Paramount Pictures

Movie Review: Scream VI

07:00 March 14, 2023
By: David Vicari

I very much enjoyed the last year's fifth Scream entry, a self-described "requel" which combined a new generation of characters with the continuity and characters from the classic original. Part five was a nice love letter to late director Wes Craven, who helmed the first four Scream films. It didn't really need a follow-up, but since it made a crap ton of money, we now have Scream VI. This latest installment in the popular horror franchise, feels like a movie that everyone involved with didn't really want to make. It all feels rather forced.

The Final Girls from part five, sisters Sam and Tara Carpenter (Melissa Barrera, Jenna Ortega), have moved to The Big Apple where Tara is going to college. Just so we will have the core cast from the previous film returning, brother and sister Chad and Mindy (Mason Gooding, Jasmin Savoy Brown) follow the sisters to New York. Of course, the Ghostface killings start up again. Sam immediately becomes a suspect because her driver's license is found at one of the murder scenes. Plus, she is the illegitimate daughter of one of the original killers, Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich).

Investigating the slayings is the most unhinged police detective (Dermot Mulroney) since the one played by Ruben Blades in Color of Night. Scream 4 character Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) is shoehorned in here as an FBI agent, and legacy character Gail Weathers (Courteney Cox) returns, but Neve Campbell's Sidney Prescott has not. The reason in reality that the character doesn't return is that the studio making the picture wanted to get Campbell for cheap, but the actress felt she is worth more than what they were willing to pay. We all love Sidney, but good for Campbell for sticking to her guns. Anyway, the reason in the movie that Sid doesn't return is pretty lame. Someone actually wrote this line and Cox has to say it: "Sidney deserves her happy ending."

Like Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, this takes place in New York but was actually shot in Canada...and it shows. This looks nothing like New York. Still, I get that it is cheaper to shoot in Canada.

ScreamVI opens promising enough with a copy cat killer becoming a victim of another copy cat. That was pretty clever, but from there on it was mostly routine stalk and kill scenes. There is, however, a tense set piece that takes place on a subway train on Halloween night where, it seems, every other person is dressed in the Ghostface costume.

Like I said, it all seems forced, like the forced humor during otherwise intense scenes, or the forced meta references to other horror films. It's all just getting old.

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