A Hooked On Horror Review: Scream VI
Updated: Apr 17
When this film was first announced after 2022’s Scream I really wasn’t sure whether I should be excited. After all I couldn’t imagine a Scream film without the likes of fan favourite Dewey, and matters were only made worse when it was revealed Neve Campbell’s kick-ass Final Girl (and face of the franchise along with Ghostface) Sidney Prescott wouldn’t be returning due to Paramount low-balling her. Either way, I’m glad I went into this with an open mind and gave it the chance it deserved.
Despite a few flaws and a couple of issues I had, Scream VI is probably one of the best Scream sequels. With Arquette and Campbell absent from the cast and no involvement from Wes Craven, this film honestly had no right to be as good as it is. Whilst Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin seemed to tread carefully with their previous film, they have upped the ante with Scream VI. It’s more adventurous whilst remaining within the normal Scream parameters, expectations and aesthetic fans have fallen in love with since the franchise’s beginning in 1996. Turns out there may still be life in the franchise…even without Sidney.
Four survivors of the Ghostface murders leave Woodsboro behind for a fresh start in New York City. However, they soon find themselves in a fight for their lives when a new killer embarks on a bloody rampage.
I would recommend anyone going to see this, try to make time to watch the previous five before- you’ll pick up on a hell of a lot more and it just makes for even better viewing experience (the Easter Eggs throughout folks…oh my God). I’ll admit the opening of this film massively threw me off. It was completely different to what we’ve had before; it was great though! Off to a very strong start that showed me this film was going to be ‘something different’ as their marketing ploy has been playing with over the last few weeks. It kickstarts into gear shortly after, the pacing throughout was spot on.
The story does go in a good direction and continues on from the fifth leaving the team behind this with multiple different places to go after this. Did taking it out of Woodsboro make much of a difference? Well yes and no. It was a step in the right direction and made even more sense as it feels like things could keep going with this franchise for the foreseeable future. Taking it out of Woodsboro of course aided the writers come up with a plausible and simple explanation as to where our beloved Sidney Prescott is. This for me was one issue I did have with the film.
They sort of just quickly glossed over it without giving much detail or any sort of an explanation; and it just made what the studio did to Campbell feel even worse. It is left open as to whether or not she could return- me personally I think Paramount need to come to their senses, stop low balling her and doing her dirty and pay her what she deserves. Furthermore, I think both Neve Campbell and fans alike deserve an epic finale and conclusion to her character and Prescott’s story arc. Whilst the film could set up a truly incredible conclusion that sees Campbell back for a trilogy finale, it has also demonstrated that this franchise can still continue- with or without her.
Once again, the whole look and feel to the entire film just yelled Scream so don’t panic about the film makers subverting things too much. And of course, in keeping with its predecessors the meta, self-aware whodunnit dives even deeper into the ‘rules’ and tropes of a modern slasher day film as Mindy goes full Randy in this. It of course sets out more rules and what we can expect as well as poking fun at the elements and tropes (both old and new) giving us a few light-hearted moments in an otherwise intense and rather brutal horror film.
The cast were just a pleasure to watch. Much like Kyle Gallner’s character in the previous film, there were a few just thrown into the mix to plump out the body count. There’s a lot more thought and character development put into the ‘core four’ during the film, which makes a nice change for a slasher film. If I’m honest it feels like they’re playing the long game here as they look set to continue the franchise following the ‘core four’.
It really felt like Jasmin Savoy Brown’s Mindy really came out of her shell in this one going full Randy and embracing the film geek character even more. Ortega was really the standout cast member for me- she’s come on leaps and bounds over the last few years and has really started making a name for herself as a Scream Queen. Beginning to think she may have a place in one or two other popular slasher franchises in the near future.
As for the Legacy characters, it was great seeing them back- especially Hayden Panettiere as Kirby! Scream 4 is still my favourite sequel, and I loved her, so I’ve been hoping they’d bring her back even since. Felt like Sidney’s absence gave Gale a bit more of a lift and I felt like they did more than they originally wanted with her character. Happy to say she’s in it more than the last one though. As for the new cast members, they were a wonderful addition. Dermot Mulroney well and truly stole the show for me. I had a few issues with one of two of the decisions the writers and film makers made regarding who died, who survived and who didn’t die- but I’ll leave you make up your own mind about that.
Now the big question on everyone’s mind- how was Ghostface? In short- brilliantly brutal. Some of the sequences, set pieces and kills are just magnificent; in all honesty probably some of the best in the franchise. The scene in the grocery store was a highlight for me! You’ll also be happy to hear the gore, blood, brutality and violence is just as severe and plentiful throughout. Watching this though there was really something different about this Ghostface - they were just much more of a presence on screen, incredibly smart, stronger with a lot more brute strength and force, amped up intensity and a very clinical, cold and calculated killer
The reveal was surprisingly good, and it was not who I was expecting it to be. The mask design I just loved- yes they pretty much went the same route Blumhouse took with Halloween, but it’s the natural progression for a latex mask. It looked great regardless. There is more than one mask/costume- you must have seen the shrine reveal in the trailer so don’t fret I won’t be saying anything further.
So where does Scream VI fit into my ‘Best to Worst’ rankings of the franchise?
All in all, it’s another very solid and well-made entry into the Scream franchise, which I’ll admit even now is still impressive. Not counting the short-lived (and poor) TV series that was made, this is one horror franchise that has remained consistently great throughout (which is insanely rare, especially in this genre). Regardless of a few flaws this film has proved Ghostface is as relevant as ever and still has a lot to offer moving forward, as well as showing this can continue regardless of legacy characters involvement.
For me this franchise is in the more than capable hands of Williamson, Gillett and Bettinelli-Olpin and I’m fully invested- I want to see where they take this franchise next and what more they’ve got to offer. Whilst not moving to far away from what fans have come to know, love and expect from a Scream film, the team behind this have managed to bring something fresh and exciting to a sub-genre of horror that is always in danger of going stale. The film also marked a few firsts for this franchise which was impressive. I am incredibly excited for the seventh film, but for me they need to bring things full circle and bring back Neve Campbell for the showdown we all want.
Scream VI is in cinemas now.