Okay, we all know how a Scream movie works these days, and I do know that much of the cast and crew are preferring everyone to redact any spoilers from social media, reviews, etc. I will say this right now, I am gonna try and not spoil any big pieces of the story and cast going forward on this review. I still need to give a SPOILER ALERT on it, as I need to talk about some aspects of the film that can’t be avoided in the review. Although I will still try my best to not give away any plot points, character deaths, or killer reveals though, if you click away now that would probably be best! Anyways, what’s your favorite scary movie?
A year after the Requel Woodsboro murders, Sam (played by Melissa Barrera), Tara (played by Jenna Ortega), Chad (played by Mason Gooding), and Mindy (played by Jasmin Savoy Brown) move to New York for college and to get away from their trauma. Unfortunately for them, another Ghostface has followed them to the Big Apple. But this one is different, breaking conventional rules of serial killers in traditional slashers. Hellbent on destroying Sam and her friends, they must figure out how to stop this killer with the help of legacy characters Kirby Reed (played by Hayden Panettiere) and Gale Weathers (played by Courtney Cox).
Reiterating, possible spoilers ahead both minor and major. What kind of Kool-Aid was this Ghostface drinking?! This killer gave absolutely zero fucks about subtlety and ran through many of his victims like he was a freight train. From the trailers, there was something different about him given his menacing bodega massacre, along with him firing a shotgun with a single hand. There was a relentlessness that Ghostface had in this film that was completely absent from earlier iterations. Plus, his own closing line to his first onscreen victim really set the tone as to what was to come from this sequel.
Of course, it is not a Scream movie without meta commentary on the genre and this time they touch upon franchises and their long running IPs. From all about how audiences want their expectations to be subverted, to how all main characters’ fates, legacy or otherwise, are up in the air. I personally thought Scream 5 overdid the meta aspect with them shoving a reference down our throats every other line, but Scream VI I feel did a better job of it with their jokes and references properly spaced out to completely enjoy the film. And this being a horror movie, they gave several great scenes that build real tension and are genuinely terrifying. One such scene is the subway scene, which escalates the anxiety up to eleven as a crowded subway car with a bunch of people in masks is not as safe as one might think, bringing the sense of security into question. Another is the opening scene as I said above, which both plays into the slasher tropes and subverts them with a killer reversal in the opening prologue, along with an extremely chilling Ghostface line!
There are also quite a few unexpected twists and red herrings to keep the audience on their toes. It is also worth mentioning that the Scream movies also act as whodunnits to a degree, which also makes it fun for us to guess who the killer is by the end. Also, how they keep presenting red herrings on who could be the killer makes us watch every little detail and body movement to find the killer. I mean they had us questioning several main characters for a brief minute, including ones of the Core 4, before the big reveal. This just makes Scream VI even more rewatchable for the future.
Now the performances are killer (sorry not sorry). Jenna Ortega is fantastic still as Tara and continues to impress with everything she is in! Hayden Panettiere was a surprising welcome back and was able to match Mindy for both quips and horror movie knowledge. But the performance I want to talk about the most is Melissa Barrera. She brought her A-game as Sam and truly sold the protective and terrified old sister perfectly, but also knew when to be terrifying as well. In the climax, you can easily see when she seamlessly transitions to complete psychopath, embracing her inner darkness when push comes to shove!
As I stated before, I tried my best to remain spoiler free with a few minor tidbits here and there. This particular Ghostface definitely rose from the depths of hell to be the most sinister and destructive killer yet, dropping some of the franchise’s best lines and some brutal kills. The entire cast delivered stellar performances but Melissa Barrera was on another level compared to everyone else and was honestly spine chilling at times. Finally, the meta commentary was sharp as ever and really felt more natural than in previous Scream films. I was not a big fan of the Scream franchise heading into this film, but once I left the theater of Scream VI I can safely say I became a fan! This movie is that good. Also, whoever you think the killer might be before watching it…YOU ARE WRONG!