Review: Scream VI

Scream is one of Hollywood’s longest running horror franchises. From the opening moments of Scream (1996), fans have been glued to the screen watching the knife wielding Ghostface take out unsuspecting teenagers. Throughout numerous celebrity cameos, victims, killers, and survivors, the Scream franchise has maintained its fun and humorous approach to slasher films.  

The latest installment, Scream VI, delivers the same charm that makes the franchise so enjoyable. 

Scream VI takes place one year after the events of Scream (2022). The survivors of the last Woodsboro massacre aka “the core four” are now living in New York City. They’re far from Woodsboro but their experience with Ghostface still feels very close. Sam (Melissa Barrera) is in therapy to deal with what happened back home, as well as an internet rumor that she’s Ghostface. Her sister Tara (Jenna Ortega) is trying to live a normal life as a college student and not addressing the events from the previous year. Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) are in college as well and supporting their friends. 

After Sam’s driver’s license is found at the scene of a grisly murder, Detective Bailey (Dermot Mulroney) believes Ghostface is back and targeting Sam and her friends once again. Sam, her friends, and some familiar faces work together to survive while Ghostface tries to pick them off one-by-one.

While familiar in its plot, Scream VI feels fresh with New York as its canvas instead of Woodsboro. There are more people aka more threats, a subway scene, a bodega scene, a central park scene, and of course more bodies to give this installment a higher body count. The story feels big yet still intimate at the same time.

Jenna Ortega continues her rise to stardom as Tara. Taking nothing away from the other actors, Ortega feels like the star of this film, even in a supporting role. Tara is the one character that feels like they’re in a slightly more serious horror movie that has real stakes. Ortega possesses the skills to make her a great Scream Queen and they’re all on display in this film.

Jasmin Savoy Brown as Mindy is one of the best new characters. It’s been difficult to replace the horror knowledge and hilarious monologues delivered by Randy (Jamie Kennedy) in the first film. Brown delivers the same energy and enthusiasm as Kennedy. This is a necessary component to the satirical piece of the franchise.

This isn’t a Scream movie without the kills…and there are plenty of them – some very good ones too. The bodega sequence is one of the film’s best along with a penthouse sequence and a heart-pounding apartment escape. Those scenes deliver a deadlier and more violent Ghostface than fans have seen in previous films. Ghostface tells one character “There’s never been one like me” and Ghostface is right. There’s never been a Ghostface quite like this one that portrayal is perfect for this film.

Fans of the Scream franchise will love Scream VI. It has a bit of nostalgia to connect it to the franchise and enough new wrinkles to make this film feel new. The franchise doesn’t need to be anything different than what it is – great opening scene + familiar faces + high body count + Ghostface surprise at the end = a fun time at the movies. It’s a formula that works. There’s enough groundwork laid to give us another Scream movie. I can’t wait to see Ghostface kill again.  

Grade: B