To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, Scream VI is a meta-slasher film directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (Devil’s Due) from a screenplay written by James Vanderbilt (Darkness Falls) and Guy Busick (Ready or Not). Featuring returning stars Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, Hayden Panettiere, and Courteney Cox, alongside newcomers Jack Champion, Henry Czerny, Liana Liberato, Dermot Mulroney, Devyn Nekoda, Tony Revolori, Josh Segarra, and Samara Weaving; it’s the sixth installment in the Scream franchise. A year after the events of Scream (2022), Sam Carpenter now lives in New York with her sister Tara and their friends Mindy and Chad. When a new killer donning the Ghostface moniker appears, the four must team up with fellow survivors Gale Weathers and Kirby Reed to stop them.
In New York City, film professor Laura Crane (Samara Weaving) is waiting at the bar for someone she met on a dating app. When her date calls stating he is lost, Laura is lured outside to look for him. After heading down a dark alley she is murdered by someone in a Ghostface costume. The killer removes his mask and is revealed to be her student, Jason Carvey (Tony Revolori). Jason then puts the costume in his bookbag and leaves. As he makes his way back to his apartment, Jason runs into his classmate Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) who is headed to a Halloween party with her friends Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown).
After getting home Jason puts the Ghostface outfit in his closet and washes the blood from his hands. He receives a call from his roommate “Greg” who is using the Ghostface voice. Jason apologizes for killing Laura but states he had to practice and was angry that she gave him a C on his paper. Jason and “Greg” then talk about their plan to kill Tara and Sam before he realizes he’s not talking to Greg. After a game of Hot and Cold, Jason eventually finds Greg’s dismembered body in the fridge and is subsequently stabbed to death by another Ghostface.
I have been a big fan of the Scream movies since I was a kid. Wes Craven was a master of his craft and formulated a meta-story that not only poked fun at his favorite film genre but also elevated the movies that would come after. No longer could teens make erroneously dumb decisions without the audience rolling their eyes. Now, most horror films make some attempt to have the main characters be smart in their deadly situations. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett were the perfect directors to take over the Scream franchise as Mindy so eloquently states in the movie. Not many horror films make it to seven entries and still pump out solid material. They gave the eagerly awaiting fans the return of Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) from Scream 4, now a badass FBI agent. They even sprinkled in some fan theories in the dialogue including the potential of Stu Macher surviving the events of the first movie. I’ll be one to say with the way these movies are going Matthew Lillard will definitely be back!
The kills are more bloody and more gruesome although we have yet to actually see a beheading onscreen. Seeing Ghostface wield a shotgun was a breath of fresh air and I wish they had the guts to allow him to use more firearms throughout the picture. Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett are taking these new characters and crafting stories that not only pay homage to how movies were made before, but also how they are now. Today franchises are a big deal in Hollywood with every studio scraping the bottom of the barrel to see what IP they can revive and monetize.
Scream VI deals with a plethora of firsts for the franchise. It is the first film set in New York City It is the first film not to feature Sidney Prescott although she is mentioned as having gone into hiding. (Which is the smartest thing anyone has ever done in this franchise!) The absence is due to Neve Campbell not being pleased with the offer she was given to be in the film. Hopefully, she can return in the future. Lastly, this is the first film to feature four Ghostface killers. There was even a potential for five killers, but Greg was killed offscreen at the beginning of the movie.
This latest Ghostface yarn is not without its issues. For example, the main characters are supposed to be so smart and aware of horror movie clichés yet they continue to break the rules. At least one of the Ghostface killers is obvious to both the friend group and the audience and it’s strange they keep the person around. Any small amount of research would have revealed their true identity. There are also other newcomers to the group who are kept involved for far too long. The suspension of disbelief is also necessary in a few instances. The fact that more police and FBI are not thoroughly involved in a Ghostface attack at this point is ridiculous. It’s even more ridiculous that the killers could even get their hands on decades worth of police evidence When the killers are revealed at the end their plot is borderline insane and feels straight out of the 90s.
Overall, Scream VI is another solid entry for Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. The returning actors all turn in decent performances and have now cemented their position in this long-running franchise. I give Scream VI a Solid 6.7/10. We’ll see how long the core four can make it before they are given the Dewey treatment.