Scream VI offers higher stakes and gorier kills with the franchise’s next generation of characters tackling New York.
Since its 1997 debut, the Scream franchise has been famous for its recreation of the horror genre. With the decline of horror in the 90s, Scream, with its clever writing, sharp wit and references, was a breath of fresh air to the genre. After four films were released, it seemed that that would be it due to the passing of Wes Craven, Scream’s longtime director. However, the series found new direction under Radio Silence Productions. After Scream (2022) received positive reviews upon release, a sixth instalment was quickly announced with Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett returning as co-directors.
Scream VI marks the first time that Sydney Prescott (Neve Campbell) does not appear in. Due to failed salary negotiations, Neve Campbell made the decision to not reprise her role in the newest film. David Arquette also does not return due to his character Dewey Riley being killed off in the previous film. This makes Courtney Cox (Gale Weathers) and Roger L. Jackson (the voice of Ghostface) the only actors who have appeared in every Scream film.
Scream 6: A Summary
Warning: minor spoilers
Scream VI has sisters Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) residing in New York. Joining them are siblings Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Chad Meeks-Martin (Mason Gooding). They are survivors of the events from the previous film, forming a closely knit group, self-dubbed “Core Four”. Together, the group create a new ensemble of friends while trying to put the events of Woodsboro behind them. Some to greater success than others. A struggling Sam finds herself haunted by conspiracy theorists and the ghost of her late serial killing father Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), the Ghostface from the first movie. She also tries to be there for Tara comes across as overbearing to her sister who distracts herself with studies and parties.
However, the group’s fragile peace ends when two fellow students murdered by a new Ghostface. Perhaps the most brutal Ghostface seen yet, this one takes the gore meter up to eleven. Wearing a cracked, faded mask, they seem to have a personal vendetta with Sam. And to top it all off, they own a shrine dedicated to the previous murder sprees filled with items taken from previous Ghostface killings. Gale Weathers, news reporter and Ghostface veteran, also finds herself caught up in the bloodbath. Fellow Ghostface survivor Kirby Reed (Hayden Janettiere) also makes a return from Scream 4. Now an FBI agent, she travels to New York to help investigate the killings.
Scream 6: Analysis
A Scream film set in New York is hinted at in Scream (2022), with Gale moving there to do her own talk show. To date, Scream VI is the third film to take place outside of Woodsboro. This is to the movie’s benefit as a horror franchise can get stale if it takes place in the exact location every. Filming took place in Montreal, Canada, making it the first Scream film to be made outside the United States. This set change allows for exploration in the franchise. From crawling on the floor of a corner store to keeping a vigilant eye on a subway full of Halloween, our newest characters are provided new kinds of new obstacles to overcome to survive Ghostface. Fans also witness plenty of great chase scenes, something that the series is renowned for having.
The film does a good job of utilising its characters properly. With Sidney absent, Sam steps up as Scream’s new final girl. She struggles with her demons but isn’t afraid to stand up for to them for herself and others. Her bond with Tara is one of the film’s strongest attributes, with both of them struggling together, albeit in different ways. Mindy, Randy’s niece, fills the role of the humorous horror movie expert. And despite being just a hallucination, Skeet Ulrich kills it as a digitally de-aged Billy Loomis who haunts Sam. Gale also gives a great chase scene with Ghostface. However, her opportunistic demeanour contrasts her character development from the last movie.
Overall, Scream VI shows that the series is still going strong and will likely continue to do so. Barrera and Ortega’s performances are splendid. Courtney Cox brings back the Gale Weathers we all know even with being given a short amount of screen time and a reversed story arc. The film also comes with some of the best and goriest Ghostface kills of the franchise so far. The new approach under Radio Silence Productions offers new directions for the franchise. They manage to uphold Scream’s essential components while adding their own flair to it. Time will only tell where Radio Silence Productions takes the series next.
Watch the trailer below:
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