Scream VI Image

Scream VI

By Jason Delgado | March 10, 2023

NOW IN THEATERS! “What’s your favorite scary movie?” The original Scream has it all. Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson included elements of horror, humor, mystery, and romance. The film also featured inventive kills, memorable characters, twists/turns, and, my favorite, meta pop culture observations that offer up gems such as the rules that horror characters must abide by to survive. I even enjoyed the legacy sequel from 2022, aptly called a “requel” (remake/sequel) in the movie.

However, it felt like it was trying too hard to duplicate legendary Craven and Williamson’s classic. With Scream VI, the team known as Radio Silence (directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, with producer Chad Villella) have taken the franchise to a new setting, that of vibrant New York City. They’ve also injected new rules to reinvigorate the series with fresh blood.

The young and talented cast has also grabbed the series by the throat, stepping out of the shadow of Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell). The Carpenter sisters, Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara (Jenna Ortega), the latest scream queens as hardened survivors of the traumatic events of the last film, have moved to N.Y.C. Legacy character Randy’s (Jamie Kennedy) loquacious niece Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and charming nephew Chad (Mason Gooding) are also present.

Scream VI kicks off with a nod to Radio Silence’s fun and underrated Ready or Not by using Samara Weaving as the bait for Ghostface’s big opening kill. The shocker is that we immediately see who Ghostface is under the mask, as this has always been saved as a big final act reveal. Another twist brings the mystery back into the fold.

“…Sam and Tara hear on the news about a grisly murder by Ghostface.”

Sam is now in therapy after surviving the killings from Woodsboro, with the story and her rough nature being so intense that it freaks her therapist out. Tara tries to party away her bad memories, but her friends are too protective to let her, much to Tara’s chagrin. But then Sam and Tara hear on the news about a grisly murder by Ghostface. This kicks off the creepy calls with the signature Voice (Roger Jackson), and the chase begins.

Mindy takes a page from her late uncle’s book and explains the rules for surviving a horror franchise. At this point, anything goes, even for returning legacy characters such as reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Scream 4 survivor Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere). I enjoyed seeing Panettiere back in the role that didn’t quite pan out at the time, similar to when Andrew Garfield gained redemption in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Veteran actor Dermot Mulroney as Detective Bailey is another solid addition to an already stacked cast.

Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega are fantastic, and as much as I loved Neve Campbell, they are ready to carry this franchise into the next generation. They have the star power and “it” factor that is necessary while playing off of each other and the rest of the cast so well. They ensure the frightening atmosphere is palpable.

Some slasher purists are unhappy about seeing Ghostface use a gun, but I see it as a fresh and natural evolution of the killer in his new surroundings. Seeing Ghostface wreak havoc out in public in the Big Apple at locations such as a liquor store or crowded subway train adds to the tension and excitement. The eerie factor here is kicked up a notch.

My favorite thing about Scream (2022) was the use of original killer Billy (Skeet Ulrich) as Star Wars force ghost guiding Sam but in a twisted serial killer way. It was so invigorating (albeit not enough to forget the unoriginality of the rest of it). That’s how I feel about the New York setting, gory and exciting kills, and anything-goes storyline of Scream VI. Radio Silence make this franchise their own in a blaze of blood and guts glory.

Scream VI (2023)

Directed: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

Written: James Vanderbilt, Guy Busick, Kevin Williamson

Starring: Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Courteney Cox, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, Hayden Panettiere, Dermot Mulroney, Samara Weaving, Skeet Ulrich, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Scream VI Image

"…Radio Silence make this franchise their own in a blaze of blood and guts glory."

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