Scream VI Review: Ghostface Takes Manhattan ★★★★★

4 mins read

Scream VI takes us out of Woodsboro and instead into New York City where a new Ghostface is targeting the survivors of 2022’s Woodsboro Attacks.

We live in an era of endless sequels, reboots, reimaginings and regurgitations, especially in horror. More recently, we have seen the returns of the Scream and Halloween franchises.

Whilst the latter struggled its way through three increasingly frustrating chapters, and with Halloween Ends forgetting about Michael Myers almost entirely, Scream’s second legacy sequel proves that Ghostface isn’t going anywhere.

The Big Apple means Bigger Stakes

Many horror sequels have tried relocating to differing results; but this is no Jason Takes Manhattan. What director team Matt-Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet have delivered is both another love-letter to Craven’s original four Scream films and the series’ most wildly different film yet.

Who is Ghostface this time? Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

Scream VI is brutal. As expected, there is an abundance of dark comedy and meta-humour, but the tone throughout is more sinister and brooding than the 2022 film. Right from the opening – an opening that, may I add, is a fantastic twist on expectations, it’s clear this is a ruthless sequel.

It’s hard to discuss a Scream film without jumping into spoiler territory, there’s a lot of ‘talking around’ main plot points, but part of the new ‘franchise’ rules as laid out by Mindy is that, “everyone is a suspect and everyone is dispensable”, and she speaks the truth.

Sidney Prescott no more

Jenna Ortega gives another standout performance – quickly becoming this era’s defining scream queen, alongside the brilliant Samara Weaving in what is their second film acting alongside one another (The Babysitter: Killer Queen being their first). Franchise staple, Courteney Cox also returns as Gale Weathers and Haden Panettiere as fan-favourite Kirby Reed.

Jenna Ortega as Tara and Melissa Barera as Sam in Scream VI (2023) Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

However, we can’t discuss Scream VI without talking about the exit of Sidney Prescott from the franchise. Her exit is handled as well as the writers could have; a quick explanation is given from Gale and that’s that (but not as well as the studio could have because nobody lets Neve Campbell go like that!)

Although, the lack of Sid, fortunately, did not inhibit the film and the ‘core four’ prove themselves able to carry the franchise from here on.

There may never have been a Scream as character-focused as this one; the 2022 one was fast-paced and focused more on the legacy characters passing the torch to the newbies, but here we really get to know the new bunch and because of its over two hour run-time (not a second of which feels wasted), there’s plenty of time to let the story breathe and make room for character development.

With one of the best opening scenes since Scream 2 and a re-location that does wonders for the characters and plots, defying expectations at every turn, Scream VI is both one of the best sequels yet and proves that the franchise still has staying power.

Featured Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

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