TV Recap: Scream Queens, ‘Haunted House’

Written By Tommy Tracy

SCREAM QUEENS:  Cast Pictured L-R: Lucien Laviscount, Glen Powell, Nasim Pedrad, Nick Jonas, Billie Lourd, Ariana Grande, Abigail Breslin, Emma Roberts, Jamie Lee Curtis, Skyler Samuels, Diego Boneta, Keke Palmer, Oliver Hudson, Lea Michele and Niecy Nash in SCREAM QUEENS which debuts with a special, two-hour series premiere event on Tuesday, September 22 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Matthias Clamer/FOX.
Photo Credit: Matthias Clamer/FOX.

Warning: Full Spoilers Ahead

This week, Scream Queens takes a small step back, cooling on the murders, offering less comedy and not one musical selection from the ’90s. The story seemed a little scattered, with characters popping up in random moments and the pace dragged a little bit. And yet, I still enjoyed what I saw, laughing at all the right spots and I thoroughly enjoyed the finale and cliffhanger.

Lea Michelle in Haunted House
Photo Credit: Hilary Gayle/FOX.

Last week’s episode left us with Dean Munsch (Jamie Lee Curtis) being accused by Wes (Oliver Hudson) and Gigi (Nasim Pedrad) of being the Red Devil Killer. We all know couldn’t be true because it would have meant Munsch changed out of her nighty into the costume, snuck downstairs without being heard, attempted murder, ran back upstairs, changed AGAIN and then come downstairs as Munsch. Whoo, that was longwinded but luckily it’s mentioned by Munsch herself and, for the moment, shuts out theories of her being our killer. This scene is brilliant; alas, some realism in our world of ridiculousness that really needed to be addressed. Munsch also makes a cameo appearance in our flashback of that fateful night in 1995, quickly subduing the KKT girls and having them bury the body of the dead mother in a remote area. This adds to Munsch’s backstory, showing off her darker side that will most likely be uncovered at the end of the season.

Speaking of this flashback, this is all brought on by Grace (Skyler Samuels) and Peter (Diego Boneta), finishing their road trip to meet former KKT member, Amy (Chelsea Ricketts). This scene plays pretty humorous as Grace and Pete pretend to be trick or treaters, dressing up as Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaughey from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. When Amy figures out why they are there, she eagerly tells them the aforementioned flashback and the revelation that the child was not a boy but actually a girl. This makes Grace insanely jump to the conclusion that she is the child even though the timelines don’t match up (she’s 18 and this takes place 20 years later). Sure, Wes could have lied to her, and she accuses him of just that during his class, this time showing 1984’s Children of the Corn to his unsuspecting film class.

Chanel (Emma Roberts) continues to shine, this time with a viral video of her sending all her followers disgusting Halloween related treats via her Chanel-o-ween idea. This makes her incredibly happy until Zayday (Keke Palmer) decides she is going to run for KKT President and open up a haunted house to raise awareness. She finds the perfect house on Shady Lane, a house that comes with a backstory of the “Black Hag”, a cloaked figure who many believe is a ghost. This story is actually quite creepy, mixed with a few jump scares and little dolls that is sure to give some nightmares. During all this, Nancy still has her eyes on Zayday as the killer, creating a humorous scene where Nancy appears out of nowhere and the two argue over chainsaws and Burger Shack.

Photo Credit: Hilary Gayle/FOX.
Photo Credit: Hilary Gayle/FOX.

Chad (Glen Powell) is underutilized in this episode but when he’s on, HE IS ON. He’s caught in the cemetery by Hester (now Chanel #6)…ahem…relieving himself. The two immediately bond over their sexual love of death and attempt to hook up in Zayday’s haunted house. What follows is an amazing homage to many slasher movies of the late ’70s and early ’80s, especially the original Halloween. Again, Glen Powell is so good with comedy and his screaming and bumbling attitude are still a highpoint.

“Haunted House” is a slight fall from grace but still a good episode overall. Again, the pace is a bit messy and a very random pro-feminism scene felt as if it didn’t belong. The comedy is less but when it’s there, it’s on point. The homage that I mentioned is hilarious and also brings some much needed horror to this show.  The revelation of who the Black Hag is and her role is turns out to be great and it is one of the few things I won’t spoil here but will tackle after the grade. However, may I say, I called it! Again, Scream Queens is a hit and if this is considered a “bad episode” then I have hope for the future.

Haunted House Final Grade: 8/10

Spoiler: The homage was great and we get to see what happened to Chanel #2, Chandel, Coney, Amy and Ms. Beane. Also, Gigi being the hag confirmed my suspicion that she was involved in the 1995 death. The fact that she also had something to do with the baby raises a lot of questions that I can’t wait to see answered.