It’s incredibly rare for a horror film franchise to keep delivering fresh experiences in its sixth outing, and it’s particularly impressive for a series that centres on our common film knowledge. Scream VI, the sequel to the requel, dazzles with its bag of tricks, sewing in a slew of surprises as the bloody battle between the returning protagonists of 2022’s relaunch and their iconic nemesis Ghostface relocates to the Big Apple.
Whilst the story bones are more than familiar – after all, it remains an affectionate tribute to the slasher genre – what Scream VI proves is that character is king, and Sam and Tara Carpenter (played by the continually excellent Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega, respectively) stake their claim as worthy heirs to Sidney Prescott, solidifying their own legacy as sisters who reckon with their legacy as the descendants of Billy Loomis, the original killer, by being forced to tap into their darkest primal instincts to survive the wrath of the masked entity stalking them.
Accompanying them to fill in the big boots of Gale Weathers and Dewey Riley are the eminently likeable twin siblings Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown), who continue to offer their own unique charms to the core dynamic when contending with Ghostface. Though as aware as returning directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett are that having endearing protagonists is key, they allow us to remain equally morbidly curious about the killer, upping the ante with numerous twists, a steady body count and some of the most memorable set pieces in the series, including one involving a ladder and another on the subway. Both are the sort of spectacles that one could only associate with a city as dense as New York, giving the environment a character that previous horror films have failed to attain (ie Jason Takes Manhattan).
It’s possible that the directors’ commitment to providing reliable forms of satisfaction and nostalgia make Scream VI a fan-only affair. But it’s safe to say fans won’t be disappointed.
Scream VI is released nationwide on 10th March 2023.
Watch the trailer for Scream VI here: