Starring: Melissa Barrera, Jasmin Savoy Brown, Jack Champion, Henry Czerny, Mason Gooding, Liana Liberato, Dermot Mulroney, Devyn Nekoda, Jenna Ortega, Tony Revolori, Josh Segarra, Samara Weaving, Hayden Panettiere, and Courteney Cox
Director: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett
Admittedly, I was a little skeptical going into Scream VI since I wasn’t the biggest fan of 2022’s Scream, but I was wrong because the sixth installment of this franchise is a killer time. You can truly feel directing duo Radio Silence’s love for horror in this one, as there is plenty of slicing and dicing going on with the most brutal Ghostface yet. I’m still not the biggest fan of Melissa Barrera’s character, but the Core Four delivers with their charisma, and while the commentary and motives aren’t as strong as the other sequels, it’s definitely the most stabtastic entry yet.
At this point, the Scream franchise isn’t winning new fans. If you love the formula and have nostalgia for the characters, Scream VI probably is quite enjoyable. It’s comfort food that has no nutritional value. Alternatively, if, like me, you're objective and don't hold a special place in your heart for all things Ghostface, it's just good enough that it doesn’t feel like a waste of time, but is ultimately just another entry in a string of sequels that are becoming stale. Nothing else I say about the acting, story, or predictability is going to sway opinions beyond that. I appreciated the elevated visceral gore, though.
Scream VI has some of the franchise’s greatest set-pieces and a few gnarly kills, but while I enjoyed the film overall, I found myself disappointed by its writing in comparison to its immediate predecessor. My favorite part of the Scream films has always been their commentaries on the state of movies at the time of their release, but this opts for a more straightforward thriller angle without having much that’s new to say. Plus, what it does say is handled a bit clumsily. That said, it is a fun time to have at the theater, and Melissa Barrera is marginally better this time around.
I’m a big fan of the Scream movies, so I’m delighted to say I really liked Scream VI…until I didn’t. The mix of funny meta commentary and suspensefully brutal kills is there to entertain the slasher fan in me, but it felt like it was building to something interesting before revealing Ghostface’s true motivations, which just didn’t do the setup justice. I guess I was fooled, but it felt like more of a lie than a clever twist. It didn’t ruin the fun I had, but it left a sour taste in my mouth.