‘Make Me Scream’ (2023) Recap And Review: Who Wins The Medal Of Mayhem?

Spooky season is upon us, and as always, everyone wants to try their hand at providing some terrifying, bone-chilling content. Movies, shows, and documentaries are all fun, but watching people scream their lungs out because of fake props and fantastic makeup is a thrilling experience of its own. Just like Fear Factor, in Make Me Scream, we see participants compete by facing their fears, but the supernatural kind (fictionalized, of course). Three teams compete to win the ultimate medal of honor, the Medal of Mayhem. Hosted by partners Darryl M. Bell and Tempestt Bledsoe, the show has three duos competing against each other in blood-churning mazes to get their hands on the medal or “die.” A scream meter measures their screams, along with some rules to help the best duo win. Let’s quickly get into Make Me Scream.

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Spoilers Ahead


What Happens In The TV Special?

Narrated by Nathaniel Kweku, the show begins with a preview of the kind of lurid rounds the contestants must get through, along with how easily they scream on their way. The star couple, Tempestt Bledsoe and Darryl M. Bell, take the stage to introduce us to the show and what’s coming next. Celebrity contestants will have to go through three scream zones for one of the duos to emerge victorious. Three celebrities bring their partner of choice for the show. Actor Jaleel White with his partner Chris Williams, actress Shoniqua Shandai with her partner Javalan, and rapper Lil Xan with his partner Karma. The rules are not to close your eyes, not to hide, and not to run. The team with the lowest total score in the end wins.

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Round 1: The Chamber Of The Damned

Round No. 1 is the same for all participants; you go through what is called the chamber of damned. Essentially, this is like your usual walk in a haunted house, the good old jump scares, with people touching you and reaching their hands out towards you. All you need to do is walk in and get out the other side with no screams, and follow the rules carefully. Lady Death, swamp creatures, a human spider, and a vampire all in one round—these are the monsters that the teams have to face in the Chamber of the Damned. This first round comes across as a little ridiculous; it almost feels like everyone is faking the screams. It’s the first round, and everyone has already crossed 20 points. Shaniqua and Javalan are victorious in this round with a score of 24, followed by Jaleel and then Lil Xan. Interestingly, Shaniqua’s team didn’t apply any real strategy, whereas the other two really planned things out. Shaniqua even ended up crying in there, but she made it to number 1.


Round 2: Test Of Terror

This is when things get a little interesting; each team gets into their own maze and has to face their worst fears. This time around, there are aliens to catch, skulls to collect, and balloons to burst. Shaniqua and Javalan must collect aliens but stay safe from infection. They manage to do it with some difficulty, but will they be able to maintain their winning streak? Apart from screaming, there was some running involved as well. Next, Jaleel has to go through a carnival with clowns and a man with a chainsaw. All he has to do is burst some red balloons, and he and Chris manage to complete this round with more ease than before. Again, though, their big misstep was running from the chainsaw man. Xan’s big fear is being buried alive, so he needs to get through “The Catacombs” and collect five skulls. Again, Xan is the most afraid of the lot. Karma has her eyes closed; she is hiding and screaming. Xan also falls to the floor, making it all much worse for him. Although they make it out of the catacombs, they’ve broken too many rules. In this round, Jaleel comes out at the top with only 17 points. Now, the competition is really just between Shaniqua and Jaleel for round 3, but anything is possible with determination.

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Round 3: Sundown Manor

The final round is similar to the first round, but you have to go through an entire mansion. From a shocking greeting to an electrocution chamber, a dining room with mannequins then takes them to a garden of gore to finally end in a field of screams. With the highest scream score, Xan and Karma have to go through this round first. Unfortunately, things don’t work out so well for them, and it’s quite clear that they will be the ones to end up last, for sure. Shaniqua and Javalan do fantastically well until they suddenly start holding each other too tight, making it seem as if they’re hiding. Their scream score is only 7, though. Finally, Jaleel and Chris strategize and end up in a similar position as Shaniqua and Javalan. But, before they even went into the manor, they were in a soup because Jaleel almost broke his ankle just with the devil’s greeting.


Medal Of Mayhem

Ultimately, the medal goes to Jaleel and Chris, who beat out Shaniqua and Javalan by just a little. The rest get taken back to the manor to never return (just kidding).

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Final Thoughts

At first, Make Me Scream feels very staged, but when the tasks are assigned, it makes it much more fun. I was rooting for Shaniqua between Jaleel and her because she looked like she was really fighting for it, but in the end, she just missed it. The show progresses really well, and if you have fun watching people scare easily, then this TV special is a good watch. The production is fantastic, too; from the sets to the monster makeup, everything is really well done and actually makes you feel like there’s something that might scare people in there. On the other hand, sometimes, just to make things look extra spooky, there’s a lot of camera movement or special effects, which makes it all seem quite fake. Still, it’s super enjoyable and definitely a decent addition to the Halloween watch list.


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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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At first, Make Me Scream feels very staged, but when the tasks are assigned, it makes it much more fun. I was rooting for Shaniqua between Jaleel and her because she looked like she was really fighting for it, but in the end, she just missed it.'Make Me Scream' (2023) Recap And Review: Who Wins The Medal Of Mayhem?