Released: 9th March
Seen: 8th March

On June 6th Neve Campbell made an announcement that she was not going to appear in Scream 6 due to negotiations with Paramount falling through when they didn’t give her the money that she felt she was worth to the franchise. This was, quite frankly, insane to believe because Neve Campbell is the face of the Scream franchise, as important to it as phone calls and the concept of horror movie trivia so for Paramount to decide to just not give her what she is worth is abysmal on their part. It is my sincere hope that when Scream 7 comes around they actually give her what she deserves and then some because I don’t know how many films in this franchise they can make without the iconic Sidney Prescott… apparently, they can make at least one though because, despite this serious issue, Scream 6 is actually fantastic.

Scream 6 follows the survivors from Scream, Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega), Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Chad Meeks-Martin (Mason Gooding) who have all done the smart thing and gotten the hell out of Woodsboro, moving to New York to attend college and hopefully get far away from people wishing to murder them. 

This means trying to move on, do some therapy, get new roommates and even maybe try dating in the Big Apple. Unfortunately, there are a few problems with this plan, the first is that Sam has become a major target of internet forums who have been accusing her of being the real person behind the last Woodsboro massacre (The one from Scream 5)… the second is that even in New York, someone is chasing after them while wearing a familiar white mask and carrying a large knife.

Scream 6 has been pitching itself as something different and more brutal than what’s come before and boy oh boy does it succeed. This is a more intense Ghostface than we’ve seen in previous movies and it makes them so much scarier. Their intensity is shown off in all its glory in the opening scene with possibly one of the most extreme kills we’ve seen yet in this franchise. It is also, possibly the best opening sequence since the original… especially if you’re a fan who knows how the openings are meant to go) and the intensity just never lets up. Everything is ramped up, from the kills to the chases to the elaborate set pieces, they threw Scream in the Big Apple and took one hell of a bite.

Scream 6
Scream 6 (2023)

Without Sidney Prescott to carry the film, Scream 6 puts all its focus on the new core four and gives them more of a chance to shine. Sam gets to really be the focal point of the film’s big target for its satire, internet mobs and pseudo sleuths who watch a ton of true crime and think they can solve it with the limited information they have. We also get plenty of time to see Sam actually dealing with the trauma she went through, along with the idea that she might be meant to be a killer (because we’re not going to drop the whole ‘she sees her dead uncle’ storyline any time soon). Tara gets an entire story about how she’s trying to move on but is really being more self-destructive than anything, while also dealing with her sisters’ natural over-protective nature. Mindy gets to basically show why she is Randy’s niece by being the energetic comedic heart of the film who uses that same sense of humour to deal with the trauma and… uh… Chad’s there. I like Chad, he’s a fun character and always entertaining but he’s also basically just there when they need someone to throw a punch and I wish we got a lot more time with him and how he’s dealing with the trauma. Maybe we can get more of him in the next film, considering how he is used here that feels like what they’re going to do.

Where Scream 6 shines is when it does the satire that this franchise does best, since every Scream film is a satire and the last film took some pretty pointed shots at internet idiots who get overly upset about films being diverse or original, this film takes most of its shot at Reddit idiots who spread rumours and try to ruin people’s lives with those rumours. Very specifically these rumours come from true crime fans who think they know everything that happened about a certain crime and end up using that to torment the victims again but it can also be seen as a commentary on how the internet will treat a rape victim whose politics they don’t agree with or just the general idea of victim blaming that the internet can be so good at. Sure, this film uses a very over-the-top example of a series of brutal murders and one of our characters but the things Sam has to deal with are not too different to the things people like Monica Lewinski had to deal with. This might be the film where Scream moves its target furthest away from satirising horror movies, even though it has the obligatory “Rules of a sequel to a requel” scene, but that change in target actually works for the story and opens the door for Scream to be more than just a satire of the horror genre but a satire of culture in general. 

Among all the new stuff that the film brings in though, it still is very eager to honour the rest of the franchise that came before. Without spoiling anything that wasn’t in the trailer, Courtney Cox returns in full glory as does Hayden Panettiere as Kirby from Scream 4. Both of them are secondary to the cast of new characters, but we also get to explore how they’ve dealt with being survivors of these brutal series of murders and they often just steal any scene they’re in (Courtney ended up getting several of the biggest laughs at the screening I went to, she really just takes over the film so well). They’re also there to basically pick up the slack that was made when the studio didn’t get Neve Campbell back and credit where it’s due, they pull it off pretty damn well.

Every scene involving the shrine to Ghostface is a fan’s dream, it’s chock full of Easter eggs that any franchise lover will marvel at and it provides a few moments for the film to indulge in some ribbing of the fanbase. This is a film that clearly loves its fans and knows why the fans keep coming back because it’s playing to them… sure the fans would’ve loved it if they could’ve gotten Sidney back but hey, that’s on the studio, and not on the film itself. 

Scream 6 does something genuinely surprising by being the 6th film in a horror franchise and being fantastic, a feat that is so hard to pull off in this genre. It’s brutal, bloody, and balls-to-the-wall fun. It’ll have you laughing one minute, screaming the next, and gasping out “what the fuck?” in another when they decide to playfully break the rules of a Scream movie just to mess with the audience. It’s a glorious film, packed to the brim with stuff for fans both old and new and enough clever twists to keep everyone on their toes. Absolutely a fantastic entry into this iconic series, can’t wait for the next one.

Oh, and yes there is a little something after the credits that you might want to stick around for..


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