Scream

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Scream TV Poster Image
Extreme graphic violence in TV retread of slasher series.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 24 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Popularity is compared to Darwinism: "The weak are outed and then eaten." As in most horror dramas, glamorizes violence and death (and most on-screen violence happens to young, attractive women). A killer's rage is explained by his having a disfiguring genetic disorder.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are largely horror-movie tropes: the mean cool girl, the artsy lesbian. But some are studious, serious, and largely responsible. 

Violence

Extreme gory violence not limited to decapitations, a throat slashing, stabbings, death by crushing and other graphic means. Blood and gore appear at great length; menace amped up by camera angles and music. 

Sex

Kissing, flirting, dating, references to sex. Female characters shown at length in bikinis and other revealing outfits. A teacher and a high school student have an affair.

Language

"Screw them," "that sucks," "ass," "bitch."

Consumerism

Logos and screenshots from an online service resembling Twitter are shown as teens pass around a naughty video starring a classmate; teens seem to be forever using their phones. The names of real TV shows and movies bandied about.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens drink liquor and beer at parties.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Scream is based on the 1990s horror movie series of the same name. It has a similarly dark tone and subject matter: A murderer stalks and kills high school students. Extreme graphic violence includes very gory deaths: stabbings, a throat slashing, and a decapitation. Often, the targets of this violence are young, attractive women in revealing costumes; menace is amped up with music and camera angles. Sexual content and references include same- and opposite-sex kissing, dating, flirting, and references to "getting laid." A high school student and a teacher have an affair. High school students have a party when a parent is out of town and drink liquor and beer. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTravis H July 13, 2015

Common Sense Media's review of "Scream" is highly inaccurate

Hi, everyone, I'm just posting this to clear up some confusion about the Scream tv show. Certain things that Common Sense Media's reviewer wrote about... Continue reading
Parent of a 15 year old Written byJWilliams303 July 18, 2015

Nothing Grand...

I love the Scream movies; they're scary, clever, and oddly humorous. The tv show seems to want to go for what the first one was able to do, maybe a little... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byConor Coyle July 25, 2015

Excellent TV Show Based on a Movie!

I'm a fan of the Scream movies, so I was exicited there was going to be a TV Series based on the movies. I like the cast and characters, despite them all b... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byJqradd July 8, 2015

Scream, can it be worth fancying?

Scream is a mtv television show based off of the 1990's movies about a syrial killer murdering teens, yes their is quite a bit of gore and some sexual base... Continue reading

What's the story?

In MTV's TV version of the movie series of the same name, SCREAM, two decades after a series of murders rocked small-town Lakewood, a viral video starring local high school student Audrey Jenson (Bex Taylor-Klaus) seems to be the catalyst for a new spate of violence. Queen bee Nina (Bella Thorne) is murdered at her own home; as her classmates ruminate on the mystery, they carry on their high school dramas: Party girl Brooke (Carlson Young) is carrying on an affair with a teacher and other girls' boyfriends; Will (Connor Weil) is the doting boyfriend to studious Emma (Willa Fitzgerald); and Noah (John Karna) is the goofy nerd with the slasher-movie obsession. All these characters have secrets, and it's anyone's guess who's next on the chopping block. 

Is it any good?

With graphic violence and the "pick 'em off one by one" plot device borrowed from the original Scream, let's just say most parents would probably prefer their grade schoolers and tweens to skip this one. That's not to say it's terrible -- actually, Scream-the-show is pretty scary and does a decent job of giving its characters some meat, essential to any horror drama. If you don't care about the characters, it's not scary, and Scream takes its time getting to know its cast. That said, many of them are tropes: the bad girl, the good girl, the jock, the nerd. We've seen these characters before, and given that the setup isn't exactly fresh, the whole enterprise may be doomed. It's particularly galling that most of the violence centers on young girls, with a male villain stalking them.

However, there's a bit of smart writing here. The advent of cell phones really messed up a lot of horror plots; now that it's tough to realistically strand your characters somewhere with no help, it's a lot harder to scare the audience. So Scream gets points for integrating smartphones and social media into its plot. Horror-movie fans may want to give this one a look, but parents will definitely want to watch first to make sure sensitive teens won't get too freaked out.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Why do most horror movies feature men killing women? What does that say about what the audience wants to see or what moviemakers want to show us? Can you think of a horror movie or show that has a different setup?

  • Do the actors playing teens in Scream look like 15-, 16-, and 17-year-olds to you? Would it surprise you to know most of the actors are in their twenties? Why do high school movies so rarely use high school-age actors? 

  • Parties in big houses are a staple of teen dramas. Have you ever been to a party like this? Do they exist in real life? 

TV details

For kids who love scary stuff

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate