Horror comes to New York City in the latest installment of one of our favorite horror franchises, Scream 6. The long-running series from Paramount Pictures has taken a crack at making jokes on other iconic horror films. Like the stupid girl who runs up the stairs instead of out the front door. But something Scream has always had in its court is that it takes all of those corny tropes and whips them into one terrifying film. And while the latest installment might lose its footing here and there, it still ends up being one of our favorites within the franchise.
Scream 6 is the second installment from Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, with a script written by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick. The story picks up a year after the events of Scream 5. Sam (Melissa Barrera), Tara (Jenna Ortega), Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) have moved to the big apple to avoid their past. Sam is struggling with seeing visions of her father, Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich). Plus, the world blamed her for the Woodsboro murders. The others are just trying to enjoy a normal college life.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a Scream film without Ghostface running around trying to kill our core four and anyone who gets in their way. They are aided by legacy characters Gale (Courtney Cox) and Kirby (Hayden Panettiere), who attempt to guide them the best they can. Newcomers Quinn (Liana Liberato), Ethan (Jack Champion), Danny (Josh Segarra), Anika (Devyn Nekoda) and Detective Bailey (Dermot Mulroney) help round out this incredible cast. Barrera and Ortega shine in their roles, and their journey adds an emotional depth to the film.
As Mindy so kindly puts it (she really is Randy’s niece), the rules of this sequel to a requel mean that all bets are off. The rules of horror movies no longer apply here, and it shows. The real charm within Scream 6 is just how over-the-top everything is. The original films were campy and clearly made in the 90s and early 2000s before on-screen horror took a turn for the gore. With each death scene, the stakes just kept getting higher. And while we still have the suspense leading up to some pretty terrifying moments, the moments where Ghostface comes out of nowhere got us out of our seats.
Moving the franchise out of Woodsboro and into NYC was a great move for Scream 6. Logically, it makes sense that our core four wouldn’t want to stay there. But there is also something terrifying about a serial killer in a big city. So many people around them, but there isn’t that feeling of security since everyone is a stranger. The teaser trailer scene on the subway is an incredible example of tying in the natural fear of city living into the fictional fear of Ghostface. And the movie continues to capitalize on this as the story plays out.
What fell a bit short for Scream 6 was the overall story itself. For the most part, the Scream franchise has tied back into the universe in creative ways, and the killer was always linked to Neve Campbell. But with her absence, which was heavily felt throughout the film, the ties between Ghostface and the others felt a bit farther out than we are used to. However, the plot twist and final act make up for it. And no spoilers – but this final act might just be one of our favorites. We definitely have plans to go back and rewatch it for the easter eggs, along with hints about who is behind the mask.
Overall, Scream 6 is a solid addition to the horror franchise. There is something to enjoy for longtime fans and tons of exciting moments for newcomers. Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett have proven twice that they can shine in Wes Craven‘s shadow. This can also be said about our core four and the new characters introduced in the last two films. While we would love to continue to see our favorite Scream queens, these new characters fit well into this terrifying world, and we can’t see where Ghostface terrorizes them next.
Scream 6 stalks its way into theaters today. We highly recommend checking this out on the big screen.
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