Bloody Mayhem Reigns in Fun, Though Slightly Predictable ‘Scream VI’ (Review)

by | Mar 9, 2023

Ghostface takes on the Big Apple in this bigger, bloodier sequel. 

It was a welcome sight to see this franchise return after a 11-year hiatus in last year’s excellent Scream. By reviving the franchise and continuing its streak of delivering quality horror films since the original released back in 1996, you can always count on a Scream film to deliver no matter who is in front and behind the camera. Continuing with its main cast from last year’s Scream, Scream VI goes to New York City this time around. While it doesn’t quite reach last year’s heights, Scream VI is still a bloody good time for horror aficionados and especially fans of the franchise, who may enjoy this film even more than its predecessor. 

Scream VI finds the core-four from Scream, the Carpenter sisters (Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega) and the Meeks twins (Jasmin Savoy Brown and Mason Gooding) having left Woodsboro and now living in New York City where they attend college. Thinking they have run away from the terror caused by Richie Kirsch and Amber Freeman, Ghostface returns and begins killing people in contact with the core-four. But with a detective on their side (Dermot Mulroney) and a survivor of Ghostface from the 2011 film coming back into the fold (Hayden Panettiere), the college students from Woodsboro will have better odds of figuring out who is behind the mask this time. 

If you’re familiar with any of the Scream films, then the plot of Scream VI may not be as shocking to you. But what lessens the quality of Scream VI just a little bit in comparison to its predecessor is the predictability of its story. Sure, this is a horror film that will try and get your heartrate going while keeping you guessing, but its script leaves a little to be desired, which makes the film’s curtain reveal a tad bit less appealing than those in most of the other Scream films. That’s really the only complaint to be had with this film, even though the twists and reveals are still satisfying to a degree. What the film lacks in its story is made up for in the mayhem created by Ghostface, with some of the most creative tension-filled moments this franchise has ever seen.

Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler GIllett are back after directing last year’s Scream, and they present audiences with bigger set pieces that are some of the most memorable and brutal moments you’ll ever find in a Scream movie. Beginning with its cold opening, Scream VI’s opener is the best opening in the franchise since the original. These films are known to come out of the gate hot, and Scream VI’s opening will have audiences on edge in anticipation for what’s in store over the next couple of hours. As the film progresses, some of Ghostface’s kills will having you thinking he’s almost Jason-like (from Friday the 13th), thanks to their brutality, but they deliver in upping the stakes where you feel like anyone could actually die this time around. 

Cast members that have returned in Scream VI are just as good this time around, but it’s new and familiar faces of the franchise that deliver the goods here. Dermot Mulroney is a unique addition to the cast as a detective helping out the main characters with the case and Hayden Panettiere, returns as Kirby from 2011’s Scream 4 in a somewhat expanded and more interesting role. While Neve Campbell does not as Sidney (she’s mentioned once in the film), it’s always a welcome sight to see Courteney Cox back as Gale Weathers trying to butt into the next iteration of Ghostface. 

What Scream VI lacks in its degree of shock is made up for in mayhem and thrills with a bit of nostalgia sprinkled on top. When a scene like the subway sequence that has been heavily shown in the film’s promotional marketing is still highly effective in the theater once you see it play out in its entirety for the first time, it speaks to how fun and entertaining this franchise continues to be, as we can only hope Paramount never stops making them. Let’s just hope future versions continue the streak of never delivering a bad Scream movie. 


RATING: ★★★1/2

(out of five stars)