Photo by: Philippe Bossé/Paramount Pictures
Dating back to 1996, the Scream franchise written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Wes Craven (until 2011) asked fans what their favorite scary movie was while holding up a mirror to the cliché horror tropes that made people fall in love with the genre in the first place. The film series follows a masked killer known as Ghostface, voiced by Roger Jackson, that stalks and preys on Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell, and all those closest to her.

Scream VI promised to be bigger and unlike any of the films beforehand, and the box office is proof the film held up that claim. The sixth installment was the biggest opening ever for the Scream franchise, bringing in $44.5 million at the domestic box office during its March 10th opening weekend. In Scream VI, the audience finds Sam (Melissa Barrera), Tara (Jenna Ortega), Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Chad (Mason Gooding), the recent survivors of the latest Woodsboro kill spree, starting over in New York City and trying to leave Ghostface behind.

Legacy characters Hayden Panettiere and Courteney Cox returned to the Scream franchise as Kirby Reed from Scream 4 (2011) and Gale Weathers, the only character to appear in all six Scream films, with Jack Champion, Henry Czerny, Liana Liberato, Dermot Mulroney, Devyn Nekoda, Tony Revolori, Josh Segarra, and Samara Weaving joining the cast.

The new Scream film is everything fans of the franchise could have hoped for while refreshing the slasher film and keeping the audience on the edge of their seats until the very end.

New York. New Rules

Scream VI isn’t the first time the story took place outside of Woodsboro. Scream 2 (1997) took fans to college, and Scream 3 (2000) went to Hollywood, but the backdrop of New York City in Scream VI allowed for a refreshed playground for Ghostface to play in.

Ghostface in the subway in Scream VI. Photo by: Paramount Pictures

If you are familiar with New York, then you’ll understand my next statements. Sam and Tara’s insanely spacious NY apartment was hard to grasp but New Yorkers minding their business about mayhem happening on the subway was very believable. There is a very tension high scene on the subway in the film that left me holding my breath waiting for the outcome to unfold. It was perfectly edited, shot, and scored.

Now that Scream VI is considered part of a franchise, everyone is a suspect, and everyone is dispensable which adds to the heightened stakes of the film. Viewers are taken down memory lane as Easter eggs and call backs from previous films are included that will make you want to leave the theater and go binge the entire franchise.

The Core Four

Notably missing from the franchise was Neve Campbell, who played final girl Sidney Prescott in every installment of Scream except this recent one, but to be honest although the franchise started with her, she wasn’t needed in this one. Her presence would not have moved the story forward given the focus lays more on the newer characters in a new setting.

(L-R) Melissa Barrera as Sam, Jenna Ortega as Tara, Jasmin Savoy Brown as Mindy, and Mason Gooding as Chad in Scream VI. Photo by: Philippe Bossé/Paramount Pictures

At the heart of Scream VI is the deemed “Core Four,” Sam, Tara, Mindy, and Chad. Two films in and these characters were able to solidify themselves in the Scream franchise as people who would be sorely missed. Melissa Barrera particularly had a standout performance fully embracing her bloodline and using it to her advantage when going up against Ghostface. Jasmin Savoy Brown once again brought the comedic relief to the film especially when she introduces the new rules to follow to evade the killer.

We are in the midst of a horror movie but it’s easy to forget about the trauma these characters have suffered from being targeted by a serial killer. The emotions run high in this installment as viewers see the trauma starting to have a real effect on the main characters. Horror can engulf a range of emotions and Scream VI could arguably be the most emotional one to date as viewers are reminded of all the events that happened leading up to this in the Ghostface shrine.

Ghostface Shrine in Scream VI. Photo by: Paramount Pictures

Savage Slasher

Out of all the installments, Scream VI is easily the most gory. The kills are bloodier and more violent than ever as Ghostface gets more innovative with the way the victims are dispensed. Holding true to the franchise’s infamous opening sequence, the first kill sets the tone for the rest of the film with a shocking twist that alters the trajectory of the rest of the plot leaving viewers unsure where the story could go. Just like the characters in the film, you shouldn’t trust anyone.

Courteney Cox as Gale Weathersin Scream VI. Photo by: Paramount Pictures

The Ghostface reveal is always the most anticipated part of the Scream movies. The killer is always hiding in plain sight and it becomes a game amongst the audience trying to figure out who is out to get the main characters. Just when you think you’ve figured it, out Scream VI does what the franchise does best giving you a plot twist to the max.

Like previous installments, Scream VI is best going into it knowing as little as possible to enjoy the story unfolding and appreciate the unexpected climatic finale. The Scream films expertly combine elements of the horror genre while poking fun at itself and remaining relevant in the horror conversation almost 30 years since its initial release. It’s a franchise as a whole that is truly a love letter to horror fans, and it’s ever present in the most recent work.

Scream VI is now playing in theaters.


Amber Dover is a multimedia journalist with over a decade writing about pop culture. Cat mom with a deep love of horror, you can follow Amber at @Glambergirlblog on Instagram and Twitter.

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