Get the scoop on the latest Scream movie – our detailed review of ‘Scream 6’ covers all aspects, from plot and performances to production values and score.
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There are many slasher films in the horror genre, but there are few slasher films that are as iconic as the Scream franchise. Wes Craven’s first instalment of the franchise in 1996 won a total of six awards, one of which includes the Saturn Award for Best Horror Film. Based on the true story of the Gainesville Ripper, this film capitalized on the classic horror film tropes from this era which included Friday the 13th (1980), Halloween (1978), and even Craven’s own A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). And naturally, as the satirical masterpiece brought a new twist to the horror genre, sequels for the film were spawned in quick succession.
In fact, the latest instalment for the film franchise will be released tomorrow, 10 March 2023. And this is following the fantastic Scream relaunch that Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett brought us last year. Although Scream (2022) was marketed as a reboot of the series, it was a direct sequel to Scream 4 (2011). The two latest films are the first in the series not to be directed by Wes Craven, and this may be a good thing. As iconic a director as Craven has proven to be in the horror genre, Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett did an amazing job with last year’s film. This brings us to the big question of whether Scream 6 (2023) is worth watching.
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Is Scream VI (2023) as Good as its Predecessor?
Scream (2022) was highly praised, with many fans and critics claiming it to be the best film in the series. And with praise like this, it would be hard to top, considering how sequels often fail to live up to the first instalment. This film takes place 25 years after the Woodsboro murders from the original 1996 Scream film, introducing new characters into the franchise. Sam Carpenter (played by Melissa Barrera) is the new leading lady, taking Sydney Prescott’s place. However, she also happens to be the daughter of Billy Loomis, the original Woodsboro Ghostface killer. So naturally, when her sister Tara (played by Jenna Ortega) is attacked in her own home by Ghostface, it is no surprise that the killings are connected to her.
The film’s plot revolved around Sam’s reputation as the daughter of a killer, and the movie maintained a fast-paced, action-filled runtime full of gore. Not only this, but a Whodunnit plot was introduced, giving audiences an entertaining glimpse into the meta references of the main cast. Their self-awareness that they were in a horror film was something few other horror-comedy films could get right without seeming overly goofy. And, of course, audiences collectively gasped when the killer turned out to be Sam’s boyfriend, Richie Kirsch (played by Jack Quaid). The movie was terrific, but is the sequel just as good?
And the short answer is yes; the sequel certainly lives up to its predecessor. One would think that it would be challenging to make something as great as the previous film while still giving audiences original content. However, this is not the case for Matt and Tyler, alongside the writers James Vanderbilt, Guy Busick, and executive producer Kevin Williamson. Not only was the crew able to deliver the classic Scream-esque atmosphere of the previous films, but they were able to do so in a refreshing way. With no sense of redundancy, the film did not fail to deliver nostalgia and a completely new approach simultaneously.
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What are the Main Differences in this Film Compared to the Previous Ones?
As seen in the trailer, this is the third film in the franchise that sees Ghostface outside of Woodsboro. Our main characters, Sam and Tara, have moved to New York following the events that occurred in Woodsboro in the previous film. They are accompanied by Chad and Mindy Meeks (played by Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding), the twins who also survived the events from the previous film. Without any spoilers for the film (as this is a spoiler-free review), the most significant change is the setting.
Whereas most films in the Scream franchise took place in Woodsboro, this one takes place in New York City. So, the suburban, small-town feel you get when watching the other instalments is no longer present in this one. However, weirdly enough, the jarring setting change does not eliminate the campy horror movie feel you get with the other films. Instead, it manages to maintain a nice balance of old and new. It is very rare in horror sequels that a setting change does not take away from the quality of the film. And surprisingly, the large city added to the horror elements rather than took away from it.
Outside of the setting change, there were not many other significant differences that would impact the overall quality of your movie-going experience. For example, this film has a slightly longer run time than its predecessor, sitting at just over two hours compared to the previous 1-hour- and 54-minute run time. This is not a bad thing, as it left more room for characters to be fully fleshed out and the narrative to conclude satisfactorily.
What did Scream 6 Do Right?
Okay, so honestly, there was a lot that the film got right. First is the fact that the movie did not abandon its satirical, self-aware nature. We were subjected to various meta-references and comments, making the film more entertaining. However, despite this, the twists in the plot still managed to subvert audiences’ expectations greatly. Do some of the twists make you feel stupid for not being able to see them coming? Definitely. But that is the fun in going to see movies from this franchise; it does not disappoint in giving you a full ride on its emotional rollercoaster.
Secondly, if you thought the previous film was action-packed, you are in for a surprise with this one. You barely get a chance to breathe from start to finish as you are on the edge of your seat the entire time. Not only does the movie deliver a tense atmosphere, but it has you feeling as if something is about to jump out at you at any given moment. Furthermore, it does not hold back on the gore, staying true to its slasher-style nature. If you want blood, you will definitely be getting it. And lots of it at that.
And finally, there was the film’s opening sequence. As can be expected with all of the Scream films, we get a girl alone at home, and the phone rings. “What’s your favourite scary movie?” is usually the extensive opening line. However, this film subverts your expectations entirely and gives you something new and refreshing without breaking away from the classic and iconic openings. Arguably, this is one of the best openings in the franchise, as no matter what, you do not know what will happen next.
What did the Cast Look Like for Scream 6?
Outside of Melissa Barrera’s Sam Carpenter, Jenna Ortega’s Tara Carpenter, and Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding, who played twins Chad and Mindy Meeks, there were a few new characters introduced alongside some old ones. As seen in the trailer, we are treated to the return of Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers and Hayden Panittiere as Kirby Reed. As it was confirmed before shooting commenced for the film, Neve Campbell did not reprise her role as Sidney Prescott. Unfortunately, the actress was unhappy with the offer made to her for the reprisal of the role, which means this was the first film where she was not featured.
New cast members include Jack Champion, Liana Liberato, Devyn Nakoda, Josh Segarra, Dermot Mulroney, Henry Czerny, and Tony Revolori. Combined with the cast from the previous films, the ensemble of actors for this film sports many famous actors. Not only that, but the cast does a fantastic job carrying the film, everyone’s performance looking to be one of their best. Each person was able to capture the essence of their characters and bring them to life on screen. This was especially true for the utilization of humorous elements in the plot.
Each joke or snarky comment made by the actors felt natural and elicited quite a few laughs. The black comedic style and the cast’s acting skills go hand in hand, rewarding audiences with perfectly timed one-liners and exasperated comments. Being able to feel the fear, frustration, and genuine struggle within the cast of a horror film is rare. But again, that is not the case for this group of talented performers.
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Are there any Criticisms of the Film?
As you can probably tell from this review, the film was a hit. And as a result, there is not much criticism that can be given concerning the overall quality. However, that is not to say that the movie was flawless, as it certainly had its issues. But these can be overlooked quite easily when focusing on the well-done aspects of the film. For example, this article previously mentioned the way the movie maintained its satirical nature. A large part of these jabs at the horror genre is how it takes advantage of the silly horror film tropes.
And while Scream 6 does a fantastic job of this for the most part, the film seems to fall into its own traps a few times during the runtime. The movie’s whole point is for it to come across as goofy in nature while still being scary. You know, not take itself too seriously. However, when a titular character makes a silly decision, it can result in a break in the immersion you are experiencing. And while there are a handful of these stupid mistakes, they are very minor and do not impact the overall quality.
- As the sixth instalment in the Scream franchise, Scream 6 (2023) picks up a few months after the events of Scream (2022).
- The film sees Melissa Barrera as Sam Carpenter and Jenna Ortega as Tara Carpenter, not disappointing in terms of horror, gore, action, or satirical comedy.
- With the film set to release on 10 March 2023, it is very well done and worth checking out, as it is one of the highlights of the horror genre for this year.
What are your thoughts on Scream 6?