Today: May 27, 2024
Melissa Barrera (“Sam Carpenter”), left, and Jenna Ortega (“Tara Carpenter”) stars in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "Scream VI."

Scream VI

By this point in the franchise, Scream films almost write themselves and Scream VI, despite some of it’s characters’ thoughts to the contrary, does not dare break any of the ‘rules’. And, given the franchise’s success, that is a good thing.

Having survived the massacre of the last film, daughter of original Scream killer Billy, Sam (Melissa Barrera) has followed younger sister Tara (Jenna Ortega) to New York. But with online rumours swirling that Sam was in fact the killer of the last Woodsboro murders she’s soon the primary suspect in the latest slew of killings.

As is the franchise’s want, Scream VI enjoys pointing out the essentials for surviving a legacy franchise, and, as per usual, it’s a case of all bets are off. For fans of Scream this is very much more of the same, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The returning cast from the last film all continue to be fun with only Courtney Cox returning from the original films. There is a part of you that, for a fleeting moment, feels a Neve Campbell shaped hole in the film but the film manages to distract you enough to not worry about it too much. In many ways Campbell’s role in the last film was little more than a cameo and here you wonder if she would have served any more purpose than being along for the ride.

The film implies that some of the rules have changed, Ghostface here is happy to use firearms, although so did the original killers in the first Scream, albeit without their masks on. Where it really does excel is in creating some thoroughly gory and tense set-pieces. It is here that Scream has always been a franchise above the rest, because the inventive ways it conjures of having you second guess not just who the killer is but also how they can continually up the ante on set-pieces. One here featuring a ladder between two buildings is particularly nail-biting.

More than anything Scream VI cements that the franchise hasn’t just passed the torch onto a new cast but also a new generation. And it works, for older fans there’s enough throwback to previous films and for younger fans there’s just enough teen angst and gore to keep them hooked.

A fun continuation of a much loved horror franchise, Scream VI manages to be fun, meta and often surprisingly violent. 

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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Scream VI

After a wait of 11 years between Scream 3 and 4 and then another whopping 11 between 4 and last year’s self-proclaimed ‘requel’, the bloody franchise bursts back onto the big screen while the latest is still fresh in our collective minds with another entry – just 12 months since the last.

While remaining typically self-aware and full of reverence for each chapter before it, Scream VI on the whole feels more like a very direct, standalone sequel to 2022’s Scream. Introducing fewer new characters than usual as we rejoin the previous film’s so-called “Core Four”, and creating a narrative built entirely around the aftermath of the previous film, Scream VI relies on audiences being up-to-date with the saga. 

Returning legacy characters Gail (Courteney Cox) and SCRE4M’s Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) stop by for the usual (self-aware) nostalgic callbacks, while pay disputes meant series icon Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) makes her first no-show of the franchise. But her absence is hardly felt, as this entry truly belongs to its new cast. Melissa Barrera and rising star Jenna Ortega shine once again, but Jasmin Savoy Brown’s Mindy retains her crown as reigning queen of the latter Screams, bringing the film’s biggest laughs and most meta jabs.

Scream VI also boasts some of the goriest kills of the series to date and the most genuinely intense and harrowing, unforgettable chases. Throw in the franchise’s famed expectation subverting (the opening sequence in particular here is a belter) and you have yourself a real rollercoaster of shocking twists and turns – both narratively, and of Ghostface’s blade into his or indeed her prey. The action here is impeccably choreographed, and no matter what any purists say, the image of Ghostface with a shotgun is rad. I will die on this hill.

There are certainly some narrative missteps – not all of the intended twists come as huge surprises, while some frustrating character logic does continue to rear its ugly head as it always does with slashers (double tap!). But on the whole, the film is an absolute riot and will have you on the edge of your seat from the memorable opening sequence to the cheeky post-credits sting.

Scream may have started as a love letter to slasher movies, but it has ultimately become a love letter to itself. With layer upon layer of meta commentary on its place in horror cinema, its own identity, and its evolution through sequels and requels into a fully-fledged franchise, Scream’s tightrope balancing act of self-aware humour and genuine thrills continues to be masterfully executed in Scream VI

Scream continues to go from strength to strength in this latest crowd-pleasing slasher romp, and shows no signs of slowing down. Bloody, bold, and downright excellent.

 

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