Friday, July 14, 2023

Scream VI

The sixth entry in the Scream franchise follows Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara (Jenna Ortega) to college. The film opens in the expected way with a woman (Samara Weaving) being stalked on the phone and then killed, although we do get a twist with the killer (Tony Revolori) immediately being revealed and then himself stalked and killed by a different Ghostface killer out to frame Sam for his crimes and punish the sisters for what he believes are their crimes.

Our investigators this time around are the returning Kirby Reed (Hayden Panettiere) and the cop father (Dermot Mulroney) of one of the Carpenter sisters' new friends (Liana Liberato). We get the regular schtick in terms of rules of a horror franchise presented by Mindy (Jasmin Savoy Brown) as well as the return of Gail Weathers (Courteney Cox) hunting for a new story.

Along with some very circumstantial evidence early in the film pointing towards Sam, albeit only in the absence of anything resembling common sense (which eventually can't be ignored) even the killers eventually grow tired of trying to frame Sam and get to killing (including a very public massacre in a bodega). The script also makes use of Internet conspiracies feeding the public disinformation about the killings from the last film with nutbags grabbing onto the idea that Sam is somehow responsible for all the killings both then and now. Much of the plot is explained in the film's climax with the reveal of the killers offering the usual Scream twist to tie events and characters together that don't make all that much sense as the pop of the reveal, not the understanding of events, is the point.

Like most horror movies, Scream VI is a mixed bag. When characters are running for their lives it works well enough but when the script needs to start putting pieces together for the audience and make sense of characters and events it's all thumbs. The most interesting aspect of the movie is the underplayed idea of Sam getting a taste for killing, and perhaps Tara as well. In a franchise that continues to struggle to find new storylines that tie back to previous films while regurgitating slight variations on the same plot, could we get a film with the sisters becoming the killers and murdering all the dumbass people who have made their lives a living hell over the last two films? At least one more film in the franchise is planned, but we'll have to see if anything new like this could be mined or if the derivative setup we've gotten each time is used once more.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Scream VI
  • IMDb: link

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