Scream VI

Scream VI ★★★

Contains a lot of the same problems as Scream 5: atrocious exposition through dialogue, a flat visual look, and Melissa Barrera...acting?... and yet it feels like an infinite improvement because there's a mastery of tone on display. Like Wes Craven's films before it, "Scream 6" expertly weaves the needle between being goofy, meta, and brutal, and so I'm happy that this is the MOST brutal film since the original in terms of the gore and carnage. Plus, instead of just remaking Scream 4 by critiquing horror reboots/requels like Scream 5 did, this one actually does something different by commenting on long-running horror franchises that switch things up in order to stay relevant - now THAT'S clever!

I'm notoriously bad at figuring out who the killer or killers are in these movies, but I knew almost instantly what the twists would be here. It's so obvious that it seems almost intentional? Did anyone else feel that way? Did anyone else also feel like the survival rate of the gut-bursting stab wounds stretched credulity a little bit towards the end there? Granted, this has always been a problem for the franchise, but it reaches farcical degrees in this film, where around 5–6 people survive fatal injuries that would have had them bleed out in minutes. It's ok for these films to be meta and goofy, but I require at least a tenuous connection to reality. My suspension of disbelief can only go so far.

Overall, this is really fun, but these new Scream movies lack the mastery of Kevin Williamson's writing. Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett are serviceable enough as directors, but it took an artist as brilliant as the late-great Wes Craven to turn these movies into something special (we don't have to talk about Scream 3, lolz....).

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