Scream 6 (Spoilers!)
So, this is the first time I’m going to write and post a second review for a movie. The reason: I want to better explain my score and the movie in general.
The day I posted the original review, the movie had just been released in theaters everywhere that day, so it’d be rude to post a review with spoilers. I also noticed that others had a tough time talking about the movie without spoiling essential plot points. This applies to me as well as I tried to discuss my thoughts on the movie as vaguely as possible both in my review and in person.
So, here we go - Scream 6 review containing spoilers - you have been warned!
The opening seen in a Scream movie is essential. It sets the tone of the movie and usually lets the savvy viewer in on the satirical direction the movie is going to take. This one takes the cake. The movie starts with a phone call, but it’s just to the restaurant. We eventually meet Laura, a film study professor at Blackmore University in New York City, waiting at the bar in the aforementioned restaurant for her blind date to arrive. She has seemingly been waiting awhile, so she sends the date a text. He’s embarrassed to admit that he’s lost and asked to call her. On the phone, the date lures Laura into a nearby alleyway where we see Ghostface appear and stab Laura several times.
The opener swerves when immediately after killer Laura, Ghostface removes his mask and shows his face! He’s revealed to be Jason who is one of Laura's film students at the University. He removes the Ghostface costume, places it in a backpack, and walks to campus. There, he walks past Tara Carpenter, the victim of the opening in Scream 5, where we see the two are familiar, even making plans to catch up at the Halloween party Tara is en route at the moment. Jason tells her to invite her sister, Sam, and the two quickly part ways.
Finally, back home, Jason tries to get ahold of his roommate Greg to tell him all about the killing of Laura and plan the killing of Tara and Samantha Carpenter. Greg is acting strange and Jason suspects something’s wrong only to find out that the REAL Ghostface has already killed Greg and is about to kill him because, if they succeed in killing the Carpenter sisters, Ghostface won’t get their revenge.
Ghostface kills Jason and we have ourselves a Scream movie!
This was worth spelling out because it was a great opening scene and it really throws you off when Ghostface seemingly reveals himself so quickly, only to be swerved right off the bat! It was great. If I gave points for opening scenes, this would be a full 2 points.
As for the things I DO score a movie on, this movie got a 10 from me. Wasn’t an easy 10 as some elements didn’t sit perfectly with me, but weren’t enough to deduct points. So, let’s get into it!
Originality: This was a no-brainer from the opening scene. That opening scene was original through and through and that’s why it got the full 2 points, however, there is a story element that is almost copy/paste/rewrite from a previous Scream movie so I had to think about my score here.
This is the second Scream movie by writing team Radio Silence where there seems to be a theme of recreating the original trilogy (Scream 7 is already greenlit for production). Now, if this was a “we’re making a new Scream movie so let’s just remake the first one” situation, Scream 5 and Scream 6 would be scored very differently, but this franchise makes a point of doing a reflection of the state of horror so it requires further consideration.
Mindy Meeks-Martin, Randy Meeks’ niece and our rules keeper in the Radio Silence era, told us in Scream 5 that we were in a “requel” - not quite a remake, not quite a sequel, a requel. This means the Ghostface killer(s) who is influenced by the in-movie, Scream stand-in franchise Stab, is trying to recreate the original events to make their requel. Under that premise, it makes sense that Scream 5 would mirror Scream 1 as Scream 1 is Stab 1 and Ghostface would be recreating Stab 1.
Equally, Mindy deduces that they are in a “franchise”, the collective of the Woodsboro incidents being considered in the events of this incident with this incident mirroring the events of Stab 2 (which to us are the events of Scream 2) - The survivors of the first incident move away from Woodsboro to go to college, where the killer returns to once again try to kill his target where the killer turns out to be film student Mickey and the mother of the first killer, Mrs. Loomis.
This was wonderfully done and there was no way I could take a point away from this.
Originality: 2 points
Characters: We have the Carpenter sisters, Tara and Sam, along with survivors Mindy and Chad Meeks-Martin, who now refer to themselves, however reluctantly, as the Core 4 (Chad came up with this and no one else really liked it, but they went along with it). This movie also includes Legacy character Gale Weathers, and Scream 4 survivor Kirby Reed, who is now an FBI agent. We round this cast off with our newbies, Chad’s roommate Ethan, Mindy’s girlfriend (though I’m not 100% sure how official they were as I don’t recall a title mentioned - I could be wrong, but it was clearly a serious love interest so, girlfriend it is) Anika, and the Carpenter sisters’roommate Quinn, who’s father is Detective Bailey who is handling the case. There is also a neighbor, Danny, who Sam has been secretly seeing for a short while.
Without getting too deep into this bit, all the characters behave as they generally would in their given situations. Yes, Ghostface is amongst those I just mentioned and at the reveal, the characters are a bit zany and over-the-top, almost to the point of a point removal, but then again, considering they are psychopathic serial killers, zany is acceptable behavior, but they push the line a little bit.
Characters: 2 points
Story: As mentioned, the story is to mirror Scream 2 and follows similar beats. No character feels awkwardly shoehorned into the story and the story progresses the way I believe a situation like this could go. I have an issue with one of the explanations for how one of the killers escapes detection when the crime scene is COVERED by cops. It should get a cinema sin (an awesome channel on Youtube (that I’m not afflicted with) that you should check out), but it’s not to the point that I took a point off for it.
I’m going to spoil the ending and reveal the killers in the next few paragraphs so, I can go ahead and do it here. In fact, I’ll just declare these points and get to the ending.
Story: 2 points
Ending: Ghostface, well the Ghostfaces, are revealed to be Detective Bailey (who is Richie’s father), Ethan (who is Richie’s brother), and Quinn (who is Richie’s sister AND who was murdered earlier in the movie. This is the part I have a slight issue with.).
Richie, if you missed it, was Sam Carpenter’s boyfriend in Scream 5 and turned out to be one of the Ghostface killers having met and started dating Amber, who was Tara’s best friend, on the Stab movie subreddits. Disappointed with the direction the Stab franchise was going, Amber and Richie decided to resurrect Ghostface to recreate the original Woodsboro murders and pin the murders on Sam, whose birth father was Billy Loomis, the original Ghostface killer, along with Stu Macher.
In Scream 2, it was Billy’s mother who was behind the killings. In Scream 6, it’s Richie’s whole family who’s avenging the death of Richie at the hands of Sam. This was that parallel that I couldn’t mention in the spoiler-free edition because mentioning the mirroring of Scream 2, with some thought, would ruin the reveal.
The issue I mentioned in the Story section had to do with the death of Quinn. Bailey said that he switched out “dead” Quinn with another body so that Quinn could escape, but how did she make it out of the building with it being surrounded, even with the “grieving father” defense Bailey used? It doesn’t click for me, but that’s not bad enough to take a point away. It’s not like the random escape of the boyfriend in The Farm - but I digress.
The climax takes place in an abandoned theater that was converted into a Ghostface shrine with evidence from all of the previous Ghostface killings including the TV that killed Stu, the knife that stabbed Kirby, and all nine costumes and masks used by the previous Ghostface killers. It looked really cool. The killers reveal themselves to Tara and Sam as Mindy was stabbed on the train and Chad was stabbed before the reveal, both manage to survive their attacks, and the chase is on.
You could look at this ending in two parts. First, the “Who is Ghostface” part, before the reveal.
There’s suspicion about Danny, the secret love interest, just as there was suspicion about Derek in Scream 2. Derek would be innocent, as would Danny, in a 5-letter D-named Love interest of the main protag reflection from Scream 2. Loved it! Kirby would also be teased as Ghostface with Bailey telling the Carpenters that Kirby was going rogue on this case and not with the FBI in an attempt to get the sisters to turn against Kirby. Almost works, but it was great to go ‘round and ‘round with who is and isn’t Ghostface leading to…
…a 3-on-2 Handicap Match with a Loser Leaves Life stipulation - big stakes, you know? Once the killers are revealed, it’s a chase ALL around the theater with Sam donning the same costume worn by her father Billy Loomis to kill the Bailey Family Killers as the police finally come (having been called by Danny who Sam was wise to not trust, despite his innocence).
Sam did manage to remove the suit before the police arriving as to not confuse anyone, though I think with the “Sam was the real Woodsboro killer who framed her boyfriend Richie” rumors circulating (started by Quinn, by the way) it was have been an interesting story cliffhanger to lead into Scream 7, similarly, the way that Spiderman’s identity was made public at the end of Far From Home leading into No Way Home.
The ending ran a bit long, but it was good.
Ending: 2 points
Enjoyment: 2 points
Not all reviews are this long or validate the points like this, but for a Scream movie getting a 10 from me, I like to explain it so there isn’t perceived bias.
But that’s my Spoiled review of Scream 6 with a worthy score of 10!