MTV’s Scream vs 1996’s Scream

Last night, August 16th, 2016 we saw the Season 2 finale of MTV’s Scream.  The show is based on the same title as the 1996 movie Scream, but short of that, the two have very little in common.

The similarities are there, sure, but I would categorize them more of slightly borrowed elements (or paying homage).

I’ve compiled a fairly good list of how they are similar (and of course, the bits that are not so similar).  Grab some coffee.. this might get a bit in depth.. and there may be a few spoilers…

Ghostface Mask vs Brandon James Mask

In both versions no-one really knew who was behind the mask, but in the 1996 film franchise it was nicknamed Ghostface as the name of the mask.  In MTV’s version of Scream, it is called the Brandon James Mask.  Further, in the movies the killer is referred to also as Ghostface.  In MTV’s show the killer is referred to as The Lakewood Slasher.

The Ghostface Mask was basically a random mask taken from a Halloween store and used to scare the various people of the movie franchise.


The Brandon James Mask is a bit deeper.  The creators wanted to really separate the two incarnations of Scream so roughly 20 years prior to Season 1, there was a kid named Brandon James that suffered from Proteus Syndrome (a condition in which tumors and extra skin growth cover the body) and he wore the mask to hide this.  He also supposedly went crazy and killed a bunch of people, thus the mask would strike fear into many of the people of the town.


The Killers

In this section I’m not going to delve too deep into the motives of the killers, I just want to list them for comparison. It is also assumed that you guys are familiar, somewhat, with the characters, so I’m not going to list out each one (other wise I’d be typing this article for the next 2 weeks and you guys would have WAY too much to read).  That said…

In 1996’s Scream (and following movies) the killers were:

Scream: Billy Loomis and Stuart Macher – Billy goes after Sidney because her mother had an affair with Billy’s dad which caused Billy’s mom to leave them.  Stuart did it because of peer pressure.  Prior to the movie Billy kills Sidney’s mom.

Scream 2: Debbie Salt and Micky – Micky just wanted to be famous whereas it is revealed that Debbie is actually Billy’s mom from the 1st movie.

Scream 3: Roman Bridger – is Sidney’s half brother, as Sidney’s mom was attacked at one point and had Roman but gave him up for adoption. As an adult, Roman sought out his biological mother only to be shunned.  It is also revealed that he is the one that convinced Billy Loomis to kill Sidney’s mom.

Scream 4: Charlie Walker and Jill Roberts – Jill Roberts is Sidney’s cousin.  Charlie is in love with Jill, but she does not share the emotion back. Jill wants the fame that Sidney has and in a strange tale of killings Charlie is set up to be the main killer, but it’s actually Jill.

In MTV’s Scream the killers were:

Season 1: Piper Shaw & an un-named accomplice – Half-sister to the main character, Emma Duval.  Going back in time a little bit, as teenagers, Emma’s mother had a romance with Brandon James.  She was forced to put the baby (Piper) up for adoption and didn’t even know if it was a boy or a girl.  This evidently caused Brandon to snap and he went on a killing spree on Halloween in the year 1994.  Brandon was shot by police and killed.  Back to current day; Piper finds her biological mother and blames her and Emma for her father’s death and wants to get revenge.

Season 2: Kieran Wilcox – it is revealed that Kieran is the un-named accomplice from the 1st season. He is also acting out the part of Emma’s boyfriend.  He was actually in love with Piper which was his motive for going after Emma as she was the one that killed Piper in Season 1.

Season 3: unknown.  While MTV has not yet confirmed a Season 3, we certainly might expect one as the final scene from Season 2 shows Kieran in jail getting a phone call from The Voice in which it asks “Why said you could wear my mask?”.  Interesting indeed!  We also know that in October MTV is going to air a special Halloween episode of Scream.

The Phone Calls

While there is the iconic disguised voice phone calls, so far we have not heard the famous “What’s your favorite scary movie?” line asked in the tv show version.  None of the actors in either version actually did the phone voice, in the movie it was done by Roger Jackson and in MTV’s show it was done by Mike Vaughn.

Obviously phones have evolved since 1996.  We have much more technically advanced cell phones (and caller ID), however, not a lot really separates the elements between the movies and the tv show.  The disguised voice is there in both, however, in the MTV version it is explained that it’s an app whereas in the movies it’s a little pocket device.

The Settings

In 1996 we were introduced to the town of Woodsboro (possibly located in Southern California but they never specify).

MTV’s Scream takes place in the town of Lakewood (possibly located somewhere in Southern Louisiana).

Both start off with the “kids” in high-school and move forward from there.

The 1st Kills

In the opening of the 1996 version of Scream we see Drew Barry more popping popcorn.  She gets a phone call from someone asking her what her favorite scary movie is.  From there Ghostface torments her, and kills her.  However, the 1st kill goes to her boyfriend whom is left on her back porch to kickstart the movie (so he actually gets the 1st Ghostface kill).

In the opening of MTV’s version of Scream we see Bella Thorn talking to someone about uploading a video to shame someone.  She then goes out to a hot-tub and gets in only to see her boyfriend’s head float up before she is killed (so the boyfriend actually gets the 1st kill).

The Past and How it Hits the Present

In the 1996 Scream there is a mysterious past in regards to Sidney’s mother (and her murder).  This acts as a catalyst and reason behind why Sidney is the way she is in the films.

In MTV’s Scream there is a mysterious past in regards to Emma’s mother and a murder spree done by Brandon James.  This acts as a catalyst as to why Emma’s mother is so protective of her daughter and why things unfold in how the unfold.

In Closing and my Final Thoughts

There are a few other similarities to the shows, but I can’t think of a single instance in which there was a character crossover from the original 1996 Scream franchise into the new MTV version of Scream.  In short, I cannot, or have not, noticed or seen anything that relates them together on a larger meta-scale in which we can state that they take place in the same fictional universe.  The closest thing I can come up with is that the movie starts off in the year 1996, and that Brandon James snapped and killed several people in 1994.  Sidney’s mother was killed 1 year prior to the start of the movie (1995).


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