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Scream VI Review [2]

March 13, 2023 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Scream VI Image Credit: Paramount Pictures
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Scream VI Review [2]  

* Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers
* Melissa Barrera as Samantha Carpenter
* Mason Gooding as Chad Meeks-Martin
* Jasmin Savoy Brown as Mindy Meeks-Martin
* Jenna Ortega as Tara Carpenter
* Hayden Pantierre as Kirby Reed
* Samara Weaving as Laura
* Tony Revolori as Jason
* Dermot Mulroney as Detective Bailey
* Jack Champion as Ethan
* Henry Czerny as Dr. Christopher Stone
* Liana Liberato as Quinn Bailey
* Devyn Nekoda as Anika
* Josh Segarra as Danny Brackett
* Roger L. Jackson as the voice of Ghostface

Story: Following the latest Ghostface killings, the four survivors leave Woodsboro behind and start a fresh chapter.

The Scream series remains the most consistent in horror, constantly reinventing itself while also sticking with what fans love. There’s a formula to it – a very simple formula! After last year’s Scream (which everyone basically calls Scream 5 at this point) surprised everyone with how good it was, a sequel was rushed into production. Normally, that might be bad news. But it’s old news for this franchise – Scream 2 came out a year after the original and is highly regarded. And with the Radio Silence team at the helm again, this had the potential to be at least as good as last year’s “requel”. But is it?

The movie opens with one of the most inventive beginnings in series history. It’s a benefit to have people willing to change things up in the way that they do. Anyone could do a typical call and kill open. Keeping it fresh, especially in the way that they did, hooks the viewer early. From there, we get to see where everyone is a year after surviving a massacre, similar to Scream 2. And this film is also quick to note the similarities between this and that movie, sort of making this a requel of the sequel…or maybe a remake of the sequel? It’s probably easier to just do what Mindy does and say we’re in a franchise now.

Sam is not doing well after all that she went through while the rest of the ‘core four’ are holding up a little better. Of course that makes sense, as it turns out people online are blaming her for what happened. When the killings start up again, she has more than enough baggage hurting her without Ghostface also causing trouble. The thing that works well with this is that Melissa Barrera always played Sam as the more emotional of the bunch so of course it would be hitting her harder. But that doesn’t mean the rest of the survivors are doing as well as they claim. Once the murders start, we see just how much they’ve suffered.

That’s one thing that Radio Silence seems to get with their movies that not even Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson fully did. Outside of Sidney in the sequels, you never could really tell how much the constant surviving affected Dewey or Gale. Dewey never even mentioned Tatum in Screams 1-4. In the last film, and this one, we have characters we care about crying over losses or spending quiet moments talking about how terrified they are. It humanizes the victims and adds tension to what comes later.

And that’s something Scream VI has in spades, tension. There are two key sequences involving Ghostface threatening the cast that work tremendously well. Most horror franchises, especially by the sixth entry, are completely missing this element. You’re not scared that Michael Myers is gonna kill Laurie Strode. You’re excited to see Jason Voorhees murder whoever stumbles into his woods. Scream has always been about the characters, and when you care about them, you want them to survive.

That helps by a cast that is incredibly entertaining and noteworthy in their performances. Barrera obviously kills it (pun intended), but Jenna Ortega, Mason Gooding and especially Jasmin Savoy Brown have a lot more to do this time and knock it out of the park. I think I might prefer Mindy to her uncle at this point.

The only flaw, arguably, is how it handles its legacy cast. Courteney Cox could play Gale Weathers in her sleep at this point. She did great and had the best chase sequence, but I felt Gale’s story was the only one that didn’t quite work (the movie sort of torpedoed her development). It was also nice to see Hayden Pantierre back as Kirby. However, she also felt superfluous by the end, so perhaps her inclusion wasn’t necessary outside of confirming a fan favorite lived after all.

How it handles the rest of the story is top notch. It manages to navigate its twist and turns with aplomb, and the twists are enough to keep fans engaged. The major set pieces are suspenseful and the kills are nasty. This is definitely the goriest Scream to date, but even without the blood there’s a mean-spiritedness this time not seen before. Ghostface is not messing around and some of the people in this movie die rough. If bloodletting is your thing, you won’t be disappointed here. And don’t worry, the sense of humor is still very much present.

Outside of some choices with a couple of the characters, the movie does everything it sets out to do and does it with style. The amount of consistent quality with this franchise is a sight to behold, and something incredibly rare in any franchise, let alone a horror one. Ghostface hasn’t turned supernatural or been sent to space yet, and there’s no need to. Things are moving along just fine as it is. The sixth entry might end up being the best sequel to date and proof that with the right creative team, a horror franchise can even lose its biggest star and be great.

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
Ghostface surprises again with Scream VI, a fresh sequel that mixes things up while keeping familiar elements. The 'core four' manage to hold their own now that the spotlight is firmly on them, with legacy characters still proving why they're essential to the series. This sequel is fun, exciting and most importantly, tense, perhaps making it the best sequel in the franchise. Bring on Scream VII!

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Scream 6, Joseph Lee