By Jaimz Dillman
Ok, I’m admittedly from the original Scream generation. You know, the first one that called out all horror movie tropes and screwed with the genre in the best way possible? Yeah, that one. Give me a maniacal laughing (and dying) Matthew Lillard any day!
The subsequent sequels to follow gradually watered down the surprises and then eventually introduced a whole new set of teens for Ghostface to terrorize.
Fan-created films followed showing there was still a craving from those who love the question: what’s your favorite scary movie?
So, SCREAM VI opened to trepidation but hopeful enthusiasm from lovers of the first film and a new crop of sleuths hoping to figure out who the killer is before the reveal. Knowing what I know from these movies- which I consider myself a casual fan- I was expecting a few twists and turns and was not disappointed.
Jenna Ortega is back As Tara Carpenter, from Scream 5, along with besties Ethan, Mindy (Jack Champion, Jasmin Savoy Brown), and Chad (Mason Gooding). They’re off on college adventures starting fresh to leave behind all the previous trauma of Woodboro.
New friends join the “core four” and it doesn’t take long for things to go horribly wrong. As a matter of fact, if you had any reservations this installment would be tame, you’re wrong.
Ghostface has become something of a cult hero with imitation killers taking over and clues being left pointing to the previous knife wielders. Of course, popping up as soon as there’s fresh blood, Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) is on the scene digging her nose where it doesn’t belong and ruffling feathers along the way.
Callbacks to victims the franchise has already lost hit with a pain of nostalgia for those of us who loved (spoiler alert) Randy and Dewey. And it’s up to the remaining survivors to snuff out the masked murderer(s) once and for all.
Another fun nod to the first film is Mindy’s monologue on how this is no longer a string of sequels but now a franchise and all the requirements making it so just as Randy names all the ticks to horror movies back in the day before turning all them on their severed heads.
No one can be trusted. Not even those you trust. Anyone can be the killer. And anyone is. Anyone can become a victim. And everyone is. Don’t get attached to any character. They’re gonna die. Do you think you know who the killer is? They’re gonna die. Like that new guy? He’s gonna die. Glad to see a familiar face? They’re gonna die.
Bringing back the fun journey where you think you know where you’re going and then careening off that course, SCREAM VI was a bloody dark ride that hit all the right notes for this original fan and my daughter who’s watched all the previous ones on streaming services.
Make sure you go into it with no expectations and you’ll be pleasantly rewarded. And stay for the post-credits scene. It’s a groaner, but it may just make you Scream.
SCREAM VI is now streaming on Paramount+