Scream VI: The Best Sequel in the Franchise


Philippe Bossé / Paramount Pictures

Scream VI’s group of survivors found the warehouse filled with Ghostface memorabilia: connecting back to all past movies in the franchise.

This article contains spoilers. 

Scream VI has solidified its place in the franchise and within people’s hearts, with the return of survivors and the addition of some new faces. With the movie taking place in bustling New York City, there have been many more new and exciting stakes at play that are entirely different from previous films in the franchise.

Scream VI’s opening scene includes the fantastic addition of Samara Weaving, who’s best known for her role in Ready or Not, playing the role of Laura Crane, a Film Studies professor that teaches classes about slasher movies. In this scene, Ghostface shockingly unmasks himself and eventually reveals himself to be one of Crane’s students. In witnessing the creative and shuddering opening scene play out during the first few minutes of the movie, fans will find that they are in for a ride, unlike others from the past films in the franchise.

Scream VI’s cast headed to “The Big Apple” to escape from the devastation Scream V left our “core four” survivors. But they will soon learn that the past has come back to haunt them. (Paramount Pictures)

Now you may be thinking: why would the movie reveal Ghostface’s identity so soon, and isn’t the point of the franchise not to know who’s behind the mask until the very end? Well it turns out that Jason Carvey, aka “Reggie,” Crane’s murderous tinder date, isn’t the primary Ghostface of the film. When Carvey goes to his dorm room, he ends up playing hot and cold with Ghostface on the other end of the line, but he believes it to be his roommate that was in on the plan to kill Crane. Eventually, he finds his dismembered roommate in the fridge, and he comes face to face with our terrifying yet highly-anticipated Ghostface. It is in this scene that we learn the motive of our new Ghostface. This Ghostface no longer follows its predecessors in wanting to seek fame and fans. Instead, what we can assume and gather from this scene alone is that this Ghostface seeks something more ominous and unsettling: revenge.

The creative dialogue is easily one of the best parts of this Scream movie. In the opening scene alone, using the victims’ words against them provided the audience with a satisfactory moment of glee. For instance, when Carvey gets stabbed by Ghostface, Ghostface asks him, “Do you feel like an animal, Jason?… Like meat?” mocking Carvey’s earlier gloating and the pleasure he derived from killing his professor, Crane.

Scream VI’s cinematography has been incredibly impactful in the movie’s resounding success. This is much due to the change in setting, as the characters are no longer facing off against Ghostface in the quaint town of Woodsboro, California. This change in scenery has added to the rising tension and fear for the characters as the viewers watch the sequel play out. After all, most of the audience is familiar with New York City’s lively atmosphere and crowded streets. Now, throw the Halloween season into the mix with many people who sport the Ghostface mask with their costumes. It amplifies the fear that our killer Ghostface could be any one of them and be anywhere, at any time. It’s an incredibly daunting thought. The subway sequence is an especially exciting and all-around liked scene in the movie by most reviewers, which is heavily due to its excellent cinematography.

The implementation of the core-four, a nickname dubbed by the survivors of the last film, includes Samantha (Sam) Carpenter, Tara Carpenter, Mindy Meeks-Martin, and Chad Meeks-Martin. They each played a tremendous role in the movie’s success. Furthermore, the film does fanservice for their audience by adding a well-known survivor from Scream IV, Kirby Reed, who’s played by Hayden Panettiere. There’s also the addition of Gale Weathers, who’s played by Courteney Cox and who also reprised her role for this adaptation of the franchise. Their appearances in the franchise didn’t feel like a forced addition to the movie, and perfectly blended into the plot without feeling inorganic.

Samara Weaving as “Laura Crane” in the opening scene of the movie where she’s lured into an alleyway by Ghostface. (Philippe Bossé / Paramount Pictures)

Unfortunately, with much success and praise comes some criticism as well. A lot of the criticism for the movie is the result of Neve Campbell, who plays Sidney Prescott, not acting in the film like she had for all the others in the franchise. According to Marco Vito Oddo, a writer for Collider, Campbell’s lack of an appearance was because she turned down the offer to appear in the sequel. She exclaimed that the amount they offered to pay her did not add up to the value that her contribution brought to the franchise. Her role in the franchise is incredibly hard to miss so, in the movie, Gale explains Sidney’s absence to our survivors, stating that Sidney wishes to protect her children from Ghostface and has gone into hiding to ensure their safety. This explanation seems rushed, and it felt like her absence was being brushed under the rug, which a lot of fans felt was distasteful. However, in Scream V, we see that Sidney specifically didn’t want to return to Woodsboro but eventually caved in when legacy character “Dewey” was killed by Ghostface. Of course, they’re not in Woodsboro anymore so it would seem logical for her to stay away from Ghostface. Therefore, even though it is thought to be rushed, this explanation does fit in with what was established in the previous sequel. Regardless, this was devastating for fans of the franchise as well as Campbell, but her appearance in Scream VI would have felt disappointing and lackluster in its current refined state.

Paramount Pictures

Scream VI has done remarkably well despite Campbell’s lack of appearance. For starters, Billy Loomis, whom we saw in Scream V as a result of Sam’s delusions, has returned to make his mark on the franchise yet again, as well as on Sam. Throughout the movie, Sam struggles to combat against the public’s beliefs that she was the true Ghostface in the last film and that she had simply framed her boyfriend and half-sister’s friend as the culprits so she could get away with mass murder. Sam also experiences an internal struggle, as she found herself relieved in killing her Ghostface boyfriend and fearing that she may develop murderous impulses like her father and paternal grandmother. Like in Scream V, Sam’s hallucination of Billy helped her fight against the killers in Scream VI, and she even eventually gets to put on her father’s Ghostface costume and use the knife he used to terrorize characters in the original Scream movie. Her personal growth and journey of self-discovery since the previous sequel has really contributed to her success as the Scream cast’s new final girl.

Scream VI is one of the greatest movies in the history of the franchise, although, like the other sequels to Scream, it will never top the original. Despite this, it is undoubtedly worth the watch to see the plot unfold and watch the greatest unmasking of Ghostface. See the movie on Paramount Plus, where you will find yourself at the edge of your seat, engrossed in the riveting scenes on screen.