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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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From: Silver Screen

REVIEW: ‘Scream VI’ finds fresh blood in the Big Apple

 REVIEW: ‘Scream VI’ finds fresh blood in the Big Apple
Ghostface in Paramount Pictures and Spyglass Media Group's "Scream VI."

The sixth time's the charm for this horror franchise. “Scream VI” opens with one of the series’ all-time best opening sequences and only ramps up the action and bloodshed from there. 

If “Scream” (2022) played it a little too safe as a glorified retread of the original, “Scream VI” upends audience expectations entirely. There’s only so much snarky commentary a movie series can make before it caves in on itself, and “Scream VI” knows when to keep its mouth shut. While previous entries mixed self-aware critiques with horror, this film focuses almost all of its attention on delivering satisfying slasher fun. 

The film follows sisters Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara (Jenna Ortega) Carpenter and twins Chad (Mason Gooding) and Mindy (​​Jasmin Savoy Brown) Meeks-Martin as they attempt a fresh start at Blackmore University in New York City after the grisly killing spree they survived in “Scream.” Ghostface soon returns to hunt down the freshly minted “core four” through a city brimming with new, shady characters, and a full-blown bloodbath ensues. Barrera’s Sam gets a particularly shocking arc that fans of the franchise are sure to appreciate, as she goes from the victim to the accused. 

Directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett made a wise call uprooting the series from the smalltown of Woodsboro, California to the sinister streets of New York City. The big city setting provides the perfect backdrop for jaw-dropping setpieces. Ghostface takes on victims in a bodega, the subway, a high rise apartment and an abandoned theater, making for some of the best chase sequences since the original. 

The actors bring new depths to the core four Gen Z characters, including standout performances from Jenna Ortega as Tara Carpenter and Mason Gooding as Chad Meeks-Martin. Hayden Panettiere makes a scene-stealing appearance as fan favorite Kirby Reed from “Scream 4,” and Courteney Cox more than compensates for final girl Neve Campbell’s absence with a typically sharp performance as Gale Weathers. Everyone brings their A-game to the proceedings, and after she became a household name with “Wednesday,” “Scream VI” is sure to land Ortega even more admirers. The chemistry between the core four characters is undeniable and a scene between film buffs Kirby and Mindy delivers the sort of casually scathing commentary the series does best. 

A “Scream” film is only as good as its Ghostface reveal, and this one is both unexpected and subversive, bringing a new twist to the venerable franchise. The series has always heavily relied on the mystery and suspense of its basic premise, a whodunit with a killer, and this film takes extra pleasure in pulling the rug out from underneath audiences. The final confrontation is expertly choreographed and delightfully intense.

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The soundtrack is also killer, mixing contemporary pop from girl in red and Billie Eilish into scenes for maximum emotional impact.  

However, the best part of “Scream VI”is how relentlessly scary it is. This is a no-holds-barred thrill ride from start to finish. Audiences will jump out of their seats and gasp in equal measure at the gruesome killing spree Ghostface unleashes in New York City. The chemistry between the cast is palpable, the chills are heart-stopping, and the reveals are shocking. “Scream VI” practically begs to be seen in theaters. 

Scream VI comes out March 10, 2023.

This article was edited by Bailey Hobbs, Kylie Bill and Nina Heller. Copy editing done by Isabelle Kravis. 

rgillis@theeagleonline.com


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