The Reel Review
This latest installment in the twist-filled Scream horror franchise has the most recent group of survivors of the Ghostface killings – affectionately nicknamed by one of them as the “core four” – starting college in New York City, only to discover that – uh oh! – the killing spree has followed them there.
With Samara Weaving (Ready or Not) kicking off the fun in a thrillingly twisty opening scene, Scream VI still has all of the predictable self-referential meta horror film references, new characters to serve as slasher fodder/suspects, and the nostalgia – Courtney Cox is back as the iconic Gale Weathers, as is Hayden Panettiere, as an even more badass and grown-up Kirby Reed from Scream 4. Even bloodier and gorier than 2022’s Scream, this sequel is also sillier.
Melissa Barrera and Jenna Ortega make a terrific sisterly duo, which helps to make up for writer/directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett’s obsessive nerdfest of shoehorning in way too many distracting references to the prior Scream films (we get it, you’re fans) and a couple of totally hokey, ghostly appearances from original Scream villain Skeet Ulrich. Even with that unnecessary ridiculousness, Scream VI still has enough subversive twists – and a satisfying ending – to prove yet again that this franchise still has some life in it.
• Scream VI is the first film in the franchise not to include Neve Campbell, who opted not to reprise her character of Sidney Prescott over a salary dispute. Courtney Cox is now the only actor to appear in every Scream film.
• Scream VI is Hayden Panettiere’s first film in five years.
• Scream V and VI writer/directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett first made a name for themselves in the 2019′ horror/comedy Ready or Not, that starred Samara Weaving as new bride battling her eccentric in-laws in a deadly game of hide and seek.