The requel’s sequel delivers a striking, solid slasher
Scream has always been at its best when it embraces the whodunit aspect of its murder mystery. Through the years, this meta horror has managed to subvert expectations, with a number of killers that have been difficult to work out until very late in the game. Scream VI is no exception and it absolutely excels with its murder mystery. There’s a growing list of suspects that serve as glaring red herrings, while a revolving door of victims keeps the tension going until the very end when the big reveal is unveiled.
The story picks up after the events of last year’s box office surprise hit, with Samantha struggling to adjust to her new reality. While it’s advised to watch 2022’s Scream before jumping into this, Scream VI does a pretty solid job recapping what’s happened as Sam attends therapy. In the time we’ve left her, Sam is public enemy number 1 and word online is that Richie was innocent and Sam has framed him as the Ghostface killer.
After moving to New York and starting a new life for themselves, Sam is struggling to keep her relationship with Tara intact. Tara wants to do her own thing and sees Sam as an annoying, intrusive figure overshadowing her own life.
When a new string of murders occurs, with someone targeting those closest to Sam and Tara, our protagonists find themselves conflicted between saving themselves from harm and doing everything they can to unmask the next Ghostface killer.
Scream VI is bolstered by a very impressive opening act, and the first 20 minutes or so of this one does a fantastic job easing you into the new mystery. There’s a really tense and gritty feel to what’s happening and the changed setting of New York works surprisingly well to contrast claustrophobic, small apartments and larger, open expanses outside.
The actual reveal of the killers and the entire third act, especially for the final 30 minutes or so, will likely catch you off-guard and I doubt many people will guess everything that goes down. However, it also plays out a bit campy and cartoonish, and the stakes are surprisingly low too, especially with the sheer number of fake-outs and other horror cliches. I won’t get into that here but with a slightly reworked ending, this could easily have been one of the best Scream movies, but if there’s one sour point in this otherwise sweet slasher, it’s this.
It’s clear that the writers have taken many of the criticisms onboard from 2022’s Scream and respond in kind, with a great screenplay that takes all those issues onboard and reworks it into a cleverly written and unpredictable screenplay. It’s certainly a refreshing change from the norm where any criticism is played off as racist or sexist.
There are some great jokes in here though, taking jabs at the idea of legacy characters while the usual swathe of meta references to the genre work really well to keep the tone swinging between horror and comedy. There’s never a dull moment here either and some of the set-pieces across the 2 hour run are excellent.
Alongside that opening sequence, there’s a really tense segment onboard a subway train, and the final fight location is absolutely spot-on in both aesthetic and design. Given the small budget this one’s playing with, Scream VI will almost certainly make a tidy profit at the box office – and it deserves it too for this effort.
Scream VI is a strikingly solid horror flick and issues with the finale aside, improves over last year’s effort in almost every single way to delivery a bloody good slasher!
Read More: Scream VI Ending Explained
Verdict - 7.5/10