Scream VI

Scream VI ★★★½

The sixth entry in a horror franchise being watchable is practically unheard of- let alone being a solid improvement over its direct predecessor. But the Scream franchise continues to power along with a strong sixth chapter that builds upon the last movie in fun ways. Almost everyone in my friend group wanted to see 65 instead of this and they all definitely made a mistake.

Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega return as the two leads, sisters Sam and Tara. They've relocated to New York City after the events of the last film along with a couple of their other friends. While I don't think Manhattan is the best place if you're worried about being attacked by another Ghostface, they at least see the value of sticking together and at several critical junctures make smart calls on who to trust.

It seems like the creative team have taken notes on areas they could improve as I thought the tension and kill sequences were ramped up quite a bit this time out. There are several great bits that had me at the edge of my seat- the bodega and subway parts being two heavily featured in the trailer that played great in the cinema. It was pretty funny how many stabs people in the Scream franchise can walk off, though, I feel like most everybody got life-ending injuries and mostly shrugged them off at some point in the film.

I also thought the meta elements of Scream were incorporated more organically into the story this time. While Jasmine Savoy Brown has the tough task of handling all of the in-your-face dialogue, the actual narrative plays with our expectations of legacy characters and long-running franchises in fun ways. There are several swerves and misdirections which kept me guessing, and the revelations regarding the killer added up.

The Scream franchise was very lucky that they fast-tracked the sixth movie because they could capitalize on Jenna Ortega's rocket launch in celebrity following the popular Wednesday series. She does alright and I thought Melissa Barerra was a bit better as well, but everyone suffers a bit from hokey dialogue and some cringey moments here and there. Scream VI is at its best when we are right in the action. I would definitely recommend newcomers to watch at least the fifth movie before this since my friend Jacob seemed sort of lost.

I'm not sure if it's by the nature of slasher movies but this might have been the worst behaved theater audience I've ever experienced- with plenty of people talking loudly throughout a lot of the movie, plenty of phones out, and one person having their flash notification feature on- so it looked like somebody was taking a flash picture of the screen every couple of minutes. The audience seemed generally engaged with the movie, too, so I guess it's this sort of broadly appealing and young-skewing horror movie where that sort of behavior is shown.

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