not loyal. It makes you think that none of them can be the killer.

MTV

Zoe’s analysis of Noah’s coping methods. Though things are still awkward between Noah and Zoe after the events at the party, she still is up for talking with him about everything going on and helping cover for him when he leaves the room. As they talk about just why he does the podcast and has a fascination with horror - his avoidance of what’s actually been happening and his unwillingness of coping with it - are spot on. Noah has grabbed hold tight of his horror knowledge in the wake of losing his friends. He thinks the rules of the genre can help him make sense of life in Lakewood, and I love that it’s Zoe who understands that. There might be hope for them yet.

Noah in the halls. I know that most of the tension in the episode should come from Emma getting confronted by the killer, but the more tense aspect of the episode for me was knowing that in the background of much of the episode, Noah was running around the school alone with a killer in the building. If he’s the stand in for the all knowing horror buff from the movies, that character did meet a sticky end in the sequel, and I couldn’t help but worry the body count would be upped by one.

Emma and Haley have it out. Haley, the same girl who thought she could trick Audrey into thinking she was being attacked by another killer to get hits on an online video, decides that Emma and her friends are to blame for everything wrong in Lakewood, even calling Emma’s family crazy. Emma finally gets to let off some frustration at being the center of attention by slapping Haley. Now, we all know violence isn’t the answer, but someone willing to stage a mock murder to get attention doesn’t strike me as someone who should be calling Emma crazy.

Emma also says enough is enough. When she sees the killer outside of the room where her teacher places her, Emma doesn’t take his (or her) games lying down. She doesn’t sit back and wait to be terrorized. Instead, she breaks out of the room and goes after the killer on her own. She’s been scared and hiding behind her friends for the last four episodes, but she’s finally getting her strength back, and I hope she keeps it.

Noah knows. After catching Audrey’s slip of “calls” instead of “texts,” Noah knows she’s not being honest with him. He’s also been the one who knows she’s been acting differently this season, so it’s about time someone found out at least part of her secret. With him stealing her phone and figuring out her password, he now has access to all of the messages sent her way from the new killer, but because Audrey hasn’t been honest, he also doesn’t have her side of the story. I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

 

The Bad

Kieran keeps his gun in his locker. I know that Kieran has been set up as a protector. We saw him use his dad’s gun last season too, and it makes sense that he has it. But him having the gun in his school locker is a poor decision on his part and feels more like a plot device to get him onto the sheriff’s radar than anything else.

The fake blood. Emma cuts her hand and her arm on the glass of the window when she goes after the killer, but for some reason, her blood isn’t even red, but orange. I’d like to put this down to the color contrast on my television, but other people commented on it on twitter as well, so I know it wasn’t just me. If you’re going to make a slasher show, you need your blood to look like blood.

The lockdown ends without anyone really learning anything. Everyone is suspicious of everyone, sure. And yes, there are a few pieces of information that come out, but the police are no closer to figuring out if Jake’s killer was even in the building when the lift the lockdown as when they put it in place. It makes the lockdown seem like a pointless exercise in terrifying a bunch of kids.

MTV

 

The Killer

When Emma was alone, the only other person we know for sure was alone was Noah, but given that the emergency door to the learning center was disabled, anyone could have snuck out at any time. And that’s, of course, if Emma wasn’t hallucinating. So, we’re back to the idea of anyone being a suspect. The only ones who seem to be in the clear are Brooke and Audrey who appear to be the season’s targets.

 

Grading the episode: Despite my criticisms, I think this is my favorite episode of the season so far. I feel like I say that nearly every week, but it’s probably a good sign that the show manages to make me more interested with each new episode. B+