I went into Scream VI with super-low expectations. Not only did I not enjoy Scream V (RIP my favorite character) but I’m extremely over prequels, re-quels, sequels, reboots, and the like. As a horror fan who has been there/done that, I need new content, and fortunately, we have been blessed with a lot of that lately (Cocaine Bear was a breath of fresh air, and the unrated version of M3GAN was a lot of fun).
As much as I enjoy the actors from the new Scream films, I really didn’t become deeply invested in any of the characters from Scream V. So, I went to see Scream VI with much trepidation (however, I have to hand it to the marketing department this go-round…the Ghostface cups we got at our local AMC theater are absolutely adorable!). I had already heard that this film was bloodier than the last, and I was eager to see a bit more bloodshed this time around!
“Anything is possible. This is New York.”
I really loved the opening sequence of this film, set on a college campus in New York (but really filmed in Canada). The intro characters are kind of annoying, but there’s a fun nod to Jason Voorhees at the beginning that put me in the right frame of mind. From the get-go, Ghostface is pulling no punches, and it shows in an elaborate and bloody kill that I was unprepared for, but loved! Also, I very much enjoyed seeing scream queen Samara Weaving (Ready or Not, The Babysitter) show up, she’s fabulous.
As the movie progresses and we dive deeper into the plot, I realized that this installment of our beloved (albeit, Sidney-less) franchise was doing a much better job at making me like and care about the characters, especially the self-dubbed “Core Four” (Tara, Sam, Chad, and Mindy; played by Jenna Ortega, Melissa Barrera, Mason Gooding, and Jasmin Savoy Brown, reprising their roles from Scream V). This was something that was a miss for me in Scream V, but I enjoyed getting to know the characters a little more and enjoying their personality development.
As a longtime fan of Dermot Mulroney, it was really cool seeing him portray a policeman caught up in investigating the Ghostface murders. He’s such a great actor and always pulls me in, and this role was no exception.
This film is full of Easter eggs for fans, and I won’t list them all here since there are many sites and vlogs that already have, but it is a lot of fun spotting them. The Ghostface “shrine” scenes are very cool and pay homage to the series with a lot of love, and I appreciate those moments in this super-meta movie. Having Kirby back is a definite bonus too, indulging us fans with that nostalgic feeling we love in our horror movies!
“Don’t play hard to get with a man who’s hard to get.”
As far as the kills go, Ghostface definitely ratcheted up the violence with this film, making genre fans happy with maximum gore and intense kill sequences (or as my friend Tiffany said, “It’s really stabby”). There are many things done right in this movie, and honestly, the suspense is at the top of that list for me personally. I don’t remember feeling as nervous watching any installment of Scream since the first film of the series, but the subway sequence is absolutely nail-biting and so well done and fun to watch.
As a person who honestly finds the subway creepy, this really played into my own fears about riding the train underground, pressed up against a bunch of strangers, going in and out of the darkness. I can’t imagine doing it on Halloween! Yikes. This moment was perfectly crafted, and this is when the movie really upped the ante for me personally. The building tension works so well and heightens the fear looming around when the on-the-loose Ghostface will strike.
“Dreams change, trends come and go, but friendships never go out of style.”
The other major perk of this flick for me was Gale Weathers. Yes, that’s right, our favorite colorful suit-wearing investigative reporter got some really meaty scenes in this film, and I Ioved watching Courteney Cox push Gale into new territory.
It was absolutely mesmerizing, terrifying, exciting, and fun to see her flex some new chops in physical scenes with Ghostface. I read in an interview that Cox stated this is the most fun she’s had filming a Scream movie, and after you see the film, you will completely understand why (and agree!)
Gale really gets a showcase in this movie, and it’s a well-deserved one. Though she’s been a stalwart character in every single film (!) she’s usually still somewhat on the sidelines, so seeing Gale center stage is absolutely awesome for us fans of the original films.
Props also to Roger L. Jackson, that creepy voice you hear when Ghostface picks up the phone to make a call. He’s got such an iconic voice at this point. I’m surprised we don’t see him at more conventions, I’d love to meet him! It’s really cool that Jackson’s voice has been the staple of the Ghostface character since its inception – the identity of Ghostface may change, but Jackson’s deep, sinister voice has remained the same, which is an awesome continual thread throughout each film.
“Tricky, complicated, and you’re never really sure you’ve got the right answer.”
Lastly, I can usually make a pretty good guess as to who’s behind the mask in these films, but honestly, this movie really shocked me! The finale sequence can’t be missed, so if you need more popcorn or wish to make a bathroom run, do it before the last half hour, you won’t want to miss one single bloody second! It’s fantastic!
I am grateful I had read about the inclusion of a post-credits scene, because I may not have stayed otherwise. And though my husband rolled his eyes after the scene, I was laughing hysterically. It’s the perfect capper to an extremely solid film – dare I say my favorite Scream sequel since Scream 2? Yes, yes, I will absolutely say that.
Did I miss Neve Campbell, our badass final girl? Of course! But this movie moves at such a fast pace, there’s not much time to mourn. And though she was definitely missed, this film finds a way to make up for the hole Sidney leaves with amped-up kills, deeper character development, and some of the most suspenseful sequences I’ve seen in a Scream movie in years.
If you’re on the fence about seeing Scream VI like I was, just dive in, you won’t regret it! Now, I’m not saying I think they should make a Scream VII (and we have no information as to whether they are) but for the sixth film in a franchise, I feel like it’s a pretty strong entry, especially as I had begun to feel like the series was sagging a bit.
So grab your Metro Card and hop the subway with Ghostface! And nab a creepy cup or popcorn tub while you’re there, they are super cute.Become a Patron!
Images purchased via MovieStillsDB and CineMaterial for review purposes. Header quotes were from episodes of Sex and the City because we thought that was funny.