“This Isn’t Like Any Other Ghostface” Scream VI Review
Updated: Mar 27
By: JOSEPH SIMILE / CHIEF SPORTS EDITOR
Spoilers are generally meant to be avoided in this review, however, some minor details from the film are discussed in this article, especially ones that were also shown in advertisements leading up to the movie. So, despite no major spoilers, spoiler warning just in case.
Do you like scary movies? This reviewer surely does, and the hottest new slasher is Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s Scream VI. It is the second film in the series under Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett’s Radio Silence production group. Scream VI crushed it in the box office on its opening weekend, shattering the franchise record with $44.5 million in revenue the opening weekend, topping Scream 3’s $34 million.
Scream VI takes a different approach to the previous films in the series, being set in New York. While there were some reservations about how Ghostface taking on New York would play out, it was fantastic. Despite being filmed mostly in Montreal, the crew of the movie did a fantastic job transforming Sherbrooke Street into a Midtown-esque neighborhood surrounding a university.
While there were some complaints about the lack of New York icons and landmarks, there is also the argument to be made that there was no plot reason to take us there. Speaking from experience, college students in New York don’t go out and about in search of tourist locations each and every day, and would be even less inclined to do so with a psychotic killer running about and targeting you and your friends.
There was a similar criticism about Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, where it felt as though there was nothing distinctly New York about it except for the iconic scene of Jason in Times Square (why does he kick the stereo??). However, there are sprinkles here and there as well as a couple of very strong scenes, such as the bodega and subway scenes, that allow the audience to feel immersed in a version of New York.
Sam Carpenter (Melissa Barrera), Tara Carpenter (Jenna Ortega), Mindy Meeks-Martin (Jasmin Savoy Brown) and Chad Meeks-Martin (Mason Gooding) reprise their roles from the previous Scream film, as well as Courteney Cox as Gale Weathers and Hayden Panettiere as Kirby Reed.
All of the recurring characters were fantastic in this film, and Radio Silence did a great job developing the “core four” characters further from the fifth Scream installment. We truly get to know these characters for who they are, and are given reason to love and care about them.
The film also features Samara Weaving, who has been seemingly taking over Hollywood, starring in Radio Silence’s Ready or Not, as well as having main roles in Picnic at Hanging Rock, Hollywood, and Nine Perfect Strangers, along with three film credits in 2022 (The Valet, Chevalier, Babylon).
Great performances are turned in by Devyn Nekoda as Anika, Liana Liberato as Quinn Bailey, Dermot Mulroney as Wayne Bailey, Josh Segarra as Danny, Jack Champion as Ethan Landry, Tony Revolori as Jason, and Henry Czerny as Christopher Stone. Roger L. Jackson also thankfully returned as the voice of Ghostface.
While the original trilogy didn’t have much on screen gore, with many kills happening off camera or having been inferred by the audience, that is not the case with Scream VI. Where past Scream films have been tame, this iteration of Scream is the goriest yet.
As Kirby put it in the film, “This isn’t like any other Ghostface.” As it is still a Scream film in spirit, and perfectly fits in the same realm as the former five films, the approach to violence, aggression, and gore is a whole new take on the Ghostface character. These types of risks and creativity are the things fans have been asking for, and Radio Silence delivered.
There have been so many innovations and advances in filmmaking technology, as well as practical and visual effects, and this truly felt like a modern horror movie with the Scream formula. We saw some gore in Wes Craven’s last Scream title, Scream VI, Scream VI is a whole new level of gore and on screen violence. We rarely saw wounds in Craven’s films, but in Scream VI, we truly see it all, and it was awesome.
On top of the obvious reasons for this iteration of Ghostface being different from the rest (watch the movie to find out what I mean!), we see one killer scene (pun intended) that is unlike any other we’ve seen in the series, and it may be one of, if not the best scene in the whole franchise.
The bodega scene. Sam and Tara encounter Ghostface on the street, and try to take refuge and seek help in a bodega, assuming Ghostface will not follow them into a crowded store, and they were wrong. The owner of the bodega pulls a shotgun on Ghostface, who disarms the owner and wields the shotgun himself. Ghostface wielding a shotgun is unlike anything we’ve ever seen from the character, and it was an incredibly tense scene, and one of the most memorable of the series.
Horror fans will also love the subway scene, and may need multiple viewings to truly appreciate it. This is a must watch for horror fans with over 50 hidden easter eggs for horror fans between the subway scene and the frat party scene.
The easter eggs range from super iconic to super niche, and include appearances from other Wes Craven movies, as well as a callback to the directors’ short from found footage film V/H/S, in which the directors played a pirate, a teddy bear, and the unabomber. Tara is the pirate, an extra is the teddy bear, but unfortunately the actor who was supposed to play the unabomber had to miss the scene following a COVID diagnosis.
Scream VI, like the rest of the series, does a fantastic job of towing the line between comedy and horror. It isn’t as burlesque as the Scary Movie series, but that doesn’t take away from the truly great comedic moments in this film.
Its elements of comedy also don’t take away from the horror and suspense of the film. Wes Craven, the original creator of the series, was always adamant that no matter how much fun you have in these movies, the violence must always be taken seriously, and Radio Silence carried on that philosophy in this film.
This film also focuses on how the events of the film are affecting the characters. Perhaps more than any other film in the series, we saw just how traumatized these characters become throughout the film.
While there was the usual finger-pointing-by-the-film-buff in this iteration, we also see just how far the characters go to try and shrink their circle, and how little they begin to trust others. We even see Sam begin to contemplate giving up, wondering if the fight back is at all worth it, especially given the risk it poses to Tara and her friends.
The main gripe with the movie is the plot holes, there are certainly some questionable choices the writers made with this movie. However, I didn’t find the plot to be entirely inconceivable in the context of the movie. There were some nitpicks I had, however I didn’t feel that it took away from the quality of the movie.
As with Radio Silence’s Scream (2022) (aka Scream 5 aka 5CREAM), there are an abundance of references to the previous Scream movies. While I don’t think it's completely necessary to see all the other films to understand the movie, I would recommend at least seeing the original and Scream (2022) before seeing Scream VI.
This is a fresh, new look on the iconic Scream franchise. Ghostface is much more aggressive and violent in a new environment, our home city of New York. It was filled with twists and thrills, and had that signature Scream charm that fans keep coming back for.
In terms of production quality, this film rivals and even outperforms any movie in the series. In this humble reviewer's opinion, this is arguably a top three film in the series, rivaled by the original Scream and Scream IV. (two, three, and five were also great, FWIW). The newest iteration of the franchise has set box office records, and for good reason.
The film is available in theaters in a variety of viewing methods, including 2D, 3D, and 4DX (how I saw it). This was one of my favorite movies that I’ve seen in theaters over the last few years, and well worth the price of admission.