Scream VI Review

We review the latest in the Scream franchise, Scream VI featuring Courtney Cox, Melissa Barrera, and Jenna Ortega

PLOT: A year after the horrors that took place for Sam and Tara Carpenter, the creepy Ghostface returns to terrorize the siblings and their pals. And this time, it all takes place in the Big Apple.

REVIEW: “What’s your favorite scary movie?” Most horror fans know who is calling when they hear that voice on the other end of the phone. And yes, Ghostface is back. Since its debut with the original Scream in 1996, it became a solid series of modern slasher fun. Let’s face it; when arguably the worst film in it is Scream 3, you aren’t doing too bad. Even that flick offered clever cameos and had wildly engaging sequences. And with last year’s revival giving audiences a couple of new leads with Jenny Ortega and Melissa Barrera, it still made for an enjoyable entry. What’s most impressive now is that the sixth film in this franchise, for this viewer, is the best sequel since part two. Considering this sixth entry could have been a rushed mess, it’s far from it. Jason Takes Manhattan; this is not.

Sam and Tara Carpenter (Barrera and Ortega) have moved to the Big Apple for school after the events in the previous film. Joining them are fellow survivors Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Chad Meeks-Martin (Mason Gooding). They’ve met some new friends, and Sam and Tara are coping with the horrors they faced. While Tara avoids it, Sam has been traumatized by hateful social media due to being Billy Loomis’ daughter. Yet after a brutal killing – the kind that always opens these flicks -the phone calls begin, again. Yet the rules have changed this time, and nobody is safe, not even the one holdover from the original, Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox). And none of it takes place on a boat – as bad as F13 Part 8 is, I still dig it for reference.

I’m being vague about the plot here because I don’t want to be the one spoiling the fun. Considering this film is a sequel to a “requel,” it would be easy to slip up and give away too much. Once again, directed by the talented duo of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, what could have been a rushed and lazy sequel, Scream VI excels. It moves the franchise in a new direction without sacrificing what making it engagingly creepy and fun. And then there is the sharp script by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick. Considering it took only a year for a new sequel, like in the early days of Friday the 13th when Paramount begrudgingly kept the series going, the sixth Scream is a massive success.

The opening sequence is something we haven’t seen done in this way before. Using the New York setting and switching things up slightly already have you questioning what is about to transpire. As I said, even mentioning who is involved would spoil too much. However, having the calls start in a crowded and trendy bar in a New York restaurant was a nice touch. After the satisfying beginning, we see that Sam and her sister have moved far away from Woodsboro to start life in New York. Sam is facing abuse online regarding her involvement in the massacre, and Tara is trying to forget by normalizing everything. Yet when news breaks that a gruesome murder involving the Ghostface mask somehow connects with Sam, they realize that hell has come to their new abode.

Scream VI introduces us to many new characters, including Devyn Nekoda as Anika, Liana Liberato as Bailey, Josh Segarra as Danny, Jack Champion as Ethan, and Dermot Mulroney as Detective Bailey. The sequel also brings back Kirby Reed from Scream 4, played by the lovely Hayden Panettiere. It’s a fine collection of characters. And most importantly, the “core four” – last year’s survivors – have become part of this franchise’s mythology. Mason, Mindy, Sam, and Tara have come into their own with this “requel sequel.” As for Courtney Cox, seeing Gale Weathers back in action is still a pleasure. And frankly, I was happy to see the series shaking things up. Scream VI starts a new story, and it feels right to commandeer this horror ship in a new direction – and yes, unlike Jason Takes Manhattan, this is in New York. Love those F13 Part 8 references.

Let’s talk about Ghostface. He’s peeved and ready to mangle in this installment. The kills are extra stabby, and there are moments of suspense as thrilling as the car crash scene in Scream 2. One sequence involving escaping from an apartment high above the ground is super tension fueled. The suspense builds throughout this wild ride. You also have more than a few surprises; thankfully, there is enough to keep this flick racing. Is it possible to live up to the visceral shock of how great the original film is, sixth time’s a charm? Well, here’s one sequel that brings the series back on track in a way that moves the series forward for modern audiences.

Scream VI is a massive surprise. It’s tense, scary, and fun, and I was happy to engage with the new players involved. The filmmakers impressively take over where Kevin Williamson and the late, great Wes Craven finished off. It’s a pleasure to witness the meta-slasher series thrive once again. You will thoroughly enjoy the newest installment if you are a Scream fan. While the kills aren’t over the top per se, you’ll see a Ghostface get all sorts of brutal. Perhaps the most brutal in the series. Seriously, this time around, they take STAB to a whole new level. And yes, New York, New York is an excellent replacement for the quaint yet deadly Woodsboro. Scream VI is a bloody good delight

Scream 6



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JimmyO is one of’s longest-tenured writers, with him reviewing movies and interviewing celebrities since 2007 as the site’s Los Angeles correspondent.