starring: jenna ortega, melissa barrera, hayden panettiere, and mason gooding
REVIEWER: nick tonkin
In the next installment, the survivors of the Ghostface killings leave Woodsboro behind and start a fresh chapter in New York City.
Scream VI is the direct sequel to 2022’s Scream which was a surprisingly fun relaunch of the long running series that benefited from great casting and a screenplay that understood the strengths of the original films. Scream VI has these same strengths thanks to the returning writers, directors and excellent returning cast of the 2022 film, however VI is a much stronger overall experience with its heightened tension, clever writing and fast pacing that keeps you engaged and thinking through its twists and turns.
Scream VI sees the survivors of the latest Woodsboro killings attempt to start a new life together in New York. However even in the big city they find they can’t escape the horror and fanaticism that the Ghostface killings have inspired over the years as the robed killer returns once more to cause chaos and torment.
Scream VI, like its predecessor, captures an essence of the original films very well: the commentary of the film industry and horror genre, black comedy and audience subversion tied into a story of a serial killer tormenting a group of young people. Though this curt summary doesn’t convey how well Scream VI engages the audience in its characters and their story amongst these staple franchise elements. It has an intensity similar to 2021’s Halloween Kills in how fast it cuts through cast members and audience expectations, though Scream VI is a far more successful film by all accounts, but this intensity is what sets it apart from the 2022 film.
Last year’s film capably skirted the line of cheesiness at times, giving a slightly lightheartedness to the film’s overall feel. This vibe is entirely gone from Scream VI, but because of the clever plotting and smart obfuscations in the script, I found myself not missing it at all and instead thoroughly wrapped up in the escalations and machinations of the chaotic journey Ghostface sends our “core four” crew through.
Scream VI is a clever and thoroughly engaging slasher with a great cast and some excellent writers as the film’s twists and escalations will keep even the most shrewd horror fan entertained.