Scream VI hits theaters on March 10th, 2023
The meta-slasher Scream franchise continues with its gruesome sixth entry. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett return as directors from last year’s franchise reboot. This time set in New York City, it stars Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega, Jasmin Savoy Brown, and Mason Gooding, who return as the self-proclaimed “Core Four” from the previous installment. Series veterans Courteney Cox and Hayden Panettiere return as Gale Weathers and Kirby Reed, respectively. Newcomers Dermot Mulroney, Tony Revolori, Liana Liberato, and Jack Champion round out the rest of the cast.
Much like 1997’s Scream 2, this film sees most of the cast depart Woodsboro to attend college. One of the characters even comments on this similarity. The New York setting provides many exciting set pieces. It includes an exceptionally thrilling scene suspended above an alleyway, which should look amazing in 3D. There is also an intense attack in a bodega and a claustrophobic scene on a subway car with many Halloween partygoers donning Ghostface masks. The subway attack is another scene that felt reminiscent of the series’ first sequel, where Jada Pinkett-Smith and Omar Epps attended a screening of the in-universe film Stab, only to become victims themselves.
Scream VI is reverent towards its adherence to franchise tropes and restrained by it. The film wants to give the audience the brutal kills they came to see but needs to save enough characters for the next sequel. I counted five times where a main character is seemingly killed, only to be confirmed alive in the next scene. It makes Scream VI feel like a stopgap between the previous chapter and the inevitable third entry in this new trilogy.
I give Scream VI 3.5 out of 5 stars. Despite being a strong and creative entry for the first two acts, the story runs out of steam by the final reveal, and by the end, it’s just going through the motions. Hopefully, the writers and directors are content to go big and bold for the next chapter.