‘Scream VI’ continues to elevate the franchise’s strengths and legacy


Photo Courtesy of Paramount

Ghostface continues to bring chills in the sixth installment of the iconic horror series.

Jamie Sullivan, Contributing Writer

Over 25 years after the release of the original films, horror fans were greeted with  the sixth installment of the popular “Scream” franchise in early March. After the success of the fifth film last year, directors Matt Bettineli-Olpin and Tyler Gillet jumped at the chance to continue their works, and fans happily obliged. Building off the newest characters introduced during that film, this film takes on the role of showing how this group adjusts to tragedy and trauma. “Scream VI” takes its next scare to New York City as they are forced to face a new Ghostface while  adjusting to life in college. As usual though, for our heroes, this new Ghostface has grown and adapted, showing them danger like never before.  

The “Scream” series’ biggest strength continues to be with its tributes to the genre it holds dear by bringing attention to whatever horror trend is current at the time. For “Scream VI,” it builds off ideas established in previous films by discussing the rules and expectations that comes with a franchise. In a script co-written by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick, the dialogue helps promise more intensity with the action and leaves the audience with no one to trust. The film is able to perfectly deliver on this promise by shattering expectations on what is to come next at every turn. In addition, the film continues to be chock full of references to both classic films and more niche pulls. There are even some moments that honor the fans themselves, such as a poster for the film-based YouTube Channel ‘We Hate Movies’ that can be seen hanging in a character’s bedroom. Plus, there are plenty of laughs and moments to pull at the heartstrings in-between all of the scares. 

All desires are met when it comes to the cast as well. Returners Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega shine as Sam and Tara, respectively, and Mason Gooding outperforms all expectations as the loveable Chad. “Scream VI” continues to honor its legacy characters with major supporting appearances from Courtney Cox’s Gail Weathers and Hayden Panettiere as Kirby Reed. In particular, Panettiere expertly portrays a character who is trying to help those suffering from the same trauma that she had experienced herself. Even the newest characters to be introduced shine in their own unique ways to contribute much to the film’s overall atmosphere. In particular, Liana Liberato adds a particular sense of balance to the personalities of all the characters with her performance as Quinn, Sam and Tara’s roommate.  

Overall, “Scream VI” has a lot to offer for all audience members. There is plenty of new material for the oldest fans, but it’s still accessible and enjoyable for those who might be watching a “Scream” film for the first time. It feels like a love letter to those that have supported the series all this time with one set piece containing so many Easter eggs, there are still some that have yet to be found. The biggest tragedy of the film arises in that it is the first film to not feature Sidney Prescott due to disputes with Neve Campbell’s contract. With the chances for a “Scream VII” looking very positive, there is hope to see her return.