Scream VI is directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. The film stars Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Mason Gooding, Jenna Ortega, Hayden Panettiere, Courteney Cox, Champion, Henry Czerny, Liana Liberato, Dermot Mulroney, Devyn Nekoda, Tony Revolori, Josh Segarra, and Samara Weaving.
Ghostface takes Manhattan. Leaving the non-fictional town of Woodsboro, California, in the rearview and relocating to New York City is undoubtedly a choice. A choice which works wonders in some places but is a partial home run. Without getting into spoiler territory, the best parts of the location change are the location itself and what stems from that. The residents, the aesthetic of the city, the subway etc. All factors brought freshness to the franchise, created comedic openings, and made it feel like the ‘core fours’ story rather than a continuation.
The way we get to New York is simple enough. Tara, Mindy, and Chad relocate to the city for college, and Sam decides to tag along for Tara’s safety. Ghostface and his stabbing ways are not far behind them, organically allowing the legacy characters to appear in the Big Apple. The only legacy character who doesn’t appear is Neve Campbell’s Sidney, who decided to avoid Ghostface’s New York City stab fest and take her family into hiding. A wise choice which narratively works but a shame because of the external reasoning for this character omission.
Fans of the franchise will be satisfied with what is on show. Ghostface is more deadly than ever, and the killings are visually brutal. We are treated to lavish sets and unique set locations. There was a point within the first 20 minutes where I genuinely thought this film would be the best in the franchise. New things were happening, we had new characters at the forefront, everything felt fresh, and even with the new location, we reverted to what we had seen for the past five films. However, the biggest let-down is the reveal of Ghostface, in what feels like the most forced reveal of the whole franchise. Also, what is it with this bloody franchise and the killers completely changing their personalities after being revealed as Ghostface?
Characters introduced in the previous instalment lead the line here, with legacy characters serving as backup and usual Ghostface possibilities. Melissa Barrera steps up massively in her second franchise appearance. Sam is such a compelling character who toes the line and is constantly reminded of the killer part of her. You just get the feeling that she could snap, or should I say stab, at any moment. The MVP of Scream VI is, without a doubt, Jenna Ortega, who looks like she is on a one-way trip to stardom. She is given way more to do here and thrives in the spotlight. Aside from the character changes after the Ghostface reveal, the whole cast was brilliant.
Scream VI is the franchise’s bloodiest and most brutal entry yet, but it suffers when it reverts to old tricks. Not quite as sharp as the previous instalment.