The Scream has had many ups and downs over the years, but its impact on horror cinema and pop culture cannot be denied. As much as we like to poke fun at the many horror movie clichés and occasional cheesiness of these films, their influence helped shape the evolution of the horror movie genre in the years that followed. Scream VI is a movie that takes pride in its legacy and embraces many of the staples that built the foundation it stands upon. Luckily for everyone watching it does so with some genuinely solid performances and shocking moments that make for a fun runtime. If you’re not a fan of the Scream series of 90s slasher movies then you might not see the big deal in many things that happen in it, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find something to like about Scream VI.
Unlike its predecessors, Scream VI takes the series to a new and bigger location, the streets of New York City. But that’s not the only thing this movie does differently from previous Scream films. The opening sequence is a great setup and fake-out that plays with your expectations, leading to some surprising moments and build-up for the rest of the film. Just when you think the film is going in one direction, Scream VI takes a hard turn towards something interesting that will keep you intrigued. It’s a solid example of how subverting expectations can go right for a film, where the twists and turns make sense and offer a good payoff for everyone watching.
The main plot of the film follows Sam Carpenter and her sister Tara, along with their group of roommates that share an apartment in New York while attending college. The sisters are located there following the events of Scream V, where Sam was the survivor of the Woodsboro legacy murders. While the general public believes she framed the tragedy, someone wearing the Ghostface costume begins killing in New York City and is attempting to frame Sam for it.
The mystery that unfolds throughout the film showcases a bolder Ghostface that relentlessly pursues Sam and her sister, while also taking out many other characters. The body count is high, with some gruesome moments that don’t go over the top but will manage to make some people squirm. How it all comes to an end is a big twist that not only highlights much of the Scream series but manages to build upon its legacy with clever ideas.
Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega play Sam and Tara Carpenter in the film with what feels like genuine chemistry as sisters. There are emotional moments in-between the horror chases and killings that build up the history they have and the mental toll they each suffer from their past. And while both women get some big moments to shine towards the end that borderline on the absurd, the earlier parts of the film allow them to showcase some great acting between each other and the rest of their costars. The film is about the relationship these two sisters have with each other as much as it is about their family and the previous Ghostface killer tragedies.
The rest of the cast isn’t as memorable or interesting as Sam and Tara are, with a few exceptions that become surprising by the end of the film. The legacy characters from older Scream films, played by Courtney Cox and Hayden Panettiere, do have some genuinely good moments that are important to the big plot. Things long-time Scream fans have wanted to see finally get addressed here. The rest of the cast does end up feeling like their personalities revolve around one specific trait to round off the group. You have the horror movie buff, the hot boyfriend, the pretty girl, and so on and so forth. It feels very much like a checklist from the earlier Scream films and other 90s horror movies of the era.
When the body count starts to rise, you can almost pick out who may or may not get caught by Ghostface, but the film manages to switch things up a few times to keep things interesting. Some of the decisions made by different characters can come off as boneheaded or stupid, but it’s usually followed by something that makes up for it with a great payoff that keeps the momentum of the film going.
Unfortunately, some viewers may be disappointed by how Scream VI rounds off its ending with who survives. There are spots where some can say Scream VI wasn’t bold enough to go further with certain characters, while others may feel it went too far with specific events. Part of slasher movies in the 90s were the extremes during different parts of the story, which the movie does attempt to a degree of success. Instead of coming off as trying too hard to be like what was, it instead feels like a smart homage that makes sense within the context of the movie’s plot at the right time.
Although Scream VI does have a lot of nods and fan service to the entire series, there are a few things that it does stumble around. Series heroine and a staple of the Scream movies Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell in previous Scream films, is nowhere to be found. Much of this is due to the actress not coming to an agreement to be in the film, which is a shame since many fans wanted to see her show up.
There is a throwaway line that says her character went into hiding following events of the previous film, which manages to keep the door open for her to return in another sequel. With Scream VI so heavy on revering the origins of the series and the legacy that has been built over the years, it’s a shame that it couldn’t accomplish getting the final girl who started it all to be part of it.
Scream VI is a good entry to the Scream series that will make fans who have watched since the beginning happy. But even if you’re not a fan of these movies or never had the chance to watch them, you’ll at least have a good slasher movie that can shock and scare you into enjoyment. The action, new ideas, and crazy twists can be thrilling to watch. It’s definitely not the highest point of the series and fumbles a few things that could’ve made it better, but it’s far from the worst entry of the series.
Have you watched Scream VI yet? What is your favorite scary movie to watch alone or with friends? Tell us about it in the comments down below!
The movie can be fun to watch, especially if you’ve followed the series or enjoy a good 90s-style slasher horror film. There is a lot of fan service for anyone who has watched the previous films in the franchise, while others will miss out on the clever nods and homages. The action and horror elements are good and will keep you guessing what will come next, despite a few cliche things that won’t work for everyone.
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