It's been a long road getting VH1's Scream: Resurrection to the screen, but it's well worth the wait.
For the first time since the series began, Scream delivers exactly what the audience wants -- a four and a half hour (not counting commercials) horror movie playing out over three nights.
Gone is the soapy, melodramatic aspect that unsuccessfully tried to throw viewers off the scent of the killer, and it is a fast-paced, well-written horror when every life is on the line.
Scream was a terrific movie franchise that stood the test of time.
After all, it's not the unsuccessful movie franchise that gets a TV series that moves through three seasons.
The first two seasons of MTV's Scream were a bit of a mess.
The complicated story took precidence over the thrills and kills, and that's never a good sign for true horror fans.
Scream: Resurrection wastes no time proving life is of little consequence to its killer, and the action begins immediately and never slows down.
There has been a surge in black horror in theaters recently, and if the series producers (Queen Latifa, Yaneley Arty, Shakim Compere) and showrunner Brett Matthews wanted to prove the medium makes no difference, they scored.
The characters are highly engaging and very sympathetic, and that's accomplished without spending a significant amount of time away from the action (mayhem!).
The cast is top-notch with RJ Cyler as Deion, an athlete hoping to score a football scholarship to get him out of Atlanta, and Keke Palmer as Kim, a rebel and activist trying to flip the script of traditional horror to survive at any cost.
Jessica Sula is Liv, a cheerleader and honor student harboring a ton of secrets, and Giorgia Whigham is Beth, who thinks she knows horror well enough to keep everyone out of danger when their friends start dropping like flies.
C.J. Wallace plays Amir, a good kid who feels entirely out of his element hunting a killer, and Giullian Yao Gioiello is Manny, the loyal friend who is only second to Amir in his inability to cope when the madness ensues.
Understanding and rooting for the core cast of characters is essential in horror, and Scream: Resurrection puts viewers in touch with all of the essential elements so that caring what characters will make it to the end of the miniseries feels natural.
It's even better, of course, that they're members of a new Breakfast Club: Ghostface edition, paying another homage to a movie so classic and full of tropish characters it's been revisited across the entertainment stratusphere from Dawson's Creek to Riverdale.
How else would all of the contrasting characters find themselves diverging? It's not a raucous party or the murders themselves that rally the troops, but the unlucky sentence of detention.
All of the traditional horror tropes are present and accounted except for the one that Beth warned of early on: It's always the black kid that gets killed first.
Race is crucial to Scream: Resurrection not from a social activist standpoint, but in upending the notion that the color of your skin dooms you to death before you get a chance to strike back when a killer is afoot.
Other tropes get addressed, as the tormented try to dispell the myths to be the last one standing. It's all done to great effect, more in the traditional Randy (Jamie Kennedy) from the original film than Noah (John Karna) of the previous Scream TV seasons.
Because as much as they try to dispel the common horror (and Breakfast Club) tropes, the characters themselves don't fall into any one category.
With even less time spent nurturing the characters' backstories, they're less likely to fall solidly into any one trope, making the story more well-rounded and relatable.
There is a great supporting cast, too.
Tyga is right in the thick of it as Deion's step-brother, Jamal, Mary J. Blige gets in on the action as Deion's mother, Elliot, Tyler Posey gets the honor of ensuring everyone is suitably high and well-entertained, and Paris Jackson cameos in a scene vital to any Scream rendition.
And let's not forget one of the most important characters of all -- Ghostface.
The masked killer cutting down the detentioners sports the original Scream aka Ghostface mask, and it is more prevalent now than it has ever been with a story all its own.
Let me assure you that your wait for the latest Scream series has not gone in vain.
Scream: Resurrection will leave you breathless!
Don't DVR Scream: Resurrection because it's too easy to get spoiled of the ultimate reveal, and you'll want to talk about this one in real-time.
Will you be tuning in tonight to catch the beginning of the action?
Scream: Resurrection premieres tonight at 9 on VH1.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.