The Red Devil & The Woman in White

I’m not much of a television consumer, but recently I took the suggestion of a friend and watched the premiere of a new fall show called Scream Queens. Usually I don’t go for this kind of inane teenage drama, but the show has me hooked. The series combines the horror and comedy genres in a sensational romp in which a serial killer in the “red devil” mascot of a university is killing off sorority members. Dumb, right? But I can’t stop watching it. Reading The Woman in White and discussing sensation novels in class has me thinking about my own desire to watch this show, even though its content is often nonsensical and just plain silly. The show is full of intrigue and suspense: each episode sets up a different character to be the potential killer, so that no one can really be trusted. Each episode also ends with a shot of the “red devil” lurking in the shadows, watching the students. The mystery of The Woman in White is largely predicated by the ignorance of the readers and the narrators as to who the real villain of the story is. Sir Percival, Anne Catherick, Count Fosco, and Madame Fosco have all been characterized as potentially dangerous characters, and the suspense and intrigue build as different layers of potential involvement in a conspiracy are revealed. Collins introduces mysterious occurrences one after another without resolving any of them. His sections also often end with cliffhangers, or the feeling that danger is waiting just around the corner, much like the shot of the “red devil” that always ends an episode of Scream QueensThe Woman in White and Scream Queens are similar then, in their sensational nature, constantly framing different characters as potentially suspicious. Scream Queens has just taken the sensation genre and added vapid sorority brats in place of the more innocent, chaste characters central to a Victorian novel like The Woman in White.

Here’s a link to the trailer for your viewing pleasure:

Scream Queens Official Trailer

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