By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Actresses get sexy, scary for horror flick fame.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The women work hard to demonstrate that they have what it takes to get the part. But there's also lots of catty behavior among the actresses in between challenges, and the scenes force many of them to act in very stereotypical ways. The majority of the contestants are Caucasian; two are Asian, and one is African-American (her race becomes a subject of discussion).
Violence & Scariness
Lots of blood-curling screaming, fake blood, gory imagery, chain saws, knives, hooks, medical tools, and other items used to simulate victims' torture. The actresses must play characters who physically fight back against serial killers; this action is seen as empowering. But they must act like bloody, brutalized victims at the same time. There's also lots of yelling and arguing between the actresses; physical confrontations occasionally break out between them.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The actresses must demonstrate that they're sexy enough for the part and are often asked to perform scenes that include strong sexual innuendo. They're also often required to wear skin-revealing outfits and/or perform nude scenes (though actual nudity is blocked out). Females "making out" are featured in some practice scenes. Occasional references to specific sexual acts.
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Audible language includes words like "hell," "bitch," "pissed," and "ass." Stronger curse words (like "dick" and "f--k") are bleeped out.
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Products & Purchases
The series is a promotional vehicle for the Saw movie franchise, as well as Lionsgate Entertainment and Twisted Pictures. Music from bands like Thriving Ivy is featured in each episode.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Occasional alcohol consumption (cocktails, champagne).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality series -- in which aspiring actresses compete for a role in a horror movie -- has lots of screaming, fake blood, gory imagery, and acting exercises in which the women are required to act as serial killer victims (albeit ones who can fight back). They're expected to perform "sexy" parts, dress in skimpy outfits, and perform in simulated nude scenes. Some practice scenes include same-sex kissing. Also expect plenty of iffy language (the strongest words are bleeped) and some drinking.
Where to Watch
Based on 2 parent reviews
Hilarious but scary show- not appropriate for children under 13 years
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What's the Story?
SCREAM QUEENS follows 10 aspiring actresses as they compete for a coveted role in Saw VI. Each week, they're trained and mentored by horror film director James Gunn, acting coach John Homa, and actress Shawnee Smith, whose role in the Saw franchise has made her scream royalty. After a series of exercises designed to teach the contestants a specific trick of the terror trade, each is screen tested to see if she's got the looks and talent for the part. Those who fail to impress risk being axed from the competition. Adding to the theatrics is the drama resulting from all the up-and-coming performers living together and trying to get along.
Is It Any Good?
Scream Queens offers a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into creating horror films and highlights some of the production techniques used to create terrifying movie moments. It also highlights the contradictory traits that the ideal horror film actress has to portray -- from beauty and vulnerability to grittiness and a sense of empowerment -- to create the kinds of scenes that make these films cult classics.
But, like most other reality competitions, the pressure to outperform the other contestants in front of the judges leads to some catty arguing and other scary behavior. The show also has plenty of sexual innuendo, salty language, and violent imagery. It's not appropriate for tweens, but teens who can handle this sort of thing might get a kick out of watching what goes into making the ultimate horror flick.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the appeal of horror films. What makes them entertaining to some people? Are horror films the same as slasher movies? If not, what's the difference? Families can also discuss the challenges of pursuing a professional acting career. Do you think winning a competition like this can actually help aspiring actresses break into the industry, or is it just a one-shot deal? What do you think the contestants motivations are to be on this show?
- Premiere date: October 20, 2008
- Cast: John Gunn, John Homa, Shawnee Smith
- Network: VH1
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-14
- Last updated: February 24, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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