Screaming for the Sixth Franchise Film: Scream VI


Photo Credits: Samantha Dutch

Samantha Dutch, Assistant Social Media Director

(*Ring* *Ring*) What’s your favorite scary movie?

For me, the answer is all of the Scream films, likely the second for the top spot. But the franchise is far from being over as Scream VI hit theaters on March 10.

This was the first time I was going to watch a Scream film in theaters since I just recently got into the movies, so I was hoping I was not going to end up like a Stab victim. It was also the first time I would be seeing a horror film in general in a movie theater, so I was very excited and certainly not disappointed.

The original three Scream movies set the groundwork and are nothing but iconic. Scream 4 was pretty good but I was kind of disappointed with the fifth film, so I was a bit weary going into this one, but it exceeded my expectations.

Coming off of Scream 5 with new leading lady Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera) and her younger sister Tara portrayed by Wednesday star Jenna Ortega having survived, they and their twin friends Mindy and Chad Martin leave Woodsboro behind for a fresh start in New York City.

A new city, new killers, and a lot of new surprises. Just when you think you know how a Scream movie works, it never fails to keep things interesting with unexpected twists while still staying true to the franchise. I found this film to be absolutely brilliant in successfully combining the two.

Right from the start, we are thrown off track when what we think is going to happen goes in a completely different direction. As all Scream films do, the film kicks off with a phone call to a woman. She is waiting for her date to show up and he calls her but of course Ghostface ends up on the other line, and she is lured into an alley where she meets her fate.

I was pretty relaxed for this part (well as “relaxed” as you can be during a horror film), and I was ready to see the usual title sequence appear. I could not have been more wrong. Everything I thought I knew went out the window when Ghostface takes off his mask to admire his work.

The film follows him home, the not-actually-Ghostface-Ghostface, Jason (portrayed by Tony Revolori, who I immediately recognized as Flash Thompson from recent Spider-Man films). We discover that he and his roommate Greg just want to finish the “movie” started by antagonist Richie in the previous film, but the real Ghostface does not care about this when Jason finds his roommate’s chopped body in the fridge and says, “Who gives a **** about movies?!”

Then of course, the typical Scream title sequence appears to get us into the film. The opening scene proves that the franchise is in a fresh new wave, also taking place in a brand new city of New York City. The twists and turns while staying true to what all Scream fanatics know and love is what makes this movie so successful.

Up until this point, four out of five movies have two killers, with Scream 3 being the only one with a lone Ghostface, Sidney’s half-brother Roman. It would be mundane for a film testing the waters to follow this pattern, so for the first time there are three killers.

The real Ghostface squad may have claimed to not have care about the movie, but they certainly cared about the movie’s creator. They wanted to finish it themselves for him so they had to kill the copycat killers, and they also wanted revenge for Sam and Tara for Richie. Detective Wayne Bailey (Dermot Mulroney) was the father of Richie and Quinn Bailey (Liana Liberato) and Ethan Landry (Jack Champion) were his siblings. Despite being in a big city, having three killers made it easy to capture a lot of victims.

One of my favorite parts of watching Scream films is to try to predict the killer(s), and Ethan Landry is the only one I got correct. Right from the moment I saw him on screen he reminded me of Richie, and he was the typical “nerdy-and-seems-harmless” character. I thought it might have been too on the nose, but I was correct. He was roommates with Chad, similar to how Quinn was roommates with Sam.

Though this storyline is a little simple and dry, what made Quinn’s reveal so intriguing is that we thought Ghostface got her in the apartment, but it was never actually shown and none of the characters actually saw it happen. There were some plot holes in the film like how she was able to be hidden and not revealed that she was actually alive. Detective Bailey says they used prosthetics and fake blood to fake her death and then before the police arrived, he “replaced” her “body” with a fresh one. So he killed someone that looked similar to her and that is the body the police hauled away from the scene of the crime. Since she “identified” the body as her dad, they did not question it.

Having watched all of the films, this is the only one that made me actually look away. The kills seem to keep getting more and more gruesome as the movies go on. The subway sequence was brilliantly done, but I think the apartment fight sequence was even more horrifying. The gang is trying to escape Ghostface who entered Sam and Quinn’s apartment via a ladder to Sam’s boytoy Danny’s place on the other side (Josh Segarra). Mindy’s girlfriend Anika (Devyn Nekoda) needs to get over, but Ghostface begins rattling the ladder up and down, and she eventually plummets to the ground with an unsettling crunch.

The stakes are raised and the waters are tested in every aspect of the story. One of my personal favorite aspects is a new love story in the making with Tara and Chad. After Dewey’s tragic death leaving my favorite character Gale by herself, I was itching to see a new romantic interest, and Chad and Tara certainly delivered without it seeming forced.

Maybe it was plot protection, but it was miraculous to me that Chad survived after how many times he was stabbed by Ghostface. I thought the same for Gale (Courtney Cox). Though she has always been the character I am most excited to see and I was so excited to finally see her receive a call from our killer, I was surprised she survived her attack. That would likely be my biggest complaint with the movies, that they seem afraid to kill off major characters and their survivals seem unlikely. It is like there is an aura surrounding them that protects them from death, at least for a few movies until the franchise wants to bring in fresh faces.

Another aspect of the movie that I love is Sam continuously getting visions of her father, Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich), one of the original killers in the first film. The film concluded in the shrine that we learned was created by Detective Bailey to keep his son’s legacy alive. The film pays homage to the previous movies and killers as they wear all the different masks throughout it and at the end, Sam donning her father’s costume, mercilessly stabbing Detective Bailey to his death.

This was one of my favorite parts of the film as it was so interesting to see someone good (I will use that term relatively, for now) in an iconic costume, let alone their father’s who is such an icon in the franchise. I loved Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) in all of the films, but I appreciate that Sam has an edge to her and is less of a damsel in distress. Sam admits that her father is a cold murderer; however, she affirms that she is not like him and finishes off the killers in an absolutely satisfying conclusion.

The “Core Four” of Sam, Tara, Chad, and Mindy make it out of the film alive, and Mindy even appears in a post-credits scene. It would not be a Scream movie without the humor aspect of discussing horror movies and nearly breaking the fourth-wall, so Mindy takes this to an extreme by simply appearing at the very end of the credits saying, “Not every movie needs a post-credits scene!” With so many questions left unanswered at the end of the film (Will Sam actually follow in her father’s footsteps? Is Stu alive?) there were so many things to work with, but Mindy got us in her meta-movie speeches and the post-credits scene was another first for the Scream franchise.

By combining nostalgic elements, staying true to the legacy of the Scream films, and incorporating new turns of events, Scream VI proved to be a huge success. Sure, I miss seeing the lovable faces of Dewey and Sidney, but I am here for a new era of the franchise as it still incorporates previous elements fans know and love.