2023. R. 122 mins. Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin & Tyler Gillett
The Scream franchise has remained one of the most consistent series in the horror genre. Despite a couple of movies being a tad underwhelming there isn't a bad movie in the franchise. That continues with Scream VI which is the follow up to last year's Scream (2022). This time around we follow the survivors of the previous movie; Sam (Melissa Barrera), Tara (Jenna Ortega), Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Chad (Mason Gooding), as they move out to New York. While there, a new Ghostface begins to terrorize their college campus beginning a new string of murders. With the help of a couple legacy characters, Gale (Courtney Cox) and Kirby (Hayden Panettiere), the remaining kids do everything they can to stop Ghostface once and for all.
Being a direct follow up to the previous movie, Scream VI takes everything that worked last time and manages to ramp things up but also do certain things just different enough to make it all work. Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett have once again filled the void of director Wes Craven and managed to make the second-best movie in the series. While some aspects of the movie are played a bit safe, when it comes to the kills and the tension things get ramped up to an eleven. This is easily the bloodiest and goriest entry but the directors are careful to never overdue it. One thing the Scream series has always done well is walk the line between horror and comedy and here is no different as not only is there plenty of great horror elements, but the movie is very funny and most of the comedy lands quite well.
Switching the location to New York this time around actually works in favor of the movie. By being set in the big city it allows more spots for Ghostface to strike and opens of the characters to have to question their every move as even being in public surrounded by other people may no longer be safe anymore. The opening sequence here is the first in the series to gravitate towards something different than what's been done before and it is a welcome change of pace. There are little things throughout that the directors decide to do differently than previous entries, getting away from the typical formula and allowing something new to actually transpire on screen.
This is the first entry to not feature the character of Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell, who has been the final girl throughout this entire series up to this point. While it would have been nice to have her return the movie doesn't skip a beat in her absence. The young cast does a great job taking over the series while still allowing previous characters such as Gale and Kirby time to shine. Everyone apart of the now self-proclaimed "core four" are all great once again. Melissa Barrera really comes into her own in this performance and now really feels like the new Sidney for the series. Jenna Ortega continues her rise as a megastar providing some great moments here. Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding as the twins are both great comic relief but are able to hold their own in the tense moments as well.
Scream VI is exactly what this franchise needed. It does a great job paying homage to the original movies and characters while simultaneously building the ground work for the new characters to develop and set up many possibilities for future installments. Despite the final reveal of Ghostface being a bit underwhelming, Scream VI is a great slasher movie for a new generation that is sure to please fans of the original movies.