By Liz Ciocher
Following a franchise that has been in production since 1996, “Scream VI” has been released 27 years after the original. It’s been widely speculated over the internet that this adaptation would be one of the best and one of the most graphic films in the series, and I can safely say this is a true statement.
Like all of the movies in the “Scream” franchise, “Scream VI” follows a formula. The same opening scene, same killer slogan ("what's your favorite scary movie?”) and the same outcome. Over time, it would be expected for these repeated movie takes to become dull, but “Scream VI” manages to keep these same elements in a new and exciting way.
The characters are returning from “Scream V,” which is the first time in the franchise that characters that were not in the original film make a reappearance (actress Jenna Ortega’s character is one of the main characters originating from “Scream V,” and she wasn’t even born until 8 years after the original’s release). This is also the first time in the franchise that the series’ main heroine, Sidney Prescott, does not make an appearance.
Normally, I am one for tradition. I was disappointed when I discovered Neve Campbell would not be returning to reprise her role as Sidney, but I think the movie did a fine job without her. She was mentioned of course, and it was said that Sidney was staying out of this scenario for her own safety. I did appreciate that the character had a completely reasonable and believable reason to not be returning for another slasher film.
As for the other returning characters, Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) is the only original living character to be featured, while Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) is seen in flashbacks, like in “Scream V.” Everyone else is talked about, which is also done well without dragging too far into the past. The character of Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) also returns, but she was brought to the franchise in “Scream III.”
As a fan of the “Scream” franchise, I really liked the way they incorporated the previous films and characters. One of the coolest things that nodded to the show’s history was a new element the killer added: At each crime scene, he would leave behind one Ghostface mask that was worn in the previous movies.
From a horror fan point of view — not just a “Scream” fan point of view — the movie was equally as excellent. There were plenty of scenes that had my heart rate elevating, and Ghostface is as chilling as ever.
My favorite scene (without giving any spoilers) is one that was featured in the “Scream VI” trailer. The main characters are chased from their apartment and are forced to escape by crossing a ladder from one open window to another. The acting and special effects were phenomenal in this scene, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much tension and anxiety from watching a movie.
The kills were definitely very graphic — a lot of knife twisting, blood splatter, headshots, all before Act II of the film. I can also say there was only one instance where a character survived when they definitely shouldn’t have, something the franchise occasionally struggles with.
As for technicalities, I was a really big fan of the directing, as well as the soundtrack for this film. The iconic voiceover of Ghostface was brilliantly executed and often paired well with the anxiety-inducing music they had playing in the background.
I do think the reveal of the killer has been done better in the other films, but I was definitely surprised and did not see it coming. The reveal also strayed away from some of the classic components of the revealed Ghostface, but it was done well.
As a whole, “Scream VI” definitely did satisfy both the “Scream” fan and the horror fan in me. It’s impressive how far they’ve managed to take this franchise to production and make good movies out of it.