Forget MTV’s Fear. Forget NBC’s Siberia. The best horror-themed reality show in existence was VH1’s reality series, Scream Queens. Produced in part by Lionsgate television, the show lasted for two glorious, bloody seasons. The show featured 10 aspiring actresses, from all different backgrounds and various levels of training, competing for a coveted role in the Saw franchise. Throughout the 10-episode seasons, the ladies were confronted with a variety of challenges to test their skills as genuine “scream queens” of the silver screen. Best of all? The show actually delivered on its promise: the winners from the two seasons appeared in Saw VI and Saw 3D, respectively.
While both seasons were excellent, the first season of Scream Queens was downright phenomenal. With challenges involving homicidal maniacs, leaping off buildings, demonic possession, swarms of bugs, horror spoofs and vampiric seduction with no other than the great Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead), the girls clawed their way to big screen glory. The series celebrated horror cinema in a unique way, showcasing the archetypal traits of the “Scream Queen,” a stock horror character that truly deserved all the attention.A judging panel comprised of genre legend Shawnee Smith (Saw I, II, III), acting coach to the stars John Homa (he started the careers of Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams, you guys!) and a pre-Guardian of the Galaxy director James Gunn dissected the girls’ performances each week, offering both harsh and helpful critiques. However, the magic of this team was not recaptured in the show’s second season with only Homa returning. My Bloody Valentine star/actress Jaime King and director Tim Sullivan were worthy replacements, but Gunn and Smith’s knowledge, experience and genuine glee about the genre were irreplaceable.
So if you need a break from traditional horror movie fare this month, we highly recommend Scream Queens, which is streaming for free on Hulu.