‘Scream VI’ movie review: A tense, entertaining addition to the slasher franchise

The latest instalment in the ‘Scream’ franchise pays tribute to the lore of Ghostface with a thrilling screenplay

March 10, 2023 03:57 pm | Updated 05:46 pm IST

A still from ‘Scream 6’

A still from ‘Scream 6’ | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Ghostface is back to haunt the alleys of New York City while leaving some meta-commentary and easter eggs in its trail.

After the mayhem wrecked by Ghostface in Woodsboro disturbs the lives of half-sisters Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) and Samantha Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), the duo leaves for New York City to start anew. But Samantha knows too well that Ghostface cannot be trusted to leave them alone, so she keeps a watchful eye on Tara whose main goal is to have a normal college experience. However, Tara’s ambitions are thwarted and Sam’s suspicions are proved right when the city is plagued with a series of murders. Ghostface is back.

Scream VI (English)
Directors: Tyler Gillett, Matt Bettinelli-Olpin
Cast: Jenna Ortega, Melissa Barrera, Courteney Cox, Samara Weaving, Hayden Panettiere, Jack Champion, Mason Gooding, Liana Liberato, Jasmin Savoy Brown
Runtime: 122 minutes
Synopsis: Four survivors of the Ghostface murders leave Woodsboro behind for a fresh start in New York City. However, they soon find themselves in a fight for their lives when a new killer embarks on a bloody rampage.

The new addition to the Scream franchise brings some old favourites back with Courteney Cox playing Gale Weathers, a reporter, and Hayden Panettiere essaying the role of Kirby Reed who surprisingly survived an attack on her in the fourth movie. We also have the “core four” from the fifth instalment who hold the narration for the most part of the movie. Though fans of the franchise might dwell on the absence of Neve Campbell’s Sidney Prescott, the cinematography and overall mood of the movie will invite you to leave your inhibitions and doubts at the door and immerse yourself in the follow-up to the 2022 requel.

Scream VI is not liberal with clues and hints to decode the killer. The movie is driven by complete paranoia and over-the-top gruesome murders that get the audience’s heart rate up and surprisingly… it works! Like its predecessors, Scream VI’s mystery rests on luring the audience to suspect every character of being the killer (including Samantha who is visited by the visions of her father). 

The backdrop of New York City works as a horror element in itself and serves as a platter for deeper meta-commentary. The film pays ode to famous horror characters of the big screen in a rather tense scene set in the subway — from Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees to Pennywise and the Grady sisters from The Shining. The references never overwhelm the plot of the story and do not work as a mere distraction. The meta-commentary while being on the nose never ridicules the horror genre in itself — it is respectful of the tropes born out of the franchise.

In continuing to build the mystery around the masked killer and adding substance to the lore of Ghostface, the creators seem aware of the adulation the series has received from its fans for nearly three decades.

Jenna Ortega and Melissa Barrera have a ‘final-girl’ charm to them that makes their acting convincing and occasionally eerie.

Before you pay a visit to the theatres, you might want to be aware of a humorous post-credit scene.

Scream VI is currently running in theatres

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