Scream Queens: Hell of a Haunted House
Welcome to Ryan Murphy’s Scream Queens, where all the references to traditional horror movies don’t cancel out the shitty writing.
In a reference to The Blair Witch Project, a text explains that in 2015, Chanel would send Halloween gifts to her 752 Instagram fans in an event known as “Chanel-o-ween.” First person footage is used to show Chanel making her rounds and giving out the gruesome presents to frumpy girls who exclaim their undying adoration for Chanel, even when she gives them rotting pumpkins and cadaver parts.
I don’t know what’s more unrealistic: the fact that these girls are actually pleased with such a terrible present or that Chanel, a sorority girl, only has 752 Instagram followers.
Anyway, we cut back to the real plot, where Wes and Gigi are accusing Dean Munsch of being the Red Devil. However, since Dean Munsch is so beloved in the local community, the cops just send her on her merry way. “She’s obviously the killer!” insists Gigi, even though it would have been physically impossible for Dean Munsch to change out of her nightgown, threaten Gigi in the Devil costume, and then change back into her nightgown.
“But that’s exactly what we’re saying!” insists Wes. Like his daughter, Wes isn’t much of a detective. However, Dean Munsch tells Wes that she forgives the false accusation and invites him to the faculty Halloween party where they can be Little Bo Peep and her sheep.
“I really hope I get to be Little Bo Peep.”
Denise Hemphill runs in the house to inform everyone about the Dickie Dollar Scholars’ attempts to take on the Red Devil. She excitedly crows that if they get the fingerprints off the found chainsaw, they can find out who the killer is. Denise swears she will solve the murder as vengeance for her friend Shondell, but that’s only if Grace and Pete don’t get it first.
For some inexplicable reason, they’re dressed up as Kate Hudson and Matthew Mcconaughey from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days when they knock on the door of Mandy, a 1995 Kappa sorority girl. Look, Ryan Murphy, just because Diego Boneta can put on a Southern accent and Skyler Samuels can pass for Kate Hudson when she straightens her hair doesn’t mean that you need to work it into the episode!
Anyway, Mandy is too eager to tell them what happened that night (I will save my rant about character motivations for another day) and tells them that Dean Munsch helped the Kappa girls bury the body. She then kicked them out of school and forbade them from speaking to each other to keep the death quiet. “She’s the devil that one,” warns Mandy. Mandy also tells them that the baby born in Kappa was a girl, causing Grace to worry that she is that baby.
“Am *I* the murderer? That’d be a twist.”
The Black British Bro encourages Zayday to run for Kappa house president. He warns her that the Greek system will be obsolete if people like her don’t go in there and save it from the Chanels and Chad. Encouraged, Zayday announces her Barack Obama-inspired platform and informs the Kappa girls about the haunted house fundraiser she is throwing to impress voters. Chanel is furious that a freshman might oust her, but #3 and #5 cheer Chanel up and suggest that she throw her own rival party to outdo Zayday.
That evening, Mandy is visited by the Red Devils and is murdered.
Meanwhile, Hester approaches Chad when he is at the graveyard, getting sexually aroused by all the graves. Hester tells Chad that she understand his necrophiliac tendencies, which makes her the hottest girl to him. Hester tells Chad that she intends to take over Kappa house once Zayday is president and then the two of them can rule campus together. Hey, their couple name can be Chester!
Hester promises to meet Chad again–for sex.
“Ryan Murphy is so disturbing sometimes.”
Grace confronts her father and accuses him of being the Red Devil. Of course he denies it, but Grace warns that she isn’t done with her investigation and will find out the truth.
She meets Pete, Zayday, Black British Bro, and Denise Hemphill at a haunted house on Shady Lane. Denise and Pete share the legend of the hag, who was also active in 1995. Zayday wants to hold her haunted house fundraiser there, but Denise is still suspicious that Zayday is the killer. Zayday announces that she knows why Denise has it out for her–Denise tried to pledge Kapp in the ’80s but the organization was too racist to let her in. Now, Denise is jealous that Zayday is a member and might even become president.
Meanwhile, the Chanels pass out fliers for their rival party and encounter douchey bros who try to hit on them. Ryan Murphy must have been reading a ton of feminist blog lately because he has the Chanels–yes, those Chanels–rant about how they are tired of sexism and beat the two bros up in the cafeteria. To top it off, the whole crowd cheers for them.
Now I’m not saying that the Chanels didn’t have a point in their wildly out of character spiel, but I find their newfound feminism disingenuous considering these are the same girls who lined up their half naked pledges to circle their worst body parts, routinely refer to their pledge class as being “ugly gashes,” and once called Ms. Bean their “white mammy.”
Sorry, Ryan Murphy, just because you make your characters repeat the syllabus from a basic Women’s Studies class doesn’t make them feminist heroes all of a sudden.
Hester and Chad meet at the haunted house for sex, although Chad is disturbed that the text message he received to go to the house wasn’t from Hester. When they explore the rooms, they find the dead bodies of the Red Devils’ victims and run screaming out of the house.
So much for those necrophiliac tendencies.
Zayday, Grace, Pete, and Black British Bro go to the haunted house to set up but are shocked to see that people are already there. I know I should be horrified that these people are unknowingly posing with dead bodies, but Zayday missed her chance to collect some serious cash for her charity. Zayday calls 9-1-1 to kick everybody out, but the 9-1-1 operator thinks she is overreacting to the “special effects” of the haunted house. When Zayday turns a corner, she is kidnapped by the Red Devil!
But look, it’s Coney! RIP Coney!
The police finally get involved, but only to deal with Zayday’s disappearance. Since the discovery of the five bodies, Wes wants to shut down the campus, but Dean Munsch insists that since only two of them were actually students, there still isn’t a reason to worry about the killer. As Dean Munsch tries to calm Wes, who wants to alert the media and yell at Ryan Murphy for the lack of realism, Grace pulls Pete aside to tell him about the info she’s found. She found that the hag of Shady Lane appeared a month after the Kappa baby was born and stole diapers, milk, and toys–the hag must have raised the Kappa baby in secret!
“Now we have to find out who she is,” says Grace.
Back at the house on Shady Lane, Gigi sits in dark cloak and wails. Either she’s the hag or she is just depressed about Zayday disappearing.
It depends on the motivation Ryan Murphy suddenly decides to give her.
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