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Review: ‘Scream VI’ Brings Ghostface to an Exciting New Level

Review: ‘Scream VI’ Brings Ghostface to an Exciting New Level

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“What am I watching?” exclaimed an audience member. Thinking about the moment this guy yelled this out loud lives rent-free in my brain and is part of the screening experience you can only get in a theater. Fans of the Scream franchise should have fun with this one. Get excited because Scream VI is an all-around better film than Scream (2022). This sequel is full of wild kills, funny moments, and pulsating action. It is entertaining as hell. Never a dull moment. 

This one had us guessing till the very end about the person behind the ghost-faced mask, even while expecting the unexpected. Scream VI does not disappoint. There was laughing, there were gasps, there was wincing, and actual grimacing from the horror. Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett continue to take the Scream franchise in the right direction. Like its predecessors, the kills and the cast continue to be the driving it-factor. Wes Craven should still be proud.

Scream VI is the latest installment of the Scream franchise brought to you by Paramount Pictures. Focused on the survivors of the Ghostface killings, the group has left Woodsboro and started anew in New York City. Tara, Mindy, and Chad are in college, while Sam is doing her best to heal from the events that left permanent scars. Everyone is dealing with the past in their own way. They soon find themselves in a fight for their lives when a new Ghostface killer emerges. 

Scream is known for its opening sequences. There’s usually a death before those large bold letters come on the screen. It’s a long-cherished formula for these films, and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Scream VI found an intriguing way to make a girl, alone in an alley, on the phone with Ghostface more intriguing. The kills are absolutely bigger and more vicious. In every new Scream movie, people die in wild ways.

Scream VI keeps that tradition going. There are some definitely memorable ones to add to the list. Jump scares add to the mix of this murderous adventure. Guns, knives, and tasers all come out to play in Scream VI. They even take it to the streets and bring bricks into the game. So simple, yet these murders were brutal. If you thought Sam (Barrera) stabbing Richie (Jack Quaid) 22 times in Scream (2022) was intense, wait until you see this film.

Another staple of the franchise is the rules. Unfortunately, the anticipation for fan-fav Mindy Meeks-Martin (Savoy Brown) outweighed the actual on-screen moment. Mindy carries on her horror nerd family tradition with her knowledge of the genre, including the films Stab movies. The layout of characters using their film knowledge to stay alive is what we look forward to. 

It’s this moment that helps the audience also determine the list of suspects and who they think the killer is. We learn this is a franchise (duh), and some rules apply, and some don’t. It’s a real hold onto your butts situation. Brace yourself because no one is safe. A deeper dive into the relevant why would have been nice. It’s a moment for fans to geek out, and I feel slightly robbed.

Black 'Buffy' Characters Deserved Better

Scream VI features its share of meta plot points and humor. It’s a universe of its own. Reminiscent of Scream 2, Scream IV puts Sidney in college. The college setting allows for the big city vibes to be scaled down to more manageable locations. Let’s face it, New York is a big place — there had to be some structure as to why they can’t just lose Ghostface amongst the crowd. This idea is highlighted in one of the best scenes of the film, the subway sequence. 

It’s Halloween. There are tons of people on the train. There are tons of people wearing Ghostface masks, among other horror film staples. We see bits of this in the trailer. The flow of these scenes was smart, genuinely creepy, and a fun way to tease the audience and characters’ expectations. The editing was perfect here. Although we were in New York, it still felt like a small town. This is where Scream VI did what they do best. 

The enticement of our favorite slasher in a giant city was huge. They added to the plot with the close proximity of apartment building windows, the constant blare of sirens, bodegas, large groups of people crammed into small spaces, and a widely functioning metro system. Could they have worked the New York angle a little stronger? Sure — they could have thrown in some New York staples.

Let’s talk about legacy characters for a second. We all know Neve Campbell and her character Sidney Prescott is missing from this latest installment. There was a forced line in there explaining her absence. But who we do get is Courteney Cox reprising her role as Gale Weathers. One of the coolest characters these films have given us. 

She is this bold, tenacious investigative journalist who always has something to contribute to exposing the killer. She is an absolute fave, even if she does use what she can for monetary gain. Her existence in each film makes total sense, which is why her part in Scream VI was fantastic. The scrappiness and ingenious moves that we see are epic. Sidney who? Cox’s performance as Gale is memorable and she really does deserve the recognition in this franchise from the beginning to wherever it ends. 

Scream is still one of the best horror franchises out there. Scream VI is such a fun film. Sure, you are laughing at the ludicrousness of some moments, but that also adds to the cinematic experience that these films provide. You know it’s good when you leave the theater and continue talking about scenes. These characters are awesome. This story is fanfare, nostalgia, and genre pleasing all in one. Yes to all of it. There will be other viewings.

Scream VI hits theaters on March 10, 2023.

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