"Scream VI" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
When slasher franchises start trekking down the treacherous road of multiple sequels and reboots, it either pays off in their favor or could possibly ruin the franchise for longtime fans as a whole. An easy example of this is the "Halloween" franchise, kicked off by the brilliant classic from 1978. It seemed like the reboot brought promise to the dead franchise, but was instantly crushed by its horrendous sequels. The "Scream" franchise has been fairly consistent, delivering movies that are not only jam-packed full of the horror elements fans want, but has that comedic undertone throughout every film. The reboot (which is aware of itself) did a fantastic job of delivering on that promise of comedic horror, allowing it to open itself up for more films to come. With the next movie, "Scream VI", going to take place in New York, mirroring what the "Friday the 13th" franchise had already done, I was very excited, but genuinely a little nervous. Thankfully, the filmmakers were able to craft a fun little slasher film that delivers everything it promised to.
The film brings the main characters from its predecessor to New York, hoping they can start a new life for themselves after the tragic events in Woodsboro. Sam (Melissa Barrera) is starting to see a therapist to focus on herself and try to let go of the burden of being the daughter of Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), while her sister Tara (Jenna Ortega) and her friends, Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown), try to navigate their new college.
However, when a string of Ghostface killings start to rattle their neighborhood, the two girls know this isn't just a coincidence. Now on the run from the masked killer(s), they must now find a way to escape this horror film they find themselves in once and for all. This seems like a pretty simple setup, and is sort of the way many of these films go. The difference here though is that this is the first "Scream" film to take place in the Big Apple, which is honestly pretty exciting to me. Besides the "Friday the 13th" films, most slashers take place in the same location throughout all of their films, and it's always interesting when they decide to take a chance and do something different from their other entries.
This is without a doubt the most graphic and gory "Scream" film, with the Ghostface killer brutally slashing his victims in all different places and all different ways, even using a shotgun in one scene. In this case, I think the film does a great job of showcasing these brutal killings, which is what fans of the franchise have been expecting time and time again. At the same time, however, I think Ghostface is just one of the best slasher villains in cinema history. He is menacing and terrifying, yet has a personality that is lacking in other famous killers, such as Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees.
This film is mostly centered on the newer characters that were introduced in the previous installment; this picture perfectly feels like a passing of the torch than a reminiscent film who tries to add in new qualities and characters. I think the filmmakers do a fantastic job of making these characters their own, allowing them to dominate the screen in various different scenes. Yet, they don't fully exclude the OG's from the original films. Courtney Cox is present here for a small portion of the movie, but like usual, she has a big impact on the screen. She is the only retuning cast member from the original as Dewey was killed off during the events of "Scream" (2022) and Neve Campbell didn't reprise her role due to pay disputes. But here, Cox is really the only legacy we needed to make this feel like a "Scream" film.
The plot is written very well, and I think the script moves at a very nice pace. It is able to bounce from plot points to plot points very effortlessly and keeps the viewers engaged. For me, I found myself guessing the entire time on who could be the killer and what will happen next. However, this movie suffers from some scenes that could have easily been removed. I don't think the editing was tight enough, and it seems like there is a lot of filler scenes, especially in the first half. This film passes the two hour mark, and I truly don't think it needed to. It could have been a lot better at around an hour and a half or an hour and forty, making the film seem more concise and tight.
Overall, I think this was a very good "Scream" installment, and I'm very happy to see they have not lost the spark that was present in the first film. I think that the filmmakers and the studio has something great on their hands, and I think at this moment, this franchise is the best one in the slasher genre. It is inevitable for there to be more sequels made based off these characters, and after seeing these past two installments they put out, I can't wait to see what Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin do next.