I loved growing up on the horror films of the 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and today, while also loving the classics. From then to now, it’s clear how horror has evolved. There’s no doubt the Scream franchise has played a major role in that evolution. As a fan of the horror genre, with all its different levels, elements, and styles, I have always kept Scream a constant in the film rotation. And we’re going to experience it all over again on March 10th when Scream VI hits theaters nationwide.
Like the notoriety of its kill scenes, the Scream franchise has also been known to give us rules to follow. Audiences became more aware of what they were watching. Between 1996 and 2022, each film in the Scream films has introduced, and exaggerated, the rules of a horror movie. As we venture into the sixth installment, we can’t help but wonder if any of these rules will still apply. We already know Scream VI is set in New York City. Shotguns are involved. People we thought were left for dead are alive. Will that change the rules or make them even more important to follow? Let’s take a look.
The Rules to Surviving a Horror Movie
Scream (1996) brought us rules (thanks Randy) that most ’90s teen movies, regardless of genre, were breaking. So it seemed impossible to follow.
- Rule #1: Never have sex
- Rule #2: Never drink or do drugs
- Rule #3: Never ever say, “I’ll be right back”
The Rules for Surviving a Horror Movie Sequel
Scream 2, which came just under a year later on December 12, 1997, introduced an update to the rules.
- The body count is always higher
- Death scenes are always much more elaborate, with more blood and carnage
- Never, ever, under any circumstances assume the killer is dead
The Rules for Surviving the Last Chapter of a Horror Movie Trilogy
Scream 3, released February 4, 2000, brought us to the new millennium.
- Killer is superhuman
- Anyone, including the main character, can die
- The past will come back to bite you in the ass
How to Survive a Horror Movie Remake
Scream 4, 11 years later on April 15, 2011, brought us into the 21st century. A new set of rules were born.
- The unexpected is the new cliche
- New version is 2.0 — killer should be using the latest technology, filming their murders to make their art as immortal as they are, opening sequence should blow the doors off and dialed up with some flashy music-video direction
- Kills are way more extreme
- Virgins can die.
- Don’t F with the original
The Rules to a Requel
Scream (2022), released January 14, 2022, at the turn of 25 years of the franchise, gave us the current rules. This 5th installment was identified as a “requel,” meaning a film where new characters are supported by/related to legacy characters and the point is to build something new that’s part of an ongoing storyline.
- Killer’s motive is always connected to something in the past, always goes back to the original
- Never trust your love interest
- First victim always has a friend group the killer is a part of
Scream VI hits theaters March 10, 2023. The four survivors of the Ghostface murders from Scream (2022) leave Woodsboro behind for a fresh start in New York City. However, they soon find themselves in a fight for their lives when a new killer embarks on a bloody rampage. Sam (Melissa Barrera), Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown), Chad (Mason Gooding), Tara (Jenna Ortega), Kirby (Hayden Panettiere), and Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) return to their roles in the franchise.
The stakes are higher and no one is safe.
The 6th film is directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (Scream, 2022).
What rules would you add to the list?
Scream VI is back to terrify us yet again on March 10, 2023.