Scream VI Is How You up the Ante for a Franchise

Scream VI is a meta, subversion requel that ups the stakes in franchise fashion. Not only is the return to Woodsboro mayhem set in NYC, but the tone felt like a mix between the sharpness of Scream’s first two films and the gimmicky camp of the Roman Bridger outing. Sometimes it leans too heavily into the camp, but the intentionality translates to additional laughs here. While the surprises aren’t quite surprises anymore—any horror buff or Scream fan will figure it out—Scream VI honors its predecessors with a violently fun time.

Taking place after Scream V, the surviving crew, deciding to stick together, wind up in NYC. Tara (Jenna Ortega) attends school alongside Mindy (Jasmine Savoy Brown) and Chad (Mason Gooding) while Tara’s sister and Loomis’s offspring Sam (Melissa Barrera), hovers protectively. A wise choice, considering Ghostface is back and about to wreak bloody havoc.

Passing of the Torch

The acting from the “core four” delivers, each member conveying a camaraderie bound by blood. Of course, Jenna Ortega continues to earn her “scream queen” label. But here, thankfully, a tougher Tara exists. That doesn’t hold a candle to her sister Sam.

Scream VI continues delivering empowering strong women. Mindy’s keen wit shines in every scene, and her still laidback brother, Chad, has a lame yet appealing quality. Rounding out the cast are new additions sex-positive roommate Quinn (Liana Liberato), Mindy’s partner, Anika (Devyn Nekoda), neighbor Danny (Josh Segarra), and classmate/friend Ethan (Jack Champion).

With returnees Kirby (Hayden Panettiere) and the iconic Gale (Courtney Cox), the entirety of the women outshines the men. With memorable scenes and dialogue, it subverts more and more the traditional slashers paving the way for new rules for the future. Though Kirby’s movie banter is less on display so that Mindy can take the reins, their repartee stands out as you answer questions alongside them. One of the campiest aspects is from a surprising Dermot Mulroney as Detective Bailey. It quickly becomes easy to laugh each time he appears on the screen.

It’s Less New York and More Tourists in NYC

As a New Yorker, my greatest curiosity was how the characters navigate NYC and how the film depicts NYC residents. But I also have to remind myself of the increasingly gentrified NYC spaces. Still, there are plenty of moments where you go, “oh, you can tell they haven’t lived here long,” based on their decisions. Unfortunately, they play less with the NYC backdrop. Even Jason Takes Manhattan showed the city that never sleeps more love. The change in the trailers made it feel like epic proportions that Scream VI does not deliver.

Movie Rules and Tropes Speech Still Here and Thriving

For Scream VI, there is a reference to an “f— the movies” attitude that doesn’t seem fulfilled by the film’s end. However, the employment of the franchise’s raised stakes makes you ignore it until the credits roll. Then you wonder what became of it. Still, that savvy awareness of slasher rules and their morphed reimaginings play out as usual in grandiose monologuing fashion. Forget movies; forget fanfic. It’s all about reality.

There’s even a wink at sacrificing legendary characters simply for nostalgia, allowing a well of reinvigorated franchises that played this part, including Scream V, to spring to mind. Scream has poked fun at slasher rules and art imitating life from the first movie. It’s more an amalgamation of the first three, taking their wit, camp, and other similarities repel toward something darker to great success.

Social Media Commentary Falls by the Wayside

They also take a stab—hehe—at social media; how all it takes is one person to rewrite a tragedy, swathing a cold-blooded killer in a story of victimhood, sympathy, and innocence. Lies become the truth when people refuse to look beyond what they want to hear. One single tweet in agreement is all the validation some people need. Yet, this feels a tad empty in the grand Ghostface scheme.

Savage Kills But Unsurprising Reveal

Aside from the self-referential fun, the deaths are what it’s all about, and Scream VI does not disappoint. With brutality akin to the stellar Evil Dead remake, the bloody executions are the epitome of overkill in the most deliciously gruesome way. So expect some surprises on that end, and since this is Scream, expect the unexpected. Except when it comes to who Ghostface is, at which point you might channel Miranda Priestley’s sarcasm in The Devil Wears Prada with a succinct “groundbreaking.”

Scream VI is a gory good time, and while some films from the franchise are best left unspoken, this is not one of them. The kills are spectacular, the cast sharp, and the tension dense, as this Ghostface is far more brutal than previous ones. While you may not jump at every scene, there will be plenty of jaw-dropping deaths and ear-to-ear grins.

Rating: 8/10 SPECS

Scream VI bursts into theaters on March 10.

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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.