There is truly no better time than now to dissect the concept of a franchise. Nostalgia has run its course, it is all about revamping these IPs with new characters to sustain a new trilogy or a new show or whatever the studio decides. The iconic actors return to get audiences back but as the requels have proved, you don’t really need them to move forward. It is all up to the franchise on knowing which stance to take, it can either force these legacy characters to keep showing up for no reason at all or actually take a step outside of the franchise’s comfort zone and create something new and that is precisely what ‘Scream‘ has done with this incredible requel sequel. Spanning decades, this is the franchise that is smart enough to know when to release an entry, how to keep audiences coming back and how to subvert expectations and that is why this franchise has yet to fail. Not a single horror franchise is doing it like these guys.
major spoilers for ‘SCREAM VI‘ are featured in this review.
The ‘Scream‘ formula is just as present here as it has been through the other entries. There’s an opening scene slash, Ghostface obviously still has that whodunit element and the meta-commentary runs through the rules once again. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and by golly, this franchise sticks to that phrase with total confidence as it delivers one of the best opening sequences of the franchise. The most perplexing mystery to date, some of the most brutal kills and the funniest commentary so far qre present here. We’re not quite ready for beheadings just yet Mindy but I love the enthusiasm. The greatest thing about ‘Scream VI‘ is that it utilizes New York in such inventive and ingenious ways that it actually feels as though you’re watching a ‘Scream‘ movie for the very first time. The kills are all hard-hitting, brutal and shocking, Ghostface is scarier than ever, the characters come into their own in a massive way making for a new core cast that is just as great as the trio before it. Everything works perfectly here and you can tell just by the discourse around this movie that it’s a classic already. The audience’s enthusiasm to talk about certain sequences after the movie is done, that’s what makes a great blockbuster and believe it or not, this sixth entry is arguably the franchise’s strongest entry to date, up there with the original.
The decision to set this movie in New York was not only inspired but it never felt like a cheap gimmick. In fact, the decision to make this movie the first to be shown in 3D shows how much they wanted to back this concept up. I’ve seen the movies twice so far and my first showing was in 3D and I was genuinely surprised at how much I liked the 3D because it helped maximise the scope and add layers of perspective and depth to a scene which had a great effect. I personally thought that the kills would be the thing that stands out with 3D but I was pleasantly surprised that they used it wisely. The kills themselves were some of the best of the franchise. Bring back properly long sequences that make the most out of their settings! So many instantly memorable scenes from the incredible subway scene with some truly incredible cameos, my soul was particularly pleased to see Michael Myers and Ghostface in the same shot on the big-screen. The bodega scene is one my favourites of the franchise, it’s so well-thought out and utterly terrifying to watch unfold. The concept of a Ghostface who doesn’t really care about the rules of the Ghostface entity and the ‘Stab‘ movies and deciding to use a shotgun is just brilliant and the idea was executed perfectly.
The apartment sequence with ladder was genuinely one of the most thrilling and terrifying sequences in the franchise for me. The dread just kept building up and it resulted in one of the most gruesome deaths this franchise has ever seen, it was fantastic. That being said, the Core Four don’t get all the fun as Gale finally gets her big battle with Ghostface in a brilliant sequence where she finally gets to shine on her own. After Dewey’s unfortunate demise in ‘Scream (2022)‘, I was genuinely scared that they would kill off Gale similar to how the ‘Star Wars‘ sequel trilogy killed one of the main trio every movie but I am so glad that she pulled through. She outsmarted Ghostface and gave him an ass-whopping as she should and in the end, she outlived the entire family so she still won that battle. I loved how she traced the phone back to him and cut him off. It was nice to see that she allowed herself to be with someone new after Dewey although I admittedly felt the loss of his presence here and hearing him and Gale’s theme play as she looks over pictures of him and when she talks about him to Sam, it hurt. Dewey is definitely missed. The absence of Sidney, on the other hand, is not felt as much as her character has outgrown the need to be in every single instalment. While the sitaution with Neve Campbell is very unfortunate and she had every right to do what she did, it’s comforting to know that Sidney wasn’t disrespected as a character.
The Core Four comes into their own a ton in their second movie. While they definitely weren’t bad in the 2022 film, the cast overall feels more confident and secure in their characters this time around. Melissa Barrera for example delivers a much better performance here than in 2022 and makes a strong case for Sam being the new lead final girl. Jenna Ortega is fantastic as expected. I cannot wait to see where these two go in the upcoming movies. Their dynamic is very compelling and I think they can do a lot with it moving forward. Everyone’s favourite twins Chad and Mindy are back and they’re as fun as ever. Jasmin Savoy Brown’s Mindy is a scene stealer once again, I truly hope she gets more to do in the next one, she deserves the world. Mason Gooding’s Chad becoming the sucessor to Dewey is something I didn’t know I needed but it feels so right and I hope they go all the way with it. The return of ‘Scream 4‘ member Kirby played by Hayden Panettiere was not exactly what I thought it would be. She was great and I love the scene she has with Mindy talking about horror sequels but I thought she would be involved more. That being said, when the movie tricked us into thinking she was the killer, I was shocked but sold. Anything the movie threw at me, I accepted, it really had me in the palm of it’s hands in that regard. Regarding the reveal, it was clever that it borrowed from ‘Scream 2‘ and I do think it executed the reveal in a much better way but out of all the reveals, it’s not my favourite one but it never lessened the impact of the movie.
Overall, ‘Scream VI‘ was a fucking blast, easily one of my favourite sequels in the franchise. I love the dedication to creating longer sequences that become truly memorable. I love the commitment to it’s New York setting and how well utilized it was. The cast is perfect, Ghostface is scarier than ever and the commentary and humour is just as relevant and effective as ever. I hope they continue this franchise with these team, I loved the 2022 movie and this is somehow even better than that. I just find it very exciting that the ‘Scream‘ franchise is bringing back the notion that teenagers could sneak into a slasher at the theatres or go on dates to see it, it feels very nostalgic and I’m glad that it’s coming back. Slashers truly couldn’t be in better hands right now.
‘Scream VI‘ is now showing in cinemas.