Scream VI Review (2023)

My History with the Film:
Not long after the success of Scream (2022) a sequel was put into production, mirroring the release of Scream (1996) and Scream 2 (1997). I was ecstatic to see my favorite horror franchise back in action once again. It was announced that the series would move on from Woodsboro and make its way to New York City, just as Jason did twenty-four years earlier.

The marketing team deserves some major kudos for all the great teasers and posters that were created hyping the move to New York City. I’ve posted a couple of them below.

I made my way to the Alamo Drafthouse in Raleigh the Friday that the movie opened, and I enjoyed it. I wasn’t blown away like I was in 2022 and the lack of original cast members were sorely missed which I was not expecting.

What the Film is About (Non-Spoiler):
Hoping to forget about the latest Ghostface killings, the gang unites in New York City to move on with their lives as just another face in a sea of people.

What I Liked About It:
-The return of Kirby was one of the most requested returns in horror and I’m so glad the filmmakers obliged. While ultimately, I felt like she was underutilized, it was great to see her back in the Scream universe.

-The kills were brutal as everything got cranked up a notch. You could feel the anger and rage behind the attacks and that translated well into elevating this franchise.

-The new gang returned from Scream (2022) along with Courtney Cox. I didn’t expect to miss Sydney and Dewey, but I did. The cast remained likeable, and the addition of Josh Segarra was welcomed. It gave the group a different dynamic when he was in scenes.

-The use of social media to victim shame was a welcomed and topical plot point. Scream is always at its best when it has slight social commentary (the original film did an excellent job looking at the media’s role in inspiring killers) and while I felt like this film could have taken it just a step further, I feel like it was believable and serviceable.

What I Didn’t Like About It:
-The brutality made the cast surviving unbelievable. When watching horror, there is always a suspension of disbelief, but some of the folks surviving cause me to role my eyes with disappointment.

-The marketing was focused on the shift to New York City, and while maybe some native New Yorkers would appreciate the subtle use of bodegas and apartment buildings, it all felt underwhelming. At least in Jason Takes Manhattan there was the one great scene in Times Square. I can’t really recall any iconic New York City moments from this film.

Additional Notes:
-Courtney Cox did all of her own stunts, which is impressive because she took a beating.

-Neve Campbell did not return due to a salary dispute.

-Courtney Cox has portrayed Gale Weathers in all six films of the franchise over four decades which is a record for any actress.

-Filming took place in Montreal, Canada.

-Hayden Panettiere’s first acting role in four years.

Scream VI is a solid entry in the franchise, but the move from Woodsboro was a bit underwhelming. I felt like the New York City backdrop wasn’t utilized all that well and ultimately was a wasted opportunity.

The cast remains likeable and the homages to the franchise are appreciated. This film felt more brutal which was enjoyable, but also made believing our heroes could survive some of the attacks so much less believable. In a way, I felt like the film left the realm of the Scream universe a bit and not in a good way.

I’d rate Scream a three out of five and say it’s a rental. If you want to rank them amongst the Scream sequels, I’d say it goes Scream (1996), Scream (2022), Scream 2, Scream 4, Scream VI, Scream 3.

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