MTV’s Scream has already made clear its intention to break with the franchise’s past by focusing on totally new characters, introducing the element of “cyber-bullying,” and retaining only the inherent terror of highly motivated teenagers. Most obviously, the show is ditching the iconic Ghost Face mask worn by its parade of vindictive, yet enviably organized killers, opting for something new and less burdened with the past. After all, if you’re making a TV show based on a series with four deeply self-referential installments about why everyone wants Neve Campbell dead, you’ve got to keep things fresh.
As revealed by Entertainment Weekly, the new mask hints at Ghost Face with its pale and expressionless features, while executive producer Jill Blotevogel says it’s also an homage to the masks worn by Michael Myers and Jason. But it’s mostly a “reinvention,” taking Ghost Face and adding the spine-chilling sight of an actual nose—which the killer can use to smell fear—as well as rounder cheekbones, which serves the all-important purpose of shaving years off for a show airing on such a youth-oriented network.
Behold, the horror of Human Face.
“The [original] mask is so iconic. If you were to have that mask in a television series, but you weren’t following any of the characters [from the original], I believe that would be misleading the audience,” executive producer Jaime Paglia explains, of how producers wish to avoid disappointing fans of Scream by having Scream things in their Scream TV show. Original Scream director Wes Craven—also an executive producer on the show—agrees, “The new mask is cool and scary and takes the series into a new direction.” He adds that the mask “also ties into the story, which I won’t give away.”
That story involves a new crop of teenagers being terrorized in the wake of “a cyber-bullying incident results in a brutal murder, with the shocking violence stirring up memories of a killing spree from the past.” And since this is Scream, presumably that killing spree involves the sort of deviously meta pranks that cause you to question what’s real—and most likely, someone faking their own death. With the reveal of this mask, it seems pretty obvious who the killer is:
“Do you like wrestling?” the killer will ask.
“I… guess?” the teens will reply.
Scream premieres June 30.