Friday, February 12, 2016

Fair Shake Review: Unbreakable Smile - Tori Kelly

Unbreakable Smile - Tori Kelly
(Genre: Pop, Singer-Songwriter)

Oh, where to start with this girl? My first impression of her original work was her EP, Handmade Songs by Tori Kelly that she wrote, produced, and released herself. Then after falling in love with her soulful and positive vibe, I did my research and found out that she used to be a contestant on American Idol. Proceeding her time there, she started writing and performing covers on YouTube and steadily grew her following. The EP, strongly led by the single "Confetti", brought her to Scooter Braun and signing to Capitol Records. Her major label debut came in the form of another EP with Dear No One as the standout track which set the perfect stage for this first full LP.

This album, Unbreakable Smile, I'm reviewing now because this has been re-released with two additional tracks. The original version came out last summer with the smash single, "Nobody Love", and followed by "Should've Been Us". These songs, along with the title track, solidified what to expect from this little California girl: uplifting lyrics with a 90's R&B and Pop flair delivered with powerful vocals. With comparisons to JoJo, you can sense a general idea of what you will hear. The great thing you get with this project is a mixture of upbeat songs, endearing ballads, encouraging tunes, and introspective music about life. Seriously, this the kind of album you can turn on and enjoy the ride, with a few guests to carpool like Ed Sheeran and even LL Cool J!

Her Best New Artist Grammy nomination is well deserved as you can tell from this collection of music. The addition of the two songs is nice for those who weren't already in possession of the first version, but a simple purchase of them would suffice. "Hollow" is a grand song in dedication to God in notice of how nothing would be possible without Him. "Something Beautiful" on the other hand is a jazzy, feet-tapping ditty that is the embodiment of positive reinforcement. These songs still fit in well with the original tunes like "Funny" that is played live and displays her raw feelings about trying to maintaining integrity and hope when it seems the hardest to do so.

I certainly can recommend this project to anyone who likes feel-good pop music with a throwback vibe. Personally, my standouts would include "Funny", "Something Beautiful", and "Unbreakable Smile" as mentioned before. Yet, my absolute favorite would be "Talk" with its rhythmic guitar chord progression and hypnotic drum pattern paired with her lilting vocals over the verses. The small change up for the bridge is to die for when it comes to its melody for me and I can't help but replay this song about being upfront & communicating with the ones you love. Her whole aura exudes bringing happiness to the world, and that's a message I would always support. It helps it sung so expertly with her powerful and well trained voice of an angel.

For some cool videos on Tori Kelly:

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Quick Movie Review

The Peanuts Movie (2015, USA) | Rating: 4/5

Young or old, the Peanuts franchise has been part of your childhood or is currently part of your childhood. When a Peanuts movie was announced, I was a little worried that it would end up like most nostalgic properties: dumbed down and delusional. Fortunately, the movie offered a good balance of fast paced action and dialogue for the kiddos and nostalgia for the older crowd who remember the comics and shows from back in the day. The shift to CG animation didn't detract from the comics classic style and showcased a great variety of colors and emotions for the characters that'll keep audiences smiling. In short, the movie was very satisfying and should be a lesson on how to take a nostalgic property and make it entertaining for all ages.

The Loft (2015, USA) | Rating: 1.5/5

I've never heard of this movie, until a co-worker recommended it to me. And boy, *sighs* I was not amused. The story seemed promising and the actors gave me hope, but I ended up mostly frustrating with actions of the selfish, dumb characters and the conclusion just made me facepalm...hard. While a couple of the men were quite charming, despite them being pigs too, the others' selfishness and level of infidelity mostly overshadowed any bit of good they had. I know that was probably the point of the story, but if we were supposed sympathize with at least one of the characters even a little bit, the movie failed to provide that. I later learned by a friend that this movie is a remake by the same name and I'm not really persuaded to really watch it. I'm sure someone will like this movie, like the co-worker who recommended it to me, but for someone like me, I found it more frustrating, annoying, and stupid.

Dope (2015, USA) | Rating: 3.5/5

Sometimes you just gotta give a little known indies film a chance and enjoy yourself. As a POC [surprised? lol], I was expecting this movie to connect to me personally on some level did. While I didn't grow up in a dangerous neighbor with drug deals, gangs, or anything, I could still relate to the characters not fitting into the societal norms of what "black" is. While the movie doesn't completely focus on the awkward struggle of blackness, it does play a part in the narrative and the situation for our main character Malcolm. His relationship with his friends, a beautiful girl, a stranger with a hefty deal, his academic future, and his morals keep you rooting for him and wanting to him succeed in this crazy and unfortunate situation. It's funny and entertaining and sometimes unbelievable, but I feel that anyone could enjoy this indie flick and take something away from it.

Hidden (2015, USA) | Rating: 4.5/5

Alexander Skarsgård + zombies = a good time for Miko.
Yes, I shamelessly watch certain movies for the actors, whether they're good or bad. Haven't you seen the countless Johnny Depp movies I powered through? heh Anyway, I expected this straight to DVD release of horror to be bad with some lovely eye candy, but surprise, surprise! I actually enjoyed this post-apocalyptic/infection flick. I saw a preview for it and it actually looked interesting, although I had some doubts that it'd be anything worth recommending. The story is a slow build of mystery as the characters remain underground for a good majority of the movie, but once they go above ground, you have no idea what to expect. Is it zombies, aliens, strange creatures, the government? The unknown on the surface really keeps you engaged and even when they arrive on the surface, the action doesn't hesitate to pick up. Things go so fast, you almost have to double back to figure out what the heck is going, but really, it's easy to keep up with the twists and turns of this thriller. Check it out for not only Mr. Skarsgård, but the fabulous, exciting story and brilliant character development.

Final Girl (2015, Canada) | Rating: 2.5/5

Since it was around the time Scream Queens and American Horror Story: Hotel were still on air, it was interesting seeing a movie starring both Abigail Breslin and Wes Bentley together. Granted I have seen her in another horror movie by the name of Maggie recently. Anyway, I didn't expect too much from this flick as it didn't seem to have that emotional touch that Maggie did, but it was definitely entertaining. I think if the writer(s) put more effort in the details of Breslin's backstory and motivation, then I think this movie would be even better. The movie isn't terrible in the least, but it isn't something I would recommend strongly. The story is weak and it requires you to turn your brain off while watching. There's not much depth in the plot and you simply have to take what's given to you. With quick execution, it does successfully cover the basic points of the plot and that at least makes it fun.

If there's something you want me to review (or want a more in depth review of the movies above or previous ones), check out this post on how you can submit requests.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Top Five Recommended Music Videos

It's rare that I listen to the radio these days. Usually, I just pop in a cd or listen to my ipod. There were a few days last week when I was a bit tired of hearing the same things over again. I decided to give the radio a chance which led to hearing some songs I wouldn't have otherwise. Below, you'll find the songs and videos that stuck in my head or made an impression.

Grizfolk - Troublemaker
I'd never heard of this band before. Troublemaker is from their debut album, 'Waking the Giants'. It has quite a catchy chorus that gets stuck in my head. There's something else about the song that I like, but can't quite put my finger on. I might have to check out the rest of the album to see whether it holds up to this catchy song. The video features a familiar face in The Walking Dead's Josh McDermitt (Eugene). I'm not sure how the kidnapping plot of the video relates to the song though.

Silversun Pickups - Nightlight
For a band that formed in 2002, Silversun Pickups didn't manage to show up on my radar. Their debut album was released in 2006. The song in question is from their fourth album, Better Nature, which was released in September 2015. Nightlight was one of those songs that slowly grew on me. I wasn't sure if I liked it at all. The more I heard it, the more I liked it. The dual vocals work well on the song. Their sound is pretty reminiscent of 90s bands like The Smashing Pumpkins. It was later that I discovered the video stars Meg Steedle (Boardwalk Empire). In seven minutes and forty-five seconds, the director has captured everything Ryan Murphy wished he could have done with American Horror Story: Hotel.

Miike Snow - Genghis Khan
My next choice features a James Bond inspired video. Miike Snow is a Swedish indie pop trio that formed in 2007. Once again, I'd never heard of them despite two of the members being responsible for songs like Britney Spears' Toxic. Their debut album was released in 2009. This song, however, was released in December 2015. From the opening seconds, it's quite an earworm. The lyrics depict a man who feels irrationally jealous about someone he's not quite sure he wants to keep in his life. I'm quite amused by the video! It's so campy and fun.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - S.O.B
Where have I been for all these artists? Nathaniel Rateliff has been doing folk-pop since 2005. He formed Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats in 2013. Their self-titled release came out in August of 2015. The lead single, S.O.B., reminds me of old soul and blues songs. It's quite fun to sing along with. The video is a hommage to The Blues Brothers film from 1980. I'm quite curious to hear more from this group with their soulful sound.

Highly Suspect - Lydia
This trio traces their beginnings back to 2009. I'm really starting to wonder why I'm not listening to more modern rock radio. They released their second full-length album, Mister Asylum, in July 2015. Lydia was the first single from the album. It's a song that quickly stuck with me. It's not surprising that it peaked at number 4 on the mainstream rock charts. The video features a woman submerged underwater and unable to escape. It's quite a concept that ties in well with the lyrics.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Mini Movie Reviews (The 5th Wave/Dirty Grandpa)

The 5th Wave (2016, USA)
Recommendation: Rent

Now, with this movie I was interested strictly from the trailer and my (guilty) fascination with Chloë Grace Moretz. While leading up to the release, I learned that this was another book adaptation and that meant...well, I'm not reading it. It's not a crime, so don't throw the book at me! (haha...get it?) Anyway, I just knew that really meant there would be a lot of tropes I had to expect. I must say that "The 5th Wave" delivered; it had a cool premise with a few predictable moments, but a fun execution.

Thus, I have got to let you know that if you don't mind the typical teen adaptations of today, there's nothing to really hate. The acting is pretty good, the action is as to be expected, and there's a decent story. I enjoyed that the main protagonist wasn't always in the forefront and wasn't suddenly BA, but there are still some "because protagonist" scenarios. Although this film has some sci-fi elements, it's very grounded, but keeps the usual theme of maintaining humanity. It ends like there could be a sequel, but time will tell if sales warrant one. I'd keep up with it, but probably not in theaters.

Dirty Grandpa (2016, USA)
Recommendation: Theaters w/ friends

Dirty Grandpa was one of those comedies I was on the fence about seeing. From every ad I saw, I knew it could be really bad or really hilarious. In my opinion, Zac Efron has been a lot of duds, but Robert De Niro tends to have better judgement when landing roles. That hope led me to seeing one outrageous and funny movie.

Like many college aimed comedies, there's a lot of crude and sexual humor as hinted by the title. The movie crams in so many absurd situations with a horny grandpa and great timing. It helps that De Niro led the comedy while Zac played straight man, because otherwise this may have been one of those duds. Yet outside of these co-stars, Adam Pally playing the idiot cousin & Aubrey Plaza as a senior hungry horndog made some memorable additions to a couple scenes. The show stealer to me would go to Jason Mantzoukas, though, since every part he's onscreen skyrockets the zaniness of the situation and he gets away with it, "because it's Florida!"

This is certainly a great movie to see with your friends as it will have you rolling with laughter throughout. The story hits a little on the message of making the most out of life no matter the age, and will curveball a few clichés along the way. Of course the ending you get is what you expect, but what takes you there might surprise you. On a side note, I wonder how this will carry over to Neighbors 2...

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Throwback Thursday: The Others (2001)

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Fionnula Flanagan
Directed by: Alejandro Amenábar
Language: English
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 104 minutes

I vaguely remember renting this movie with my mother from Blockbuster. I remember enjoying it quite a lot back then and being very impressed with the conclusion of the movie as well as my mother. It was a good and different movie for the time. So, does it still hold up in my mind?

A woman named Grace retires with her two children to a mansion on Jersey, towards the end of the Second World War, where she's waiting for her husband to come back from battle. The children have a disease which means they cannot be touched by direct sunlight without being hurt in some way. They will live alone there with oppressive, strange and almost religious rules, until she needs to hire a group of servants for them. Their arrival will accidentally begin to break the rules with unexpected consequences. [source: IMDb]

The Others was another great contribution to ghost stories in cinema. With a fantastic cast, it wasn't hard to be sucked into their world and become part of their daily routine. Nicole Kidman plays the overprotective and traditionally religious mother Grace Stewart and she does an amazing job delivering a great range of emotions and allowing us to care about her children almost as much as she does. The child actors also do just as amazing job making us care about them and pulling the viewer further into the story. Watching these children do their lessons made me feel bad for them and they're barely allowed to be children, since Grace is so strict with them. I understand that they're sensitive to the sunlight, but they deserve a little fun every now and then. The hired help also do a great job as supporting characters. Most of them get minimal screen time, but they play just as big of a part as Kidman's character and the children, especially Mrs. Bertha Mills. Lastly, the set pieces and costumes really pull you into the era of this movie. You can easily feel the despair and fear that lingers in this large household as subtly strange things happen around the mansion.

Since the movie came out before the era of fast pace storylines and jump scares, the newer generation of horror fans may find themselves impatient with this slow pace storytelling, then again those who enjoy movies before that era may feel the same as well. This nearly two hour suspense thriller definitely feels like a two hour suspense thriller. Though the story depends on such atmospheric pacing and intricacies. It has to fill important holes such as the relationship Grace has with her work staff, her children, and her husband to really pull the audience into believing everything that happens in front and around them. While I understand the choice for this speed of storytelling and have the patience for it, I do wish that they would either condense certain detailed explanations or pick up the pace a little bit. Fortunately, the acting and content make up for the slightly poor pacing and offer the audience a very satisfying and perhaps jaw dropping conclusion.

The Others is a great suspense thriller that contributes to the haunted house genre in a very positive way. Not only does Nicole Kidman deliver a solid performance as the overbearing mother Grace, but the children and house servants contribute greatly to the story and successfully pull its audience into the strange happenings of the mansion. The atmosphere is perfectly chilling and sorrowful with a bit of richness. I definitely recommend this movie if you want a change of pace from the usual "Paranormal Activities" and exorcisms of the 2010s. The twist will definitely get you.

Rating: 3.5/5

If there's something you want me to review, check out this post on how you can submit requests.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Quick Movie Reviews

...I'm back!

The Scribbler (2014, USA) | Rating: 1/5

Katie Cassidy is probably best known for her time on Supernatural and Arrow. She's generally better on those shows than in this low budget scifi graphic novel adaptation. Suki has recently been released from treatment for Dissociative Identity Disorder and placed in a halfway house with other former mental patients. There is one male patient among all the females living in the halfway house. Of course, all the ones he's slept with are turning up dead. Does Suki have something to do with this? This film takes itself too seriously especially with the dialogue. Much of it is far too heavy handed along with the general premise. At one point, I was fairly sure that the director and writer had simply pieced together things they thought would be neat to add in.

Another Me (2013, UK/Spain) | Rating: 2/5

Game of Thrones fans will recognize Sophie Turner from her role as Sansa Stark. Another Me is based on the novel by Catherine MacPhail. Fay is a stressed teen dealing with her father's illness, her mother's affair and the usual teen drama. It's not long before she begins to think she's being stalked by a doppelganger.  Rather than really developing the characters, it seemed as if the director was more concerned with trying to set up the next scene. Most of which were very ineffective. I found myself quite a bit bored through this one although I predicted what the twist would be. Overall, I felt as if the genre was a little off on this one. It wasn't quite horror or suspense, yet it wasn't set up as proper drama either.

Burying the Ex (2014, USA) | Rating: 1.5/5

The trailer on this one gives away pretty much everything. Max has a girlfriend he thinks is amazing...until they move in together. He decides he wants to break up with his now overbearing girlfriend, only to have her die in a freak accident.  Eventually, he begins to move on with a girl more suited to him. The premise wasn't terrible. A geeky horror fan in a dark romcom with two attractive women could have been quite good in the right hands. The problem was that the characters were mostly unlikable. If you're looking for a movie about a zombie girlfriend, give Life After Beth a try instead.

Apartment 1303 3D (2012, USA/Canada) | Rating: 1/5

Save yourself some time and check out the original Japanese release instead of the Hollywood remake. Better yet, pick up Kei Oishi's novel instead. Janet moves out of her family home to live in the first apartment that she finds. When something terrible happens to her, Janet's sister decides to investigate by moving in. The acting was simply terrible with far too many cheesy jump scares. Hollywood can't seem to grasp that they need to stop remaking Asian horror. The originals are always better.

Grave Encounters (2011, Canada) | Rating: 2/5

What is there to say about a film about a fictional reality tv show? As a parody of reality ghost hunting shows, the film features a crew of ghost hunters going into a potentially haunted location to film a new episode of their show. Of course, this is a found footage film. What else could it be? The character development was biggest problem for me aside from all the jump scares (which were far from frightening). These are people who are supposed to be seasoned investigators. However, they don't react like I would have expected. Where is the excitement that something paranormal is happening? Where is the creeping sense of dread when they realize they've gotten in over their heads? The ending wasn't surprising at all when it set up the potential for sequels.

If you like what you read, drop me a comment or an email to let me know your thoughts. You can reach me at mstr.chisato[at]gmail[dot]com. I'm available if you'd like to request a review of music, movies or anime.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Quick Movie Review

Crimson Peak (2015, USA) | Rating: 4/5

Does anyone else get excited when Guillermo del Toro is directing something new? Well, I was pretty excited for this movie, especially with Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, and Jessica Chastain being part of the main cast. Seeing this movie in theaters was an experience! The visuals were breathtaking and the acting was engaging. The storyline was both frustrating, enjoyable, and tries to do something different with certain cliches. Whether you want to consider this movie a feminist piece or not along with Mad Max: Fury Road, I did enjoy that the main focus revolved around the female characters and change the conventions of sexually explicit scenes. Most likely, I'll rewatch this visual treat again and take in anything I might've missed in this gothic romance.

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015, USA) | Rating: 2.5/5

Having seen the first movie, I felt obligated to check out the sequel was...okay...I guess. I did enjoy Pitch Perfect and thought it was entertaining and funny at times. This one had some great music moments, but, like most sequels, were too heavy handed in the good points of the first movie. The jokes were kinda lame and fell in the same category as current day Adam Sandler bathroom humor. Similiar to the first, I wasn't too fond of Rebel Wilson's character and she was more annoying in this follow up. Some of the plotlines were ignored or carelessly concluded. In fact, I didn't really like how the big competition ended and don't worry, I won't spoil it. Don't feel guilty if you skip out on this sequel, you're not missing too much and if you decide to watch it, skip to the a Capella battle scene. It's probably the best part of the whole movie.

Poltergeist (2015, USA) | Rating: 1.5/5

Within the same year, I watched the original Poltergeist and decided to watch this unnecessary remake...or should I say reimagining. Honestly, directors need to stop reimagining horror classics when they really don't need them, but I regress. This movie doesn't really add much to the original. For the most part, everything is exactly the same with a few updates in the graphics and dialogue, making it more modern day. They do explain the purpose of the family moving a little better than the original, but for the most part there's just jump scares and some not so convincing CGI effects. Hopefully, the newer generation decides to check out the original and forget that this one exists.

The Gallows (2015, USA) | Rating: 1/5

Another horror movie I expected to be bad, especially when the commercials try to convince us that Charlie will be just as iconic as Freddy Krueger, Jason, and Michael Meyers. heh Honestly, I don't know how a killer chasing a bunch of dumb teens with a noose is threatening, but whatever. I mostly watched this for laughs and I did get a couple. Everything you would expect from a modern day horror exists here: characters you don't care about, slightly faulty urban legend, and a anti-climax resolution. Oh, and don't forget that it's obnoxiously shot as found footage. I haven't heard anyone talk about this film and I'm glad that it didn't leave much of an impression on the genre. File this away with As Above, So Below and The Lazarus Effect for forgettable horror movies of the 2010s!

San Andreas (2015, USA) | Rating: 2.5/5

It's been a while since we've had a disaster movie and I'm sure there's a reason for it as the interest for it mostly died in the 90s and early 2000s. While this movie received mixed reviews, I decided to give it a glance as my mother said she enjoyed it quite a bit. Me on the other hand found myself bored, surprisingly. The first 15-20 minutes got me excited and I enjoyed how it opened up, but after that, the story became predictable and bland. I tried to keep my focus on the action in front me, but ended up thinking of movies like Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow and how engaging those were. None of the actors were bad as I really enjoyed Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's character, but the story just didn't hook me the same way it did my mom.

If there's something you want me to review (or want a more in depth review of the movies above or previous ones), check out this post on how you can submit requests.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Fair Shake Review: Personal Journal, Vol. 1 - Cliz

Personal Journal, Vol. 1 - Cliz
(Genre: Rap/Hip Hop)

Cliz is a local artist out of Florida on the rise. He's a rapper who will tell you upfront about how he didn't like rap earlier in life, as told in the "Dumb'd Down" interlude. He recalls that after his move to Florida he was introduced to Lil' Wayne (in his prime) and that changed his opinion. That moved him and his friends to try their hand at the artform and thus, Cliz was born. His love of wordplay has led him to start opening for bigger acts along the likes of Machine Gun Kelly & Caskey. He appeals to those who love the banging beats and clever wordplay, yet with this current project, it gets personal.

Relating to your audience is one of the most important things an artist can focus on when creating a project. That is made an apparent goal from his album's title, "Personal Journal". I can say without a doubt that it has been achieved thoroughly. Cliz managed to give you many aspects of himself from track to track, all while mixing in a few wordplay laden songs. Topics can range from his hip hop origin story & making music to help his listeners to money controlling politics & the time we spend just trying to get by. This all flows smoothly together with the help of skits, poetry, and clips that make the journey cohesive.

Cliz's style has a very mainstream appeal like Mac Miller with southern rap production, excluding two tracks "Another Day in the Lab" and "One Day". He also sings a good amount of choruses and occasionally parts of verses, which is the only thing that is inconsistent in quality. At times, his tone and pitch can be noticeably worse than his lyrical ability. Cliz is very good at relating his thoughts in interesting ways whether straightforward or through clever analogies. This making him a pretty easy listen for casual listeners and hip hop heads alike as his personality is present in each bar.

I can highly recommend this project to anyone who enjoys hip hop about life and rap itself. My favorites would have to include "No More", the album's triumphant closing track with Cliz's passionate delivery and confident defiance. "Another Day in the Lab" has a chill boom bap approach with his dedication to making meaningful music as the main topic. The production throughout the project makes it easy to bounce to as the energy is never lost. In summary, it's an enjoyable album that will be a good one to throw on when you're looking for some substance from a hip hop underdog.
You'll leave remembering his message: May Nothing Stop You!

For more on Cliz, I advise you check out:

Monday, January 25, 2016

Review: Scream TV Series Season 1

Title: Scream TV Series Season 1
Starring: Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna
Language: English
Genre: Crime, Horror, Mystery
Episodes: 10

When I heard there was going to be a Scream television show on MTV, I was in disbelief and I kinda got it confused with the advertisements for Fox's Scream Queens. Once I deciphered the two television series were separate projects, I wasn't that enthusiastic about it as the franchise was a revival for the horror genre in the 90's. Nonetheless, I checked it out with little expectation and made a first impression video for the premiere.

After a cyber-bullying incident results in a brutal murder, the shocking violence stirs up memories of a killing spree from the past that has haunted some, intrigued others and maybe just inspired a new killer. A group of teens - with two old friends struggling to reconnect at its heart - become lovers, enemies, suspects, targets and victims of an assassin who's out for blood. [source: IMDb]

Much like a few other horror related things I wanted to spam throughout October, it's a bit saddening that the summary I copied and pasted had to be a quick reminder of what happened in this series. Honestly, while I quickly thought over the events that occurred, I almost mixed it up with the partial premise of Unfriended and a bit of Scream Queens, which are both things in queue to be reviewed. Getting back on track, if you've watched my first impression, you might notice that I wasn't particularly happy about the first episode and for the most part, my feelings stayed the same. As per usual, I want to talk about the positive points...which really wasn't much. Despite having a similar name to the Wes Craven film, the show has no connections to the movie whatsoever. It has a whole different set of characters placed in a completely new setting with a change to the villain's mask. The change of Ghostface's mask might've upset some initially, but I didn't find it problematic at all. In fact, it helped further distance itself from its predecessor, which I'll elaborate a little later. Some episodes proved to be quite interesting once the characters became more involved with the investigation and there's a tiny bit of tension when you know the killer is lurking around the corner and whatnot. A couple or so of the kills are alright and the final final scene of the series made me both frustrated, a little confused, and intrigued.

Now for the negative points...which is quite a lot. First problem I had were the characters. Most of them were either unlikeable, forgettable, or plain old unnecessary to the story. There might've been a couple characters I did somewhat care about or even like like Audrey and Riley, but for the most part, I simply didn't care what happened to them, including the main character Emma. Sadly, this series suffered the same character problems as present day horror movies. Scream was a movie that every fan remembers the characters and enjoying their existence. I don't see these characters being in the remembered names of Cindy, Gale, Billy, and Deputy Dewey. Maybe because my friends and I grew up in the nineties, but I don't see too many people talking about these characters and I'm not optimistic that that'll change. Second problem is the killer. I...I just didn't have as much fun with this villain as I did with the original Ghostface. There was a bit of campyness to his character, but also a sense of intimidation as well. He shared some joy and scariness that A Nightmare on Elm Streets' Freddy Krueger had. This one lacks all the fun and fear. The series' killer simply falls flat with many recent horror movie villains. Also the reveal is very underwhelming. Third and most major problem with the series is the story. Oh. My. God. This story was so dull. At moments, it would try to incorporate certain scenes from the original source material, like the very first episode, but most of these recreations didn't leave much emotional impact. For the most part, the story focused more on the teen romance drama of who slept with who than the actual murder mystery. Who cares if this character is gay? Who cares if Emma can't decide on which guy she wants to be with? I can't tell either of them part most of the time! It's just stupid and a waste of time. Focus on the horror at hand! This is why the predecessor was so successful. They know they have big shoes to fill, but they're hardly putting any effort into doing that.

Obviously, Scream TV Series was far from enjoyable for me. I'm glad I had The Whispers, even though that show wasn't completely perfect, and HUMANS to fall back on, but at least it was engaging. Whether you compare this show to the movie or not, it's still not very well executed. The story is frustrating and loses focus on the murder mystery with high school drama, the characters are either unlikeable or useless, and the killer is not that fun or threatening. Unfortunately, MTV will be airing its second season of the show on April 20, 2016. Most likely, I'll be checking it out for improvements and hopefully continuation of the slight cliffhanger ending of the first season, but I have low expectations of it ever being good.

Rating: 1.5/5