How Scream 6 Pleasantly Surprised Me (Minor Spoilers)
When I first heard that there was going to be a sequel to Scream 5, my first thought was that it wouldn’t be good. As a longtime fan of the Scream franchise, I was excited when they decided to reboot the story with Scream 5 in 2022, keeping the same storyline and characters involved, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected to. I figured the same thing would happen with Scream 6, but then I learned that it wasn’t focusing on the characters’ hometown Woodsboro anymore; it would be taking place in New York. I thought this was a great creative decision, but I still had doubt in the back of my mind. I didn’t want one of my favorite horror franchises just to become pure comedy with lazy plots.
On March 11, I gave Scream 6 a fair shot, and I don’t regret it. The acting got better, the plot became more entertaining, and the setting of New York as well as the main characters being in college, really appealed to me as a college student. This movie played off Scream 2, one of my favorite films in the franchise, but they added new rules because we’re dealing with a “requel” instead of a sequel. Scream 5 started the new trilogy with the concept of a “requel,” a reboot sequel which means the movies will revisit the same subject matter, but the movie isn’t a remake. One of the main characters, Mindy, expressed in Scream 6 that no one was safe this time, even the main characters, and everyone was also a suspect.
Scream 6 began with actress Samara Weaving, playing a college professor, getting a phone call from a guy she met on a dating app in the restaurant she was supposed to be meeting him at. However, if you know the Scream movies, the first calls that take place in the opening sequence always end up being Ghostface related. I knew I was going to be in for a treat when “Ghostface” took his mask off 5 minutes into the movie. The Scream 6 opening sequence must be one of the most well-done ones in the entirety of the franchise because it throws you off. Right before the title comes on the screen, Ghostface exclaims, “Who gives a f*** about movies?” which foreshadows that the motive this time has nothing to do with the movies like the previous Scream films. Prior killers used to reveal their motives to be that movies influenced them to commit murder or other motives that just revolved around the making of movies.
The rest of Scream 6 follows Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega) and their two friends, Mindy (Jasmin Savoy) and Chad (Mason Gooding), returning from Scream 5 and attending college in New York. Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) and Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) reprised their roles from past Scream films in this movie as well.
The college setting introduced three new characters into the main friend group: Quinn (Liana Liberato), Ethan (Jack Champion), and Anika (Devyn Nekoda). Because the acting got better since the last film, it was believable that these were college students trying to cope with their trauma while also living a normal college student life with new friends. I thought the actors had better chemistry this time around, and this made it easier to connect with the characters.
On top of the cast chemistry, the chase scenes became much more creative as well because of the plot taking place within a large city. There are chase scenes within a bodega corner store, apartments, the subway, and an abandoned movie theater. What I liked about this movie and how it handled suspense; it genuinely scared me. The Scream franchise can be scary, depending on who you ask, but I think Scream 6 takes the cake for the scariest of all the Scream movies. The movie takes place during Halloween weekend, which means people in costumes are going to be everywhere, especially Ghostface costumes. This created one of the scarier scenes I’ve seen, the subway scene. The lights on the train kept going out, giving the real Ghostface an advantage to move closer and closer to the main characters on the train. Usually, with movies like this, my ego has me thinking I could survive until the end, but I found myself turning to my friend during Scream 6, saying, “I would not survive this movie.”
The final thing that pleasantly surprised me about this movie was the revealing of Ghostface in the third act. The movie addresses that in the previous killings, there have always been two killers, except for Scream 3, when there was just one. In the third act of Scream 6, three killers unmasked themselves, which I did not see coming. The motive the killers had also made perfect sense, paying tribute to Scream 2 in a way. I love when a movie has the puzzle pieces fall together in the end and Scream 6 did an excellent job of this. There were minor plot holes, but with the Scream movies, they’re usually goofy enough that almost all of them will have a plot hole here or there. Scream movies are also known for heavy plot armor, protecting certain characters from dying even though there is no way they could’ve survived certain attacks if it was real life.
By giving Scream 6 a chance, it ended up earning second place in my top 3 ranking of Scream movies. I went into the movie with reasonable doubts, such as bad acting, the lack of actors Neve Campbell (Sidney Prescott) and David Arquette (Sheriff Dewey Riley), concerns about the plot, etc. But Scream 6 managed to exceed my expectations, creating a genuinely good scary movie. Now I’ll have another movie to add to the list in preparation for the next time I’m asked, “What’s your favorite scary movie?”
Writer: Lindsey Limbach
Artist: Lindsey Limbach